This self guided ride starts and finishes from the Gannet Beach Adventures site at 475 Clifton Road, Clifton, Te Awanga, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand - no need for you to cart bikes all over the countryside. Turn right when you hit the beach then you’ve got about 9km (18km return) of cycling along a sandy, gravelly and sometimes rocky beach. There could be waves and it’s up to you whether to avoid them... sometimes you might not have any choice...
You’ll cycle next to striking cliffs showing the different geology and you'll see evidence of massive earthquakes which have shaped New Zealand. You’ll see different species of birds and depending on the time of year maybe a seal or a penguin, or a dolphin or an orca out to sea. Towards the end of the beach you’ll come across our amazing Gannet Colonies. This is a nature trip with a bit of exercise and fun thrown in, total return trip time (including the walk to the Plateau Gannet Colony) is approximately 3.5 – 4 hours. Most days the beach is a fun ride, other days it’s a bit rough and not for the faint hearted…..enjoy the ride!
If you think this ride might be a bit much for you, we highly recommend you give these guys a look www.gannets.com They’ve been taking people out on their tractors and trailers since 1952, it’ll be easier on your body and on top of that they’re good people.
About 1km from the end of the beach you’ll cycle through the Black Reef Gannet Colony. You’ll get right up close and personal with these amazing birds. Depending on the time of year you’ll see eggs, small fluffy chicks or larger speckled chicks getting ready for their trip to Australia. The adult birds are incredible to watch as they fly and land right in front of you, they feed their young and tweak their nests all the while virtually ignoring us humans.
At the end of the beach ride just park your bike. About 200m up the track (walking only) is the Department of Conservation rest shelter with fresh water, a place to have a picnic and toilets. Then you’re off on a moderate 1.3km walk up to the largest mainland gannet colony in the world, the Plateau Gannet Colony. While you’re up there, walk over to the lighthouse and look down on the smaller Saddle Colony. This is definitely worth the walk, lots of gannets, a wonderful aroma of guano and a stunning view of the world.
Tell me about the bikes and what cycling ability do I need?
We supply you with a Silverback Fat Bike equipped with 12cm wide low pressure tyres and a gel padded seat. This setup lets you cycle over/through the sand, gravel and water – and some of the rocks depending on your skill level. We also supply you with a helmet, spare tube, pump, an information sheet and a map.
Most days the beach is a fun ride, other days it’s a bit rough and not for the faint hearted. Because of this you’ll need at least an intermediate level of cycling ability and fitness. If you’ve never ridden a Fat Bike before... get ready to smile, they’re a lot of fun.
Will I get wet?
Hmmmmm... possibly... the beach conditions change every day so let’s just assume you’ll get your feet wet.
Can I ride my Fat Bike the entire way along the beach?
Hmmmmm... usually... the beach conditions change every day so sometimes you might have to push your bike over/through the tricky stuff, depending on your skill level.
What do I need to take?
You’ll need food, drink, warm clothes, shorts, sunglasses, a hat for the walk, trainers for footwear, sunscreen and a cellphone in a backpack for the 3.5 to 4 hour trip. There is drinking water available at the rest shelter below the Plateau Gannet Colony. Please remember to check the weather forecast at www.metservice.com, if it’s dodgy you might need some wet weather gear. On the evening rides you really should take a head torch.
Who are you guys?
We’re locals who’ve been guiding groups out here since 2008. We enjoy sharing Cape Kidnappers and doing our part in creating great memories.
Because cycling on the beach and access to the Gannet Colonies can only be achieved around low tide, the departure times change on a daily basis. The ride departs 2 hours prior to low tide. Tide times are here Cape Kidnappers Tide Times (metservice.com) and if you have any questions – just email me. You must be at our departure site at this time, and after we’ve talked you through the details – you’re away.
The hire cost is NZD $120.00 per bike including taxes.
To make a booking just send us an email telling us which day you want to ride, the number of people, contact mobile phone number and your heights (we need this to match you to the correct bike size). We’ll get back to you asap with a yes / no on availability. After confirmation, we’ll ask you to transfer the hire $ via online bank transfer to our bank account. We only have a limited number of bikes and it’s first in, first served. We fully understand if you get the urge at the last minute, so ring 021 36 26 96 and we’ll do our best to sort you out – if any bikes are available...
These bikes cost us a lot of money so please don’t break them! Not only that but our accountant says that before you leave, we’ll have to ask you to provide credit card details and sign a piece of paper saying that if you break it (not normal wear and tear), you own it.
Due to its very nature, cycling and the great outdoors can sometimes be dangerous. We’ll give you a briefing to talk you through these hazards, but our lawyer insists we’ll also have to get you to sign a piece of paper saying you’re in total control of your own destiny.
Finally, sometimes Mother Nature gets really angry and makes the trip unpleasant. If that happens, we’ll have to cancel. We’ll let you know asap and you’ll get a full refund. We can’t do much about this. Full terms and conditions are here.
Advance email bookings are the best way to reserve your Fat Bike and makes it easier for all of us. However, we fully understand if you get the urge at the last minute, so ring 021 36 26 96 and we’ll do our best to sort you out – if any bikes are available...