Day 30 | Havelock to Wairau Valley

The Marlborough wineless tour

Date: 22 Feb 2024

The local tourist website says that the mostly-flat valley road between Havelock and Renwick is popular for biking, with its wide shoulders and light traffic. The best of those shoulders are easily as wide as our handlebars (i.e. narrow) and the traffic was moderately heavy and upheld the reputation of NZ drivers. I travel at the rear because I’m more visible, and I was glancing at my mirror and keeping up a constant commentary of, in order of scariness: “motorbike behind” “truck”, “motorhome”, or, by far the worst, “white ute/SUV” – usually driven by townies or tradies with limited spatial awareness and an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

We survived and had a great catch-up with Jill’s old Hokitika family friends, Jane and Sue, at the excellent Phoenix Cafe in Renwick, for coffee (and a pie for us) then we wriggled and twisted our way through some back roads of the famous vineyards, where, with sections tantalizingly labelled “chardonnay” or “pinot noir”, it would have been impolite to resist tasting a grape or three. We emerged onto the lightly-used Wairau Valley road for another 20 km to our delightfully quirky accomodation at Tamara and Grigory’s Eco Cabins – very friendly and generous AirBnB hosts.

Supplies: There’s a tiny takeaway cart hidden beside the old church at Wairau Valley village that’s not allowed to put signs out on the road, but it’s the only option on this 90 km highway and it’s worth supporting. Renwick has a 4Square

Accommodation: Wairau Eco Cabins

These videos are best viewed on a computer screen. Turning your phone sideways helps.

Total distance: 60.24 km
Max elevation: 167 m
Min elevation: 5 m
Total climbing: 500 m
Total descent: -338 m
Total time: 06:31:24
Download file: day30.gpx

Battery use: 64% | 400Wh


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