Adventure South NZ - Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay Back Roads

Deal Details

Travel Dates

September to May 2021-2022

Sale Ends

Sep 30, 2022

Priced From

$3,495 per person

Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay Back Roads

06 Napier Hawkes Bay Graeme Murray medium 72840

Explore the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay wine regions by bike on this one of a kind bike tour. Highlights include biking over the Remutaka ranges, visiting world class vineyards and wineries and exploring the Art Deco delights of Napier. Staying at some unique, historic properties along the way, you’ll enjoy warm hospitality in some very special places. 

Wellington to Wellington

7 days

Trip Highlights

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Ride up the leafy Hutt Valley and over the forested Remutaka Ranges
Stay the night at a boutique Martinborough vineyard
Enjoy the vineyards and farmland of the Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay
Meet rare, New Zealand wildlife at the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre
Stay at Hawkes Bay's Wallingford Homestead, built in 1858, and now a delightful retreat
Explore the pretty, country town of Havelock North
Choose your mode of transport up Te Mata Peak and soak up the views
Stay at the stunning River Valley Lodge and enjoy scenic rafting or horseback riding

Whats Included

6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
6 nights accommodation with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis
Wine tasting at 2 wineries
Entrance Fee to Pukaha National Wildlife Centre
Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories
Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)


Day 1 Wellington to Martinbourough - 50km Cycle (L,D)

Your adventure begins with a short tour briefing in central Wellington before a drive round the Harbour to start our riding on the Hutt Valley River Trail. After a bike set-up and safety briefing, it’s an easy ride on a wide, largely flat pathway winding along the Hutt River to the foothills of the Remutaka Ranges and the leafy suburb of Maymorn. Along the way you’ll pass by some of New Zealand’s most important cultural history, including Maori pa and early European settlements. Leaving suburbia behind we follow an old railway route weaving through the Remutaka Ranges taking in more historical sights before climbing gently through native bush and regenerating forest to the summit. Then, it's a downhill ride along the historic Fell Locomotive Incline with an exciting half-kilometre journey through Summit Tunnel (1877). Expansive views of Lake Wairarapa open up as you emerge at Cross Creek. A short drive to Martinborough, the heart of Wairarapa wine country, for our overnight stay at a boutique vineyard, with dinner at the Martinborough Hotel.

Day 2 Martinbourough to Masterton - 50km Cycle (B,D)

Our morning’s ride on the Wairarapa Cycleway is a pleasant touring route with stunning Wairarapa views and plenty of rural charm. We’ll take a mid-morning breather in the small, vibrant community of Gladstone before finishing this delightful ride in the small town of Masterton. Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre is our afternoon destination. It’s an unfenced sanctuary for our native wildlife where many endangered birds live and are bred for release across Aotearoa, including the kiwi, takahe, kokako, kaka and longfin eel. We head back to Masterton for dinner and our night’s accommodation.

Day 3 Masterton to Wallingford - 77km Cycle (B,L,D)

The infamous Route 52 awaits us today, originally designated State Highway status but downgraded in 1960 when prosperity deserted New Zealand's farming industry and farming districts became depopulated. Today this route through quintessential rural New Zealand offers quiet roads, country pubs and friendly locals. Using the van to shuttle us to the most scenic sections we’ll finish our ride at Te Paerahi Beach, the best old-school NZ beach ever! Vast and golden, sheltered by large headlands at both ends and offering walks down to the rocks or up to the river mouth, it’s a great spot to explore. From there it’s a short drive to our accommodation at Wallingford Homestead, built in 1858 and at the heart of a 34,000 acre sheep and cattle station in the 1900’s. Now a boutique stay, it offers peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings.

Day 4 Wallingford to Havelock North - 52km Cycle (B,L)

Wine country beckons today and we start with a lift in the van to the start of our morning’s ride. This continues yesterday’s rural theme on a stunning back-country road leading to the base of Te Mata Peak. Steeped in Maori legend the Peak is both a visual feast and an integral part of Hawke’s Bay’s history, Maori and European. You can choose to get to the top by pedal power or motor but either way the 360 degree views from the top are stunning and a great spot for a picnic lunch. A short drive takes us to our accommodation in Havelock North. You’ll have time to wander this pretty country town, with dinner at your leisure at one of the several restaurants on offer.

Day 5 Havelock North to Manawatu - 51km Cycle (B,L,D)

After breakfast at a local café we join the local trail network for our ride, initially following the Tukituki river out to the coast through idyllic rural and riverside scenery, including plenty of vineyards and orchards. A short stretch along the coast brings us to the impressive Star Compass, a training tool used by celestial navigators who sailed traditionally throughout the Pacific. Heading inland again, following the Tukaekuri River, we finish our ride at a boutique Hawkes Bay winery for lunch. It’s time to leave the Hawke’s Bay and drive across remote hill country on the Gentle Annie road to the Manawutu – a lengthy journey but worth the effort to enjoy an authentic Kiwi experience. Our hosts for the next 2 nights are the McGaw family, who run River Valley Lodge, a venue of rustic charm providing exceptional country comfort, where the focus is on delivering a quality, fun experience, maintaining good relationships with the local community, and operating with a minimum footprint in the natural environment.

Day 6 Manawatu : River Lodge Country - Optional Activites (B,L,D)

A day to explore this mostly unknown part of New Zealand with several different activities to choose from. A scenic 13km rafting trip on the Rangitikei River taking in over 30 Grade 2 (easy) rapids, a side hike to a spectacular waterfall (weather dependent) and a riverside lunch, this adventure is perfect for all ages. If you prefer to keep your feet dry you might enjoy a half day horseback adventure, honing your horsemanship skills followed by a horse ride out into the picturesque local country side. Other options include exploring the local area by bike or on foot – either takes you off the beaten track and into remote, stunning back country. A second night enjoying dinner at River Valley Lodge where meals are a celebration of seasonal produce, sourced primarily from the Lodge gardens. The chefs create the daily menu from whatever produce is freshly harvested that day.

Day 7 Rangitikei to Wellington - 55km Cycle (B,L)

Today we head off the beaten track (again!) on a scenic and often surprising journey through rural Rangatikei, full of natural wonders, local history and country hospitality. We wind our way up the Mangawharariki Valley, following deep sided Papa cliffs with wide ranging views to the Ruahine Ranges and vistas of snow covered Ruapehu in the distance. The ride includes stunning climbs and descents into dramatic gorges and we pass through the delightful historic settlements of Apiti and Kimbolton. This will be a challenging but memorable final ride, after which we have a 3 hour drive back to Wellington. .


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