Introduction to Bike Packing / Touring Event (Christchurch to Waikuku Beach)

Introduction to Bike Packing / Touring Event (Christchurch to Waikuku Beach)
November 2, 2020 Ken

While we never quite forget how to ride a bike and would quite readily jump on one and pedal away, lugging our gear bike-packing style can be quite daunting for the inexperienced. What should we pack? How do we pack? Where can we pack on the bike? Is our bike even right for the job? No one quite likes to be stranded in the middle of nowhere ill-prepared. 

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As part of a series of events organised for Biketober, we decided that starting a Christchurch biking community around bike-packing would be a promising idea; most of us should be content staying in NZ knowing we could discover our backyards in new and adventurous ways. Bike-packing is just that, it allows us to discover the backcountry roads and trails while appreciating the simple (if rugged) enjoyment of staying in the great outdoors.

While we never quite forget how to ride a bike and would quite readily jump on one and pedal away, lugging our gear bike-packing style can be quite daunting for the inexperienced. What should we pack? How do we pack? Where can we pack on the bike? Is our bike even right for the job? No one quite likes to be stranded in the middle of nowhere ill-prepared.

The group was a mixture of beginners and experienced riders. Kirk is traveling light this time with his bike set up for with the basics for an overnighter.


We’ve designed our event to answer most of those questions. A pre-ride social would give interested parties a chance to meet up with the rest of the crew, trade tips and advice and new-comers can pick the brains of experienced bike-packers on the finer points of traveling by bike. The day ride event would be short enough for new bike-packers to have a taste of what it could be like on a longer adventure, but just far enough (distance) and near (sensation) enough to simulate an actual ride on the great trails that could be in store.

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to cycling infrastructure in NZ. The majority of the route from the centre of Christchurch city was offroad. Riding on cycleways, gravel and light sand trails.


In this time of Covid-19 and screens taking up all of social interactions, meeting up with new friends to bike-pack is an antidote to life online and social distancing. The crew met up on a Saturday afternoon and we biked from the Central City, all along the Avon-Ōtākaro towards Waimari Beach and along the coast at Bottle Lake Forest park. Kirk who lives around the area, showed us a biking route along the stop banks that took us to the bridge at Main North Road where we could cross the Waimakariri River. It was nice to discover parts of the city we’ve never been to.. 

Of course, it is up for debate whether any bike ride can be complete without a pit-stop at a pub! Stopping at the Port & Eagle at Kaiapoi, we drank (responsibly) and fuelled up on some chips before heading towards Pines Beach via the Pegasus Trail. Then finally onto the trail by Tūhaitara Coastal Park and reaching the Waikuku Beach Holiday park. Total route length was ~ 60kms, and was completed in around 5 hours with the pit stop included.

Pitching our tents before dinner.


We pitched tents and had our dinner together, skipping the urge to order from the local take-aways. The campground manager was surprised that there were so many bookings at this time of the year. It also so happened to be election day, but no-one in the crew was eager to head to the common room and watch the television, nor check their phones. We enjoyed each other’s company before calling it a day and getting some sleep.

The next day, we had a quick breakfast at the local Brick Mill Cafe before heading back to Christchurch and everyone went their separate ways home. A splendid event with lots of sights, fun and everyone benefited from the experience! 

Click here to get a taste of our latest bikepacking setup!


If you or you know someone who is interested in getting into bike touring / bike packing around New Zealand. Sign up for our newsletter and stay tuned for upcoming events! We’ll be organising a full bike-packing trip for the Molesworth Muster Trail and another introductory overnighter to Little River along the Little River Rail Trail