The Marlborough Wine Trail cycle tour is a collection of bike rides that Pure Trails have put together that showcase the South Island’s lovely North Canterbury & Marlborough regions.
This tour is great for people who enjoy wine tasting and pampering themselves, with the thermal hot pools and spa at Hanmer Springs which guarantees relaxation. The food is also a highlight of this trip!
The 148km Marlborough Wine Trail cycle tour features 87% cycling on sealed roads and 13% 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.
Marlborough Wine Trail Cycle Tour Highlights
- Enjoy 148km of cycling featuring country landscapes & vineyards
- Cycle alongside vineyards at Waipara and Marlborough
- Relax in Hanmer Springs Thermal Hot Pools
- Cycle and walk through the beech forest at the Nelson Lakes National Park
- 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 Marlborough 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 – St Arnaud
We head out of the Hanmer Basin towards the Lewis Pass. Enjoy the scenic drive through the pass. We stop off and enjoy a short walk around the alpine tarns. In Murchison we detour off the main highway up a remote valley where our bike ride of the day is situated. Enjoy a 30km ride down a beautiful valley fringed with beech forest and mountain views. We then continue on to the picturesque village of St Arnaud and our accommodation at the Nelson Lakes National Park. Here there is time for a walk along the lake, a visit to the DOC visitor centre and a visit to an historic church hidden amongst the beech forest.
Cycle Distance: 30km
Day 3 St Arnaud – Blenheim
This morning our first 14km bike ride takes us through lovely beech forest, beside the Wairau River. We then travel down the Wairau Valley and into the heart of the Marlborough wine growing region. From here it is a short distance to Seddon where our 12km cycle ride commences, through extensive grape plantations all the way to the ocean at Clifford Bay. We backtrack to Yealand’s Estate Winery. Yealand’s is a world leader in sustainable wine production and as well as tasting the wines there is an opportunity to tour the spectacular Seaview vineyard. From here it is a short drive over Dashwood Pass to Blenheim and our accommodation for the next two evenings.
Cycle Distance: 26km
Day 4 Blenheim
Today is your opportunity to discover and taste the award winning wines of Marlborough by bike. From our base in Blenheim, cycle along the Taylor River out of suburbia and onto the scenic rural roads that dissect the sea of vineyards that line the Wairau Plains. We stop off at numerous wineries where you are welcome to 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 Allan Scott winery, with further tasting opportunities at the famed Cloudy Bay Winery or Moa Brewery available. Your guide will be on the route with the support vehicle should you need a lift for yourself or any wine purchases. We terminate the cycle ride here and 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. Back in Blenheim we enjoy a celebratory meal together.
Cycle Distance: 38km
Day 5 Blenheim – Christchurch
Our final ride heads through vineyards and farm land, all the way to Rarangi Beach at Cloudy Bay (18km). After morning tea on the beach we load up the bikes and return to Christchurch, arriving in the city by 7pm approximately. Alternatively you can finish your journey in Blenheim.
Cycle Distance: 18km
1 Oct 2017
24 Oct 2017
26 Nov 2017
16 Dec 2017
20 Jan 2018
28 Feb 2018
17 Mar 2018
14 Apr 2018
What’s included in the tour package?
- 4 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 4 evening meals; 3 lunches; 4 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
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
Our Guiding Team
Tour Leader (since 2011)
John has a background in human resources and has worked for mining companies in NZ, Australia & Papua New Guinea in the health and safety field, as well as a stint as a commissioned officer in the NZ territorial army. Nowadays John has semi retired to a lifestyle block near Rangiora where he aims to breed highland cattle with his wife Julie. Outside of work John has always been a bit of an adventurer, sportsman and philosopher, enjoying mountain biking, tramping, swimming and playing bagpipes.
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.
Tour Leader/Operations Support (since 2008; Director)
John grew up in the town of Wanganui, where in his school days, he helped build the famed 'Wanganui High School Tramping Club Hut' on Mount Ruapehu. John retired from a career as a Property Valuer and Agricultural consultant where he practised for many years in Western Australia and Tauranga. John has travelled, walked and cycled extensively abroad and now enjoys introducing our visitors to favourite parts of NZ. Other hobbies include cycling, bridge, gardening & horse racing (don't get him started on the latter!)