You might like a relaxed, short ride of an hour or two, or spend a few days exploring all the Trails have to offer. Most Trails are easy, flat and off-road, well-suited to cycle touring, pathway, mountain or electric bikes.
The Trails have mostly a lime-sand surface for quiet, safe riding. Some Trails have on-road connections and you can even take your bike on a bus between Hastings – Napier to explore further Trails.
Grade: Easiest to Easy
The Puketapu pub is a major feature of this excellent short loop from Taradale on the outskirts of Napier.
The trail follows the banks of the pretty Tutaekuri River (with some short on-road sections), with attractions including a historic church, pā (Māori fortified village), gallery and chocolate factory, plus plenty of spots for picnics and swimming.
Around the halfway point, Puketapu village is a rewarding pit-stop with its popular country pub, and a store next door serving ice creams.
On the way back to Taradale the ride passes elegant Ormlie Lodge with a restaurant and accommodation.
Riders wanting a longer outing can start at Awatoto on the coast and cycle upstream for 10km beside the Tutaekuri River to Taradale. Bike hire is available in Taradale and nearby Greenmeadows.
The Water Ride
The scenic ride starts on Napier’s shoreline at Ahuriri, close to several bike hire depots. It follows the coast on a concrete path towards Bay View, before heading inland and south into rural wetlands that used to form part of the inner harbour. The trail winds around historic Te Roro o Kuri Island, the site of a sacred pā site. Eagle-eyed riders may spot ancient shell middens and fossilised shells around here.
After passing the airport, the trail continues through wetlands where viewing hides encourage bird spotting – around 70 species live or visit here. The trail finishes back in Ahuriri, where seaside cafes, restaurants, bars and shops await.
The full 35km loop can easily be split into shorter sections, or extended to include the Taradale Loop that takes in the renowned Mission Estate and Church Road wineries.
This latest addition to the Pathway network follows a section of the Taipo Stream as the waterway weaves through Taradale.
The new leg starts in Balmoral Road and continues for 1.3km through the grassed and treed reserve, emerging onto Church Road nearly opposite the Church Road Winery.
Three metres wide, the concrete path provides an all-weather surface for this tranquil off-road experience.
The Taipo Stream Pathway, a joint Napier City Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council project, is an important link in the national Water Trail ride. The Council will continue to consider issues which centre on a proposed Balmoral Street to Neeve Road section over the coming year.
The Pettigrew Green Arena opposite the Eastern Institute of Technology provides good off-street car parking for those wanting to set off on this Taradale route.
Starting from a boardwalk which passes behind a bus shelter, cyclists are able to cross to the other side of Gloucester Street. From there, the route continues south as a marked cycling lane along Gloucester Street.
The arterial divides south of the shopping centre - follow Lee Road at this point, picking up the marked cycling lane again 50m north of the intersection with Meeanee Road.
Continue to the roundabout, where a reserve is graced by the War Memorial Clock Tower
From here, cyclists join the general flow of traffic. Turn left into Avondale Road, and left again on reaching Balmoral Road. On the right further down Balmoral Road is the approach to the Taipo Stream reserve.
Church Road offers an on and off-road cycling route to Prebensen Drive. For the Park Island loop, continue towards the city on Prebensen Drive's off-road path. This is flanked by canary island date palms - one of Napier's signature trees. Turn right into Tamatea Drive and stay on the path to beyond the roundabout at the intersection with Durham Drive.
Follow Tamatea Drive to the Park Island sportsground. Turn right into Clyde Jeffery Drive, which bisects the recreation reserve. Park Island's name dates back to before the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which uplifted the land and drained away the surrounding estuary. Clyde Jeffery Drive merges into Cato Road, which completes the loop at the starting point on Prebensen Drive.
A 500-metre section of Pathway has been added at Cato Road, on the western side of Prebensen Drive, where cyclists and walkers can cross a bridge to reach the Hawke's Bay Trails' crushed limestone path at the foot of the Poraiti hills. This crosses former estuary to the stopbank south of the Main Outfall Channel and continues on to the Embankment Bridge.
To link into a drainage reserve on Taradale Road, follow the off-road Prebensen Drive path east from Tamatea Drive. Use the crossing on the busy Hawke's Bay Expressway to stay on Prebensen Drive and turn right at Austin Street. This area is zoned for light industry, and cyclists will find it quietest on Sundays.
Continue by road on Austin Street and turn left when reaching Taradale Road. The entrance to the drainage reserve is on the right, a little over a block away.
The cycle route that follows main arterial roads from the southwestern limit of Taradale to the periphery of the city centre is making it easier and safer for commuters to bike to work and for young cyclists to get to and from school.
Known as The Spine, the route passes through many of Napier's suburbs and connects to other sections of the Pathway. From the Pettigrew.Green Arena, a crossing is available to reach the western side of Gloucester Street. Outside EIT, a boardwalk for cyclists passes behind a bus shelter, and the route continues as a marked on-road cycling lane north along Gloucester Street. The arterial divides south of the shopping centre. At this point, follow the right branch - Lee Road - picking up the marked cycling lane again 50 metres north of the intersection with Meeanee Road.
Continue to the roundabout and, with the Taradale Memorial Clock Tower on the left, exit onto Gloucester Street. The marked cycle lane continues to Greenmeadows School and picks up again beyond the York Avenue intersection where the route follows Kennedy Road.
At the Marewa shops, there is the option of turning right into Georges Drive and, from there, emerging onto Marine Parade and moving onto the Marine Parade Pathway or looping left into Nelson Crescent and following the plane-tree lined avenue back to Kennedy Road. At the city end of Kennedy Road, angle and parallel vehicle parks have been reconfigured to once again provide an on-road strip for cyclists as far as the intersection with Wellesley Road.
Grade: Medium to Hard
This walk includes a climb to the summit of the Sugar Loaf, 127 metres above sea level.
The entrance to Halliwells Walkway is off Church Road, between the south side of the Church Road Winery and No 104. Follow the path beside the winery boundary, turn left and follow the Taipo Stream to the access road off Pukekura Place. Turn right across the stream.
The walkway passes to the right of the end house. Climb the stile and follow the marked track up the hillside to the top of Cumberland Rise.
From here, the track follows the boundary fence on your left before striking off up Sugar Loaf to the summit trig station. The vantage point offers views of Taradale and Napier suburbs, Napier Hill and a sweep across the northern Heretaunga Plains from Bay View to Paki Paki. To the west are the Ruahine Ranges, which meet the Kaweka Ranges as they run northwest.
From the summit, follow the marked path down the western side to the Lance Leikis Reserve. Turn left and walk down Tironui Drive. On the bottom stretch, you overlook the concert grounds behind Church Road Winery, the venue for many popular musical events. Turn right at the end of Tironui Drive and return along Church Road to the starting point.
Grade: Medium to Hard
From Riverside Park entrance facing the Eastern Institute of Technology campus, turn left and follow the footpath to the Redcliffe Bridge. Cross over the highway before the bridge and go along Springfield Road, turning right into Otatara Reserve at the signposted entrance. Here you may make an optional visit to the Otatara Pa site by going left just inside the entrance and following the track to the pa.
Keeping to the main walk, proceed up the valley and climb the style to the side of the gateway. Follow the route marker posts up the hillside. There are historic information and interpretation signs at various points along the track. At the reserve's northern-most point, a stock gate provides access to Ridgetop Reserve. Walk along the narrow approach corridor and climb the central mount. From this point, 132 metres above sea level, there are extensive views in all directions.
Retrace your steps to the boundary with Otatara Reserve and turn left, following the marker posts down to the Churchill Drive entrance. Turn right, down the short access drive to Churchill Drive. Cross over the road, turn left and follow the footpath until you reach Otatara Hillside Reserve. Branch right, taking the zigzag path down the hillside. Emerging onto Hetley Crescent, cross the road and turn right. Follow the footpath to Hetley Crescent on your left. Take the path through the reserve and turn right into Otatara Road, proceeding to Gloucester Street where you turn right and continue until reaching EIT Hawke's Bay. Cross the road to return to the starting point for the walk.
This walk starts from Shrimpton Field car park in the Park Island Recreation Reserve. Following the footpath along Clyde Jeffrey Drive around the end of Park Island, cross over at the junction of Cato Road.
Follow Cato Road as far as the sign indicating the entrance to Wharerangi Cemetery. Keeping the cemetery on your left, cross the stile over the fence and follow the track along the base of the hill. As you pass the tree nursery on the right, the track starts climbing up the hillside bearing left. The path follows the boundary of the lower cemetery and comes out on the edge of the burial area. Continue over the hill with the boundary fence on your right until you reach Fryer Road.
Cross over Fryer Road, turning left to follow the footpath as far as the top entrance to Wharerangi Cemetery. Cross back to the right hand side of the cemetery entrance and take the track down the old paper road which winds down the tree-clad gullies on the southwest side of the cemetery.
The track leads out to an open grass area and stream, returning to Cato Road. Turning right, follow the road back to the starting point
Download the Hawke's Bay Cycle Trails Map
- Napier City Council
- Hawke's Bay Tourism
- New Zealand Cycle Trails
- Hawke's Bay Trails