It is an absolute pleasure to bike or cycle around Banks Peninsula. Banks Peninsula, formed millions of years ago by volcanoes sets a pretty clear image of what type of riding you can enjoy in and around Banks Peninsula, Little River and Akaroa. I would like to share with you my top three rides!
Lincoln to Little River Rail Trail
Distance: 23 km
Time: 1-1:15 hours
Other users: walkers, runners
Getting there: A different route than SH 75 south of Christchurch towards Akaroa. The ride begins in Lincoln (depending of what direction you approach it from), Edwards Road, Ellersmere Road, head toward the Haswell River via Collins and then onto River Road. Follow this all the way to Motukarara and then ride to Little River along the trail. This is a straight forward, clearly marked trail perfect for individuals, couples or families. Awesome views of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and varying countryside. There are a number of entry/exit points along the way for riders who want to shorten the trip by choosing a section. You can do this ride in reverse starting in Little River and pedalling your way towards Lincoln. Do not miss a chance to call into Little River Cafe, Little River Gallery or even catch a night’s rest at SiloStay.
Eastern Bay Loop
Distance: 32 km
Time: 3 hours
Other users: Cars, motorbikes, sheep
Getting there: Take a park in the layby on the summit road of Little Akaloa. Begin this exhilarating ride by taking a demon downhill bike into Little Akaloa settlement, be blown away by the originality of this farming and kiwi bach village. The blue of the bay will blow you away too. Climb up to Chorlton and turn right weaving and winding your way along the high road before dropping down into Stoney Bay. Suck in the air because the climb out of Stoney Bay is tough. Up for a short time before cruising into Okains Bay soak up the estuary sights and then turn left up into the village. If you need a pick me up Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum surve up a great burger and drink. You’ll need to be hydrated because that climb back up to the summit is long and hard too - but very satisfying to achieve. Turn right at the top of Okain Bays summit take a breather in the bus shelter or kick on back round the crater to your car.
Mt Bossu Loop
Distance: 18 km
Time: 2:30 hours
Other users: Cars, motorbikes, sheep, cattle
Getting there: Drive to Wainui and find a waterfront pack. Load that camel pack with some hydration and set off along the waterfront. You will soon climb up Bossu Road (tarseal for 8km) before reaching one of the higher points and then continue on gravel with uninterrupted views of east coast of New Zealand. Toward Peraki road you will descend, some epic downhilling to be enjoyed there. Hang a right down Jubilee Road into Wainui and return to your car. A ride full of views and gravel riding greatness!
With three ideas of great rides on Banks Peninsula I hope you too can enjoy some great riding here. Whether you are on eBike or Mountain bike or even road bike (Eastern Bay loop only) then you are bound to get a great workout and some incredible views.
Happy cycling team!