Hawke's Bay for Lance Armstrong's family vacation

Hawke's Bay, the cycling capital of New Zealand, was good enough for cycling legend Lance Armstrong to bring his family on summer vacation.

Five days in-between work commitments. Vacation time. Must have reliable weather, decent scenery, great golf, world class but uncluttered cycling, enough luxury for the ‘better half’ and an adventure for the kids. Keep it low key, private, out of the media spotlight.

Need an airport close by that can handle the Gulfstream Jet.

Monday night tweet: Vacation time...

Friday – short drive back to Napier airport, load the plane up and we’re almost off. One fan turns up in a vintage Tour de France t-shirt with a handful of books, looking for an autograph. What a treat.

Cape Kidnappers still looks spectacular from the air. The accommodation was 5-star, as expected. The golf course deserves it’s place in the top 50 in the world. The onsite Spa was a winning touch.

There’s 6,000 acres of the private farm to explore on mountain bikes. It’s a short drive to legendary Eskdale Mountain Bike Park where the UCI races are held, or the newer Pukeora MTB Park in Central Hawke’s Bay. Both are excellent choices.

More mountain biking and walking nearby on Havelock North’s Te Mata Peak.

The terrain in Hawke’s Bay is textbook training ground for road cycling. Lots of scope for a full training program on these sealed roads.

There’s a superb cycling pathway that stretches the length of the coastline from Cape Kidnappers, through cute little townships, past wineries and cafes, over rivers, past the other tourists visiting the Art Deco city of Napier, past the Napier Port (where over 50 cruise ships stop each summer for shore excursions), past the airport out to Bay View.

It’s an easy, smooth, and flat ride on hard-packed lime-sand and pavement, no rough rail-trail gravel to be found here.

Two of Hawke’s Bay’s three New Zealand Cycle Trails connect to the coastline pathway: The Landscapes Trail follows the Tuki Tuki river up-stream over farmland before crossing Red Bridge and heading back past Craggy Range Winery and the turnoff to Havelock North.

Nearest bike shop is Revolution Bikes in Havelock North, 4.3kms from the River Road node. A detour into Havelock North and Hastings reveals cycling-friendly towns with bike lanes and great coffee stops.

The ride back to the coast along elevated stop banks offers photo opportunities galore with Te Mata Peak in the background.

The Water Trail meets the coastline just north of Napier, circling around the estuaries near the airport, taking in the thriving birdlife.

The Wineries Trail offers an inland link between twin cities Hastings and Napier, over the Gimblett Gravels area famous for producing world renowned syrah.

There are multiple opportunities to taste famed New Zealand wine varieties at the cellar doors in between the vineyards.

Folks, whether you’re arriving in Hawke’s Bay on a private jet, or jetting around in a hired camper van, you’ll find that Lance Armstrong was onto a winner when he brought his family to vacation in Hawke’s Bay in January of 2011.

There's lots to see and do, and there's amazing opportunities for cycling. So book in for a long stay and come and say hi to the friendly staff at Revolution Bikes, we’d love to show you around our home in paradise.


Please contact us for any cycling related enquiries:

Phone 06 877 8477


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