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Hawke’s Bay Trails is one of 22 national New Zealand Cycle Trail Great Rides. As well as an easy ride, expect regular servings of stunning scenery, superb food, coffee and, of course, fine wine. Our Trails love pathway, touring or mountain bikes. We’re set up for social riders, families and new cyclists. Multi-geared bikes with medium to wide tyres are right at home.
Trail Grade - easy to intermediate
GRADE 1: Most of our Trails are flat and off-road with some gentle climbs. We have firm limesand, gravel, concrete or asphalt. Usually wide enough for two side-by-side cyclists, though single file in places.
Safety Note: Where the Trail goes up or down quickly or the surface seems loose, slow down and take care. If you haven’t cycled for a while or you’re on an unfamiliar bike, consider walking these sections.
GRADE 2: Some small sections of Trail follow quiet roads with little traffic. Consider the New Zealand Code for Cyclists.
Safety Note: Use caution with changes in Trail surface, loose material, holes, water ruts, steep bits and tight or blind corners.
GRADE 3: Small sections of on-road Trail, some with open road or hill climbs. Follow the New Zealand Code for Cyclists. Check the map for these sections. Suitable for regular, experienced cyclists, 12+ years with good fitness. An adult should accompany children.
Find out more about trail grades here.
- Share: all Trails are shared - all users please keep left and slow down and give a friendly warning to others when approaching from behind
- Care: cyclists/scooters travel faster than pedestrians, please slow down and give way to them. Pedestrians remember to keep left and keep dogs on lead.
- Be Kind: say a friendly ‘hi’ or ring a bell to let those in front of you know, before passing
- Be Respectful: Slow down on busy sections and look out for children, elderly, people with impairments and those with four legs (dogs, horses and cattle)
- Be Safe: Please wear a helmet, ride to your ability, follow signage, be aware of hazards and supervise children
- Gates: Please shut gates and stay on the Trails only. Its a privilege to travel through these places, especially when crossing private land or areas of natural/ historic significance.
- E-bikes: They can travel fast so to avoid accidents remember to always slow down when approaching other users, warn before passing, especially in busy shared sections and look out for hazards. Check out this website for rules
- Visitors are responsible for their own safety at all times and children must be supervised.
- If you are riding our trails you need to know how to ride and control a bicycle. This includes being able to look for potential hazards and avoiding them. We recommend a cycle skills course if you are not confident.
- Please remember that children and dogs are unpredictable, slow down and prepare to stop suddenly.
- You’re going on a Great Ride, so plan with (and take) a map , keep track of your location, look for the 'Trail' signs. Try the free ‘Great Rides’ App.
- Please keep on the trails only and always follow trail signage for closures or important safety messages - it is for your safety.
- If sharing the Trails with local cows or birdlife, do so quietly and considerately.
- Always take your rubbish with you, please be respectful of nature and others.
- Approach underpasses with caution. Slow down, change gears, look for others at blind corners. Be aware of changing steepness, uneven and loose surfaces.
- Seasonal or tidal flooding can happen in low areas or under bridges, sometimes at Ahuriri Lagoon or Awatoto. Check high tide times and avoid these sections with tides over 1.7m. Consider (if not fast flowing) carrying your bike through before continuing or detouring. Wet feet can be refreshing and are part of an authentic cycling experience. Tip: If you ride in salt water - remember to wash your bike later.
- Safe Crossing points on Water Ride are here: Safe Crossing Area
- Please follow the New Zealand Road Code for Cyclists when on or crossing roads.
- Gates - if we didn’t need them, we wouldn’t have them. They improve safety, stop motorbikes and stock. However gates mean that some sections of Trail aren’t suitable for tandems, trikes, wheelchairs or hand bikes.
- Railway crossings - railway lines can catch you out with tight corners or slippery tyres – consider dismounting. Always cross at safety crossing points, look for trains and cross at right angles. Take extra care when wet, as tracks can be very slippery
- Accidents sometimes happen – always carry a cell phone. If someone has a serious accident, phone Emergency Services on 111, request an ambulance, let them know your location and follow their instructions.
- Dogs NOT allowed in some areas: DOC areas, with sensitive bird life or on farms with stock. Avoid the Water Ride section from Bayview, Onehunga Road, past the airport to Prebensen Drive. Dogs are allowed on some of the trails but for safety reasons please make sure they are on a lead and under control at all times. Like children they can be unpredictable, so cyclists please slow down when approaching and expect the unexpected.
- NO unauthorised motorised vehicles (cars, motor bikes, mopeds, quad bikes, mini bikes) are allowed on the Trails. If you see this behavior please report to the police immediately.
- NO horses are permitted on the trails except where horse trails cross the Trails in a few areas i.e. stopbank near Clive, Awatoto and where trail exits near Puketapu. There are separate Horse Trails here: Horse Trails
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