Tour Aotearoa - Section 4

Picton to Blackball

Welcome to the South Island! This is a stunningly diverse ride from the North East of the South Island to the West Coast. From the Marlborough Sounds, over the historically mysterious Mangatapu to Nelson city, via Nelson Lakes, over the divide and out to the West Coast.

Picton to Blackball
8 days (including start/finish)
435 km
Section 4 of 6. Fully supported version of New Zealand’s classic Tour Aotearoa

We have divided the 3000km Kennett Bros Tour Aotearoa into six 7-12 day sections so that you you can enjoy riding and exploring that section in detail - without the hassle of carrying your gear or finding food and accommodation. Our sections loosely follow this classic route and also include plenty of quirky extras, stop-overs and special places in the true Escape Adventures' style.

Section 4: Picton to Blackball

Welcome to the South Island! This is a stunningly diverse ride from the North East of the South Island to the West Coast. From the Marlborough Sounds, over the historically mysterious Mangatapu to Nelson city, via Nelson Lakes, over the divide and out to the West Coast.

Contact Us for Detailed Trip Information

Start: Picton

Finish: Blackball - transfers to Hokitika can be arranged.

The Biking

  • A total distance of 435km spread over 6 days of biking.
  • 45-100km riding per day on wonderfully remote and scenic, quiet gravelled and sealed roads, and a rough 4x4 track.
  • There’s still no let up on the hills, so be ready for some ups and downs, some big and some rough, and yes there is also some flat terrain!
  • A hardtail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres is the ideal bike.
  • The route is designed for pedal bikers with a good level of biking fitness / or E-Bikes.
  • Hire Bikes are available locally. Contact us if you plan on hiring a bike.
  • Off-road biking experience will greatly add to the enjoyment of your tour.
  • Our ‘Sag Wagon’ support is available (most of the time) should you need a break from the saddle.

Support

We will organise the logistics, book accommodation and organise all included meals. Two of our awesome Escape Adventures tour leaders will ride with you, and provide daily briefings, first aid and mechanical support. Our trusty ’Sag Wagon’ support vehicle will carry your luggage, has lunch, snacks and water, and is there if you need a break from the saddle. There are times when the vehicle will need to take a different route and will meet up with you where it can. We will supply you with daily route notes and maps so that you can ride at your own pace throughout the day.

Meals

  • Included in the tour: All breakfasts and riding snacks, and four lunches.
  • The other meals (as per the daily itinerary below) are in places where there are dinning and wining options available - therefore at your own cost and choosing. (This gives you more control over the cost of your tour AND spreads the love supporting local businesses!)
  • We are definitely able to cater for vegetarians and special diets and if this includes you, it is essential to advise us of this before your tour begins, so that the support vehicle can be stocked with the necessary supplies.

Typical Included Meals:
 Breakfasts - Fresh fruit, muesli, toast and spreads, hot drinks.  Cooked breakfast on occasions.
 Lunches - Picnic style lunches, fresh salads, cold meats, cheese & bread.
 Snacks - Fresh fruit, salty snacks, home baking.

Accommodation

All accommodation for the eight nights of the tour is included. We have explored and chosen the most fitting accommodation we could find to work in with the riding route. For this section we will be using cabins, motels and hotels.

Accommodation is on a share twin basis. If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker. If you do not wish to share a single supplement will apply. Single room options may be limited in some locations.

Preparation

This cycle tour includes rides of 45-100km per day. Please do read about the daily riding distances taking note of the riding terrain in the itinerary below and prepare accordingly. The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure! Preparing for your cycle tour should involve:

- riding on gravel, unpaved terrain with some hills. 

- 2-3 times a week with rides of 30-50km in length.

Itinerary: Picton to Blackball

Day 1: Arrive in Picton.  Meet with your tour leaders & fellow bikers at 5pm for your pre-departure meeting and first meal together.

Day 2:  We get our wheels turning on the stunning Queen Charlotte drive.  A shorter riding day offers us time to explore the coastal settlements along the way.

Day 3:  Rich in history the Mangatapu begins gently climbing up through  regenerating bush.  But gentle doesn’t last very long and soon becomes a steep, rocky 4x4 track that will have you negotiating baby head size boulders on the climb and descent. A wee bit of pushing will get you through the worst. Luckily the decent finishes with a smooth valley ride into Nelson City with a swim on the way!  Note: The 4x4 section is steep and rough and unsupported. Option is to transfer around by vehicle and rejoin after this section.

Day 4:  If yesterday was too exciting for you… today should settle your nerves. We meander out of Nelson on a friendly cycle trail almost all the way to Tapawera.

Day 5:  We stretch our legs today clocking up some kilomtres on quiet country roads.  We pass through Lake Rotoroa, some gorgeous native bush and lots of fords.

Day 6:  Good rural farming country meets native bush on lovely quiet little used roads. We pop over Maruia Saddle at 500m and ride river side to Springs Junction and end the day with a 30 min transfer to our accommodation.

Day 7:  Springs to Reefton is a lovely up and over piece of road - rich in bush and birdlife. From Reefton it’s gently descending all the way to Blackball.

Day 8:  Our final breakfast together on section 4.  For those finishing here - a transfer to Hokitika can be arranged. For those continuing on - a well earned rest day and time to explore the historical town of Blackball.

*Actual night stops and daily distances may vary depending on accommodation availability.

Contact us for a detailed Trip Information

Tour Price

NZD $2,990
+Bike Hire if required $300

  • Any two consecutive sections - 5% off the tour prices.
  • Full South Island.  24 days |  NZD $9,300 | Bike Hire if required $750
  • Full Tour Aotearoa.  49 days |  NZD $18,200 | Bike Hire if required $1,200

Singles: You DON'T have to pay a single supplement!
- If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker.
- If you do not wish to share that is fine too, but a single supplement will apply.

Included in your tour:

  • 7 nights accommodation
  •  Meals as per tour itinerary.
  •  Two Escape Adventures tour leaders
  •  Local support driver
  •  Support vehicle & bike trailer

Tour Price does NOT include: getting to and from Picton/Blackball, optional activities, personal equipment & some meals as per the detailed itinerary.