It’s no secret that Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s best holiday destinations. With fabulous weather, sensational restaurants & cafes and world class wineries abound, whats not to love.
One thing that may be a secret to some though, is that one of the very best ways to fully experience Hawke’s Bay, is by bike.
Consisting of some 200kms of trails woven throughout the region, the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Trails network is made from smaller sections including the landscapes ride, the wineries rides, the water ride and the iWay city routes.
The Marine Parade Loop is a subsection of the Water Ride, taking riders from Ahuriri in Napier around Pandora and the Estuary to Taradale, alongside the Tutaekuri River to Awatoto along the Marine Parade and back around to Ahuriri again.
Marine Parade Loop Details
Pandora Pond and the Estuary, Tutaekuri River, Atea a Rangi Star Compass at Waitangi Regional Park, Marine Parade.
Ahuriri bars, cafes and restaurants, Mission Estate, Church Road Winery, Lick This Ice Cream Parlour, Magnet Café
Grade 1 easy riding, 80% limestone pathways, 20% roads
2 hours ride time (eBike)
37kms in length
Ahuriri is a great place to start for the Marine Parade Loop. It has a great selection of bars and cafes, so depending on the time of day you could fuel up with lunch before your ride, or, wind down with a cold drink afterwards. Our favourites are coffee from Crazy Good, a cold drink on the deck at the Gin Trap or a sandwich (pie 😉) from Café Nosh.
We rode anti-clockwise from Ahuriri around Pandora Pond, passing under the two bridges and alongside the estuary on our way towards Taradale. There are some great bird watching opportunities around the estuary, if that’s your thing.
On your way to Taradale, as you head down Church Road, you will pass two of Hawke’s Bays most iconic wineries. Mission Estate and Church Road, these are both worth a look around regardless of whether you are wanting to stay for lunch or not.
Continue past Taradale to Pettigrew Green Arena where there’s a Subway (toilets). Then you head up onto the Tutaekuri River stop bank, turn left and head back towards Waitangi Regional Park.
This section of the Tutaekuri River has a fascinating history as prior to the 1931 earthquake the river flowed into the Estuary. After the earthquake, the land lifted causing the river to back up, so the locals had to dig a new path out to the Ngaruroro River. So, the river section you are riding next to is all man made.
As you approach the bridge underpasses you should be mindful that this area can flood at high tide. An alternative route is to head around the sulphur works via the road. be carful here as this is a 100kmh stretch of road.
Here we recommend a little detour to Waitangi Regional Park to check out the Atea a Rangi Star Compass before heading to back to Napier, you won’t be disappointed.
Heading back past Awatoto towards Marine Parade, you will encounter a sweet little concrete pump track. Of course it is mandatory to ride a lap here before heading onward 🤪
A little further down Marine Parade and you will spot the infamous Napier Viewing Platform, just don’t call it a pier. Legend has it that the glass panels at the end have been replaced 16 times.
Heading past Fishbike and the Magnet container café, you will soon roll past Napier port, see if you can count the number of logs sitting on the wharf awaiting carriage.
As you round the corner past the port you enter the final stretch back to where you started in Ahuriri.
Roll along on boardwalk and you will spot the most photographed chairs in Napier, followed by the Perfume Point Lighthouse.
From here, you are basically back where you started, so pick a bar (or cafe) and go have a drink!
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