The Kaikoura Wine Trail cycle tour is a collection of bike rides that Pure Trails have put together that showcase the South Island’s scenic North Canterbury, Kaikoura & Marlborough regions.
As well as some excellent cycle rides, this tour is great for people who enjoy wine tasting and pampering themselves, with the thermal hot pools and spa at Hanmer Springs guarantying relaxation. The food is also a highlight of this trip!
The 165km Kaikoura Wine Trail cycle tour features 82% cycling on sealed roads and 18% cycling on gravel roads and trail. The riding is rated Grade 1 and there are a few gentle hills that can be skipped if desired.
There is vehicle support available at all times throughout the cycle tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.
Kaikoura Wine Trail Cycle Tour Highlights
- Enjoy 165km of cycling featuring country landscapes, wild coastlines & vineyards
- Cycle alongside vineyards at Waipara and Marlborough
- Relax in Hanmer Springs Thermal Hot Pools
- Explore the stunning Kaikoura Coastline post-quake
- Spend two nights in Kaikoura and take an optional whale watch cruise
- Visit Winterhome Garden, overlooking the azure Pacific Coast at Kekerengu
- Partake in a wine tour and tasting at Yealand’s Family Estate
- Enjoy winery lunches in Waipara & Marlborough
- Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Day 1 Christchurch to Hanmer Springs
The Kaikoura Wine Trail cycle tour gets underway as we head north to the Waipara grape growing region. Here we commence our first bike ride (14km) which takes you on a tour of the Waipara countryside and vineyards, before enjoying lunch at a cellar door. After lunch we travel a short distance in our support vehicle to our next cycle ride, through the lovely Scargill Valley, dotted with some of the farms original homesteads (22km). At the conclusion of the days cycling we head to the alpine resort town of Hanmer Springs and our accommodation. Enjoy a soak in the thermal hot pools, before our evening meal.
Cycle Distance: 36km
Day 2 Hanmer Springs – Kaikoura
We head out of the Hanmer Basin on a short drive to our cycle ride, which follows the Waiau River flats to the township of Waiau (26km). After exploring the village and enjoying a picnic lunch, we head towards the rugged Kaikoura Coast and cycle on a quiet rural road that takes us alongside the wild Pacific Coast (17km). We then transfer a short distance to Kaikoura and our seaside accommodation for the next two nights. Enjoy a meal featuring fresh local seafood, straight from the fishing boats.
Cycle Distance: 43km
Day 3 Kaikoura
This morning enjoy a stunning 23km ride around the Kaikoura Bay to the tip of the Kaikoura Peninsula. You can then enjoy a walk over the spectacular Kaikoura Peninsula to South Bay. Enjoy a picnic lunch with stunning views of the sea and the mountains. The remainder of the day is set aside for you to take up any optional whale watching activities, or sea kayaking etc. See further details in the trip notes document.
Cycle Distance: 23km
Day 4 St Kaikoura – Blenheim
We travel along the stunning Kaikoura Coast, where the land changes following the November 2016 earthquakes are amazing to see as we travel north. At the settlement of Kekerengu, visit Winterhome, a stunning garden of national significance which you can take your time exploring. Following this enjoy lunch in the seaside cafe, who’s specialty is seafood chowder. Continuing north our bike ride begins near Seddon. Ride 11.5km through extensive grape plantations to Yealand’s Estate Winery. Yealand’s is a world leader in sustainable wine production and as well as tasting the wines we tour the spectacular Seaview vineyard with a staff member on board who tells us all about the unique and interesting sustainable practices the winery has adopted. From here it is a short drive over to Blenheim and our accommodation for the next two evenings.
Cycle Distance: 11.5km
Day 5 Blenheim
Today is your opportunity to taste the award winning wines of Marlborough on our Marlborough wineries bike trail. Cycle along the Taylor River out of suburbia and onto the scenic rural roads that dissect the sea of vineyards on the Wairau Plains. We stop off at numerous wineries where you can taste the local wines, get a coffee, or simply relax in the serene grounds. Stop at as many or as little wineries as you’d like throughout the day. We meet up for lunch at a cellar door, with further tasting opportunities at the famed Cloudy Bay Winery. We terminate the cycle ride here and following a leisurely lunch, transfer to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre where there is the option to view the impressive Knights of the Sky exhibition, featuring Sir Peter Jackson’s own collection of WW1 aircraft and artifacts. This evening we enjoy a celebratory meal together.
Cycle Distance: 37.5km
Day 6 Blenheim – Christchurch
This morning we enjoy another 13.5km ride among the grape vines and farm land on a river terrace above the Awatere River. We then head south back along the Kaikoura Coast, cycling or walking parts of the stunning coastline as development allows. After a refreshment stop at Kaikoura we return to Christchurch, arriving in the city by 5.00pm. Alternatively you can finish your journey in Blenheim after breakfast.
Cycle Distance: 13.5km
1 Dec 2020
2 Feb 2021
What’s included in the tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 5 lunches; 5 continental breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- fruit, snacks & morning teas on the trail
- the services of a tour leader who provides vehicle support & information
- cycle repair support
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- wine tour and tasting at Yealand’s Family Estate
- visit to Winterhome Garden of National Significance
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
- wine; beer; espresso coffees
- Lunch on Day 6
- bike hire ($190) or e-bike hire ($450)
- single accommodation supplement ($450)
- Hanmer Springs hotpool entry Day 1 (from $16)
- Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre entry Day 5 (from $23)
- wine tasting fees where applicable
- optional activities at Kaikoura Day 3 (from $120)
Our Guiding Team
Tour Leader (since 2017)
Kevin has recently retired to Ohoka, Christchurch, after working 35 years as an IT manager in the Education and Local Government sectors. Both Kevin and wife Karen are passionate about the outdoors and have participated in most North and South Island cycling events. Kevin is a keen sportsperson, a doting grandfather (aka Pop) and has recently rekindled his love for acrylic landscape painting. Kevin joins the team after having completed two PureTrails tours with friends (as a customer!) and looks forward to introducing visitors to spectacular South Island vistas and rewarding cycling adventures.
Customer Service/Tour Leader (Founder and Managing Director)
Hilary is at the helm of 'mission control', and is often the person who answers your call or email, although is now spending more time out and about on tours. After travelling the world for several years and working in tourism on her big 'OE', Hilary came home and fell in love with NZ once again and in particular, the South Island. With a love of the outdoors and marketing background she teamed up with her mother to form 'PureTrails'. Hilary enjoys photography, cycling, walking, gardening, and being a mum to Josie & Sullivan.
Tour Leader (since 2019)
Robin lives in the alpine Canterbury village of Hanmer Springs where he is kept busy trapping opossums (a significant pest here in NZ!) Previously Robin has worked in the motor trade industry and operated a rural Christchurch Press round for many years. His hobbies include golf, fishing, automotive restoration, gardening and road bike racing. Robin looks forward to sharing his stories on the Alps to Ocean Trail trips.