Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cycling Napier pathways around Hawkes Bay- New Zealand

When we docked at Napier, it was a tough decision about what to do because there are so many things to see and do in the area- vineyards, bird watching, classic car tours, golf, and the beautiful artwork on the art deco buildings of the downtown. We opted for a more active adventure which meant cycling along the beachfront and Into the rural areas around the town.

Takarotrails was the bike company that met us with bikes fitted to our sizes, in the center of downtown along the shore trail, called the marine parade. Napier had an earthquake many years ago that caused the loss of their beautiful sandy beachfront, and now there's quite a sharp dropoff when you stand at the waterfront of the Pacific ocean. The area is flat so it makes for easy biking. We did about 9 miles in all, following the water and then turning onto a dike that has been flattened on top to make bike paths. I almost felt I was in Wisconsin at this point as we cycled through cow filled pastures, fruit orchards, farms, and creeks with grassy banks where people pitched tents and played in the water.

At the end of the tour, we left the bikes in a parking lot where we enjoyed a snack of granola bars and fresh fruit. Then we hiked up to a peak that is the historic Otatara Maori Pa village site (where native Maori tribes used to live). From here we could see the beach and the area we had just biked. We had quite a workout and enjoyed the scenery.

Abdul and I on our rental bikes


the cows seem to be bored with us


You can see Cape Kidnappers at the far end of this photo- a bird sanctuary for gannets and a very nice golf course


the flat rural portion of the trail

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