The Kaikōura Trail

Kaikoura Trail
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Kaikōura Trail

Shared Trail
Easy Intermediate
42km
500m Elevation

Clip art - Logo

Loosely following the perimeter of the Kaikōura plains and skirting the Kowhai and Hapuku Rivers, the Kaikōura Trail features trails that are as diverse as the scenery.
Cycle the entire loop or hop on and cycle a section.

It’s too easy to pass through Kaikōura without stopping to explore. The Kaikōura Trail takes you on a pleasant cycle tour of the district and gives you the chance to explore some of the places you don’t see from the highway.
Suitable for most riders (some single trail sections are intermediate grade), the trail circles the Kaikōura plains on a mix of single track and quiet country roads. The climbs are gentle with the optional Mt Fyffe carpark section climbing to just under 200 metres. Many entry places on the trail make it easy to choose and cycle a part if you don’t have time for the entire circuit. The Kowhai and Hapuku single trail sections meander through some beautiful clumps of bush, the Hapuku has a stand of impressive mixed size totara trees. There is often fantails and other birdlife to keep you company on your journey through the river bush sections.
Some parts of the Kowhai and Hapuku trail are intermediate grade, always ride within your ability.
Mt Fyffe and the Seaward Kaikōura Range watch over you for the entire trail, and you will get many glimpses of the ocean as you make your way around. The trail works equally well in either direction.
The Kaikōura Trail is continually improving, much of the work being done by the Trail Team.
Enjoy your tour of Kaikōura.

Trail Status & Alerts

Please report any trail problems at the Contact Form

Finding your way.

Because there are multiple entry and exit points along the trail, care and attention is needed to ensure you follow trail markers on the Kaikōura Trail.

There are eight – ‘You Are Here’ signs around the trail, there are trail markers around the trail and maps are available here; browse the map at the Ride with GPS page, download a PDF map or map file in a range of formats to load on your device for turn by turn navigation.

The trail is described in a clockwise direction.

PDF map and cue sheet download.

Download Kaikōura Trail Map.

  • Single trail through bush
  • Quiet country roads
  • Mountain, ocean and peninsula views
  • Cycle the entire trail or choose a section by the many access and exit places
  • Mixed Surface - single trail, gravel, tar
  • Grade. Some sections of single trail are intermediate grade. Be aware of narrow sections, root and rock obstacles and overhanging branches. Ride within your ability.
  • Be considerate of walkers
  • Take all litter with you
  • Protect and respect our wildlife, plants and trees
  • Because there are multiple entry and exit points along the trail, care and attention is needed to ensure you follow trail markers