Kaikōura offers a variety of spectacular mountain bike trails to explore the varied majestic landscapes from rugged coastlines to mountain ranges. There are tracks for all levels of experience ranging from casual family trails to challenging climb adventures. Biking in Kaikōura is seen as an excellent way get around town, explore the area with its varied landscapes and for the more experienced a way to get a full workout.

The tracks are ride-able all year around with exceptions depending on weather conditions. Bike with comfortable layered clothes and suitable warm gear in winter as weather can change fast and unexpectedly.

For more information on tracks or mountain bike/ e-bike rentals please visit the Kaikōura i-SITE. Further details about the tracks and maps can be found on the Kaikōura Cycling Club website.


Kaikōura Trial Map Download


Trail Forks Website

Kowhai River Bike Trail

A nice cruisy/relaxed track suitable for the whole family. Beginner grade.


Track distance: 17.7km single way
Start location: Mt Fyffe carpark


The Kowhai has been a community project built by keen cyclists and volunteers. It suits most riders of average ability, though it is a proper mountain bike trail that does have some roots, rocks and obstacles so bike within your abilities and take care. The trail head starts at the South Bay turn off by the racecourse on State Highway 1. Look for the Kaikōura Cycle signage by the park bench and that leads to the limestone track. There is similar signage along the length of the trail. The trail follows its way along between the road and ocean to the Kowhai Bridge, here you duck under the bridge to avoid crossing the main highway. It’s recommended to walk your bike under, as it is a low and fairly loose trail. From there the trail follows a mix of single track and gravel stop bank riding to the Mt Fyffe car park. The trail is a work in progress and is continually improving, it gives riders a 17-kilometre ride around 2.5 hours return from the centre of Kaikōura. It rewards riders with some great views and a solid work out. Bikes take care and give way to walkers please.



Kowhai Trail

MiddleHill MTB


The park is best suited for anyone with a little bit of experience mountain biking (or a lot!!), but we do also have a couple of easy trails to build confidence on if you’re relatively new to the game.


Track distance: Various trails
Start location: Middlehill MTB Park, Clarence, Kaikōura


40kms North of Kaikōura by the Clarence River is a MTB park called Middlehill. Open since Sept 2019, it's a new and exciting place to ride with shuttles to the top of some serious vertical, with various options for different abilities to come back down, this place is super fun. Genevieve and Morgan are your hosts on the hill, some of most bike mad people you’ll have the pleasure of meeting, bookings are essential so give them a ring or email and test some of the best gravity trails in New Zealand.


Read more on the MiddleHill MTB website. 



Middle Hill Mountain Bike Park 2 v2

The Kaikōura Cycling Trail

Grade: Easy to intermediate
Track distance: 48 km
Start Location: Kaikōura i-SITE

The full trail is rid-able for most levels of experience with some intermediate sections. Allow yourself about 4 hours to complete the full loop or cycle a smaller section in a couple of hours. The Kaikōura Cycling trail is built and maintained by The Kaikōura Cycling Club, a group of motivated volunteers.


Good to note

Mixed Surface – single trail, gravel, tar
Some sections of single trail are intermediate grade. ride within your ability.
Be considerate of walkers


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Kaikoura Trail

Puhi Puhi Valley

Grade: Intermediate
Track distance: 22 km return
Start location: Puhi Puhi Road

Climb your way up into the impressive Puhi Puhi Valley on the northern end of the Seaward range. Drive 12 km north of Kaikōura, turn off just past the Hapuku River Bridge into Puhi Puhi Road. The track is a gravel road that follows the river up to the Puhi Peaks Station.


Key Highlights

Classic gravel ride
Puhi Puhi Reserve with massive native trees
Stunning mountain views

Good to note

Water refill at the Puhi Puhi campsite
Fords can flood in rain
Be aware of possible vehicles


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Puhi Puhi Valley

Mt Fyffe


Grade: Advanced
Track distance: 52 km return from town 8km climb
Start location: Mt Fyffe carpark or from town (for the ocean to mountain top experience)


Mt Fyffe is Kaikōura’s most advanced Mountain bike track for real thrill seekers. The way up is a serious hill climb adventure which requires a very good level of fitness. You will be rewarded with a downhill rush and breath-taking views over Kaikōura and mountain ranges.


Key highlights

Top views
Great workout and challenge

Good to note

Must have advanced mountain bike skills
Steep ascent and descent
Mountain bikers must give way to walkers


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Blue Duck Valley Road


Grade: Intermediate
Track distance: 25 km return
Start location: Seaward Valley Station


The track starts 18 km north of Kaikoura at the Seaward Valley Station.
19 km north of Kaikoura. This is a grunt climb up to the famous Blue Duck Valley Scientific Reserve. The area is lowland podocarp forest. The reserve climbs up to the limestone slopes of Mt Alexander ridgeline. 25 kms return.



Clarence Reserve to Forbes Hut


Grade: Advanced
Track distance: 27.8 km one way
Start location: Clarence Reserve Carpark


A good weekend track over the Blind Saddle to Forbes hut to explore the area of the Clarence Reserve. The Clarence is located at the Ka Whata Tu o Rakihouia Conservation Park and can be described as a vast and rugged high-country landscape straddling the Seaward Kaikōura Range.


To access the track from Kaikōura, follow SH1 south for five kilometers to the Waiau/Mt Lyford turnoff, and head inland to the car park at Kahutara River bridge, 25 kilometres from Kaikōura. There is a locked gate here, however, mountain bikers do not need an access permit. Mountain bikers are requested to use roads and formed tracks only.


The track first crosses the Kahutara River. Bikers need a good level of fitness since there is lots of climbing through farmland and native forest, changing to shrub land then alpine vegetation near the top.


The biggest climb is over the Blinds Saddle up to highest point of the track around 1200m. Make a stop at Blinds Saddle for some rewarding panoramic views. Along the way down the Seymour Stream, you will see some historic huts from the early farming days and following on the Seymour brings you to the Clarence River and Forbes Hut where you can stay overnight.


All operating huts in this area are standard huts, requiring a back country hut season pass or a one-night hut ticket. Huts in the area are all equipped with bunks, drinking water and open fires places, although best to take a portable cooker. Forbes hut has 10 bunk beds.To get out of the valley, it’s the same way you came in.


There are many opportunities for adventure beyond Forbes Hut. For these options, please obtain more information here or check out the map.


Key Highlights

Multiple day track with overnight in huts
Impressive views from Blind Saddle and summit
Expansive and rugged high country

Good to note

Surface – Gravel, 4wd track, riverbed
No fires
Hut pass/ticket required for huts. Kaikoura i-SITE




The Hurunui Trail

Grade: Intermediate
Track distance: 205km / 3-4 days
Start location: Kaikōura / Christchurch

A thoroughly rewarding ride travelling inland, linking Kaikōura to the rest of Canterbury. At the beginning of the Alpine Pacific Touring Route, this trail takes you through the mountain ranges and farmlands of North Canterbury as well as the wine region of Waipara.


A road less travelled than its coastal SH1 counterpart, cyclists can still expect tourist traffic but also a variety of scenery and wildlife to be encountered along the way. Comprised mainly of sealed road, with some gravel sections present, and undulating terrain, a reasonable level of fitness will be required.


Touring bikes are recommended. Electric bikes can be used as per NZ Road Code. Accommodations available throughout the trail in homesteads, B & B’s, motels, campgrounds, and lakeside glamping.

Key highlights:

Scenic views
Range of historic sites, rural attractions, and wineries

Good to note:

Reasonable fitness required
Well-marked trail
The initial day from Kaikōura to Mt. Lyford is longest single stretch with plenty of hills and turns.
No accommodation between Kaikōura & Mt. Lyford.



Talk to iSITE consultants for help with accommodation bookings and logistics along the way.

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