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Cycling in Marlborough

Last Modified: 15-8-2017 12:25

The Marlborough region offers many opportunities for cycling both on and off road, with options ranging from cycle lanes within Blenheim, to the extensive Queen Charlotte Track. Marlborough also hosts the annual Forrest Grape Ride, a 101km road cycling event that attracts entrants from around NZ and the world.

Mountain Biking

An extensive network of mountain bike tracks as well as a dedicated mountain bike park are provided in the Wither Hills Farm Park. The grade of tracks varies from relatively flat, easy tracks to steeper more challenging tracks requiring a high level of fitness. Many parts of the mountain bike tracks pass through picturesque wooded areas not accessible via walking tracks.

From the park entrance at the south end of Redwood Street, it is possible to take either the Lower Farm Track or the Rifle Range Track, both of which can connect with the park entrance in Taylor Pass Road. The Rifle Range Track is narrower and a little more challenging, however is more scenic. Both tracks connect with the Stockyard Track which continues on to the mountainbike park in Taylor Pass Road. From here it is possible to to connect with the Taylor River Reserve tracks which extend to the Taylor Dam in the south and connect with Riverside Park in central Blenheim to the north. Except when the Taylor River is in flood, it is usually possible to ford the river part way along the Taylor River Reserve track not far to the north of the mountain bike park and continue west via the Ben Morven Track to Ben Morven Road.

East of the Redwood Street entrance to the farm park,  the steep Mount Vernon Track provide access to the Vernon Lookout while the Mapp Track connects with Cob Cottage Road in Riverlands.

Wither Hills mountain bike track
Part of the Rifle Range mountain bike track in the Wither Hills farm park

North of Renwick, to the west of the Wairau River bridge, Conders Bend Mountain Bike Park provides approximately 6km of flat mountain bike tracks through pine forest.

The Queen Charlotte Track provides the opportunity for a 2-3 day mountain biking adventure for those looking for a major challenge in their own time.

The Rainbow Rage is an annual 106km mountain bike challenge held in summer from the start of the Rainbow Valley through to Hanmer. This event provides the opportunity to experience some of the remotest parts of New Zealand. The Rainbow Road and parts of Molesworth can also be explored independently by mountain bike over the summer open seasons.

An active mountain bike club provides further competitive events and opportunities for mountain biking on private property.

Road Cycling

Marlborough provides numerous opportunities for road cycling, from casual to competitive levels. The Marlborough District Council has implemented cycle lanes in Maxwell Road and Seymour Street, and has provided the Riverlands rail trail which connects central Blenheim with Riverlands via a cycleway that runs along side the main railway line.

The southern valleys west of Renwick provide a picturesque route past vineyards popular with cyclists.

The annual Forrest Grape Ride, of 101km scheduled to coincide with grape harvest provides a major attraction drawing entrants from around New Zealand and overseas.

A cycle club in Blenheim provides opportunities for social and competitive riding.

References: Marlborough District Council, Top of the South Events Ltd.

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