Nga Haerenga. Say what?

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April 6, 2014 00

Nga Haerenga is Maori for the journeys and those kiwis seem to have journeys via a bicycle all stitched up. Now I know Australia also has lots of great places to ride (and yes we have an equally great rugby team)  but I really don’t think we can compete with what’s going on across the ditch with cycling trails? (feel free to argue with me).

Five years ago, our kiwi neighbours had this idea about a cycling trail network across New Zealand. The NZ Government chipped in $50 million and made this idea possible and next thing you know the project was underway.

Now you may think that sounds expensive. But considering the recent news story  about converting a lane of the Pacific Highway through North Sydney into a bike lane would cost $15 million, I think that $50 million for a whole country seems quite reasonable?

I guess NZ was lucky too as once they worked out where the cycle paths were going to go, the local communities saw the value and came up with another $30 million of co-funding.

And they also had quite a lot of pre-existing off road networks to work with – so they weren’t starting from scratch and trying to convert a lane of a very busy main road.

In total our Kiwi friends created 23 rides – both new and existing trails – through some of New Zealand’s most beautiful and spectacular regions. And one of these regions is Hawke’s Bay – east coast of the North Island. This is New Zealand’s oldest wine growing region.

The cycling trails there are predominantly flat (easy to intermediate). Perfect for beginner riders and also the opportunity to visit all the lovely wineries. The images below are from some of Hawke’s Bay trails, looks like nice cycling.

HAwkes Bay 3

Hawkes Bay

There are cafes, wineries and toilets along this particular winery trail with mobile phone coverage in case you want to stop and call a friend to gloat about the amazing holiday you are having.

Aside from all the wines to try while you are there (this region is known for cabernet merlot, syrah, pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc) the other thing Hawkes Bay is well known for is the town of Napier.

It’s known as the art deco capital of the world. After a devastating earthquake hit the town in 1931 and pretty much flattened it, they began rebuilding at the height of art deco popularity.

Today, everywhere you look, there is beautiful art deco architecture from the shops, the town hall, banks, office buildings.  Even their McDonalds is an art deco building! You can view some of the other lovely art deco buildings in Napier here.

Even McDonalds in Napier is art deco.

Even McDonalds in Napier is art deco.

So don’t wait – start planning your cycling holiday to NZ today! And I have the perfect option for you…

My friends from Tour de Vines are hosting a cycling holiday visiting some of Hawkes Bay’s best wineries – and giving friends of a very special offer for their upcoming easter trip.

By mentioning when you book on the easter trip, Tour de Vines and will together make a $100 donation to the Amy Gillett Foundation for each booking!

It’s a five day/four night trip fully guided, all inclusive tour with 4/5 star accommodation, gourmet meals and winery visits. Click here to request a detailed itinerary. The daily cycling on this trip ranges from 20 to 50 km each day but is mostly flat with lots of stops.

There are only a few spots left and it will sell out. And as it’s over Easter, you can go without even having to take time off work! So why sit around at home this Easter, when you can escape to NZ winery country for a holiday on two wheels?

*This blog was sponsored by Tour de Vines. They provide food & wine based cycling tours all across Australia, New Zealand and Europe. BikeGal is actually a kiwi (yes born there!) and loves Hawkes Bay. Sponsored blogs are aligned with our disclosure policy.

Photos thanks to Hawke’s Bay Trails.


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