Hawke's Bay Trails: Water Ride
Belying it's official name as the Water Ride, this section of the Hawke's Bay Trails takes in a range of rural and urban landscapes, albeit many with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Ahuriri Lagoon and Tutaekuri River (it's the ORANGE section on the Hawke's Bay Trails map). The main sections include:
The Water Ride
Head out from the lighthouse at Perfume Point in Ahuriri and follow the concrete cycle path around the harbour. Crossing over the bridge by the sailing club, turn right back towards the ocean to join back up on the cycle path at Westshore. From there, it's plain sailing all the way towards Bayview, passing by Hawke's Bay Airport. You'll need to cross the busy state highway just as you are entering Bayview.
Shortly after, at the intersection with Onehunga Road, you can continue straight towards Bayview township (with the option to stop at Crab Farm Winery) for refreshments; or turn left into Onehunga Road to commence the inland section of the ride before heading back towards Napier. The inland trail section passes through wetlands, conservation land and a working farm, so keep you eyes peeled for wildlife and please respect the environment you are riding through.
Passing by the airport, there is an underpass to navigate the Expressway, with options to turn left back towards Westshore and Napier around the northern perimeter of Pandora Pond, or continue over the rail bridge to explore the wetlands of the upper estuary. Check out the map on hbtrails.nz for greater detail.
The Puketapu Loop
On a hot summer’s day you can't beat a cruisy ride through old graceful trees along the Tutaekuri River followed by a pit stop at the iconic Puketapu Pub for a cold drink and a snack.
Park near of behind Pettigrew Green Arena, in Taradale. Look for the signposts and trail near the entrance, just off Gloucester Street. From the stopbank path beside the car park, the limestone trail leads you up one side of the river to Puketapu village, cross the on-road one lane bridge on Vicarage Road, turn sharply after the bridge and head back down the other side of the river. Cross the river for the second time near Waiohiki Marae at Redcliff bridge, using the cycle/ walking clip-on to return to the carpark. This trail can be ridden in either direction.
Puketapu has a charming, award-winning country tavern (The Puketapu) the perfect top to stop for coffee, cold drinks snacks or authentic kiwi pub-style meals. It also has a good store with plenty of snack foods.
Approx. 18km of riding
For a slightly longer rides start at Waitangi Regional Park and head inland. It’s about 10km from the coast to Taradale following the limesand trail. This option loop is about 38km return.
At king tides or after heavy rain up-stream, the underpass at Awatoto sometimes has tidal flooding. Use caution to cross, or avoid during/ after heavy rain.
Marine Parade Explorer
Set off from the lighthouse at Perfume Point along the Ahuriri foreshore towards Napier Port, rounding the sheer cliffs of Bluff Hill to arrive at the start of Napier's iconic Marine Parade. Here's it's a very easy, gentle ride along the edge of the city, with stops aplenty to entertain and provide refreshments. Riding away from the CBD, you'll pass the expansive gardens and park, Bayskate, the National Aquarium, and a pump track, among many, many other points of interest.
We recommend continuing onto the regional taonga that is the Atea a Rangi star compass at Waitangi Regional Park, to learn about how Maori navigators traversed the Pacific Ocean. From here, you can continue onto Clive, or return via the same path back to Napier.
Approx. 15km one-way to Clive.
For the most up to date information and maps, check out the Hawke's Bay Trails website.