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The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail New Zealand_Logomark_Pos

The Whale Trail is planned to be an approximately 210km cycling and walking trail along the South Island’s spectacular northeast coast, from Picton to Kaikōura.


Driven by local communities and delivered by the Marlborough Kaikōura Trail Trust, the proposed trail will connect the communities of Blenheim, Seddon, Ward, Kekerengu and Clarence, and showcase our regions’ rich, diverse landscapes, history, industries and people.

Cyclists and walkers will have access to special natural and historically significant places, and be encouraged to explore our regions further with easy links to existing experiences in both Marlborough and Kaikōura.



Off the beaten track

Cyclists and walkers will be taken on a journey through areas currently off the tourist map, providing access to special natural and historically significant places.


Beginning in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, The Whale Trail will pass through an unrivalled variety of landscapes, past sweeping vineyards, natural wetlands, isolated beaches, dramatic mountain vistas and rushing rivers to the widely celebrated coastal splendour of the Kaikōura coast - all overlooked by the highest peak outside of the Southern Alps, the sacred Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku.

A range of experiences

Designed to be easily accessed from a number of entry and exit points along the length of the journey, The Whale Trail offers an incredibly versatile range of experiences.

Cyclists and walkers may choose to immerse themselves in the journey for a multi-day experience, or complete sections separately as day rides.

The trail

The trail itself would be a combination of new cross-country trails across rolling hills, existing paths and quiet country roads.

At a Grade 2 (easy) level cycling trail for most of its length, with occasional areas of Grade 3 (intermediate), the pathway will suit most abilities, from families to experienced riders, and cater to all forms of bikes including e-bikes.

Enjoyment and safety will be prioritised with the construction of purpose-built bridges - including re-decking of the historic Awatere Bridge - and safe road and railway crossings.

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