White's Bay - Trails & Takeaways Report

We just wrapped up the New Zealand portion of our adventure and dare I say it, we left very few stones unturned. In other words, there were loads of trail running and mountain biking missions logged. To help future runners and bikers looking for trail information, I'm documenting my own adventures, focused on some of the best New Zealand rides and trail runs I've done. White's Bay is a stunning place for both, and the next in my series of bite-sized trail reports.

WHITE'S BAY 

 Ali taking in ocean views from the mountain bike portion of White's Bay 

Ali taking in ocean views from the mountain bike portion of White's Bay 

 

LOCATION:

Between Picton and Blenhiem on New Zealand’s South Island 

DETAILS:

We rode White’s Bay a few times, it’s one of the best rides in the area and it finishes on a gorgeous beach. One of the coolest ways for off-road triathletes to experience the area is to mountain bike the White’s Bay Loop then transition into a trail run on the Look-out trail and Black Jack Trail. It makes for an epic brick session with stunning views across the bay, solid climbs and fun descents. To start, I’d suggest parking closest to the beach. There are changing rooms, bathrooms and showers available.

Plan for the high summer temps by bringing plenty of water, electrolytes and sports nutrition. The initial climb for the mountain bike portion is on the road - slow and steady. Once you reach the actual trail head, it’s a grunty double track climb with some serious punchy pitches. Load up on the sunblock for this portion of the trail, there is very little tree cover. The trail provides a little breather and short decent once you hit the trees. The punchy climbs resume but become slightly less challenging as you weave through native bush. Time for some well deserved high-fives at the top before dropping into a rowdy and wonderful multi-use trail. There are a load of roots and some off-camber moments, just let it roll! The trail descends for quite a while with a few surprise short climbs. It’s great value for all the climbing done earlier. The trail finishes by spiting back out on the road with a gorgeous scenic viewpoint just ahead. Grab some selfies with the bike and then descend back to the car park. 

Next... Transition into the trail run. 

A post shared by Dan Harmon (@harmon_dan) on

Head back up the road as you did the first time, but break right into the trail head behind the camping area. Here you’ll find a nice loop of singletrack with a steady climb to a viewpoint before returning to the car park. It’s pure, sweaty bliss!   

 Views from the trail run portion of White's Bay

Views from the trail run portion of White's Bay

TAKEAWAY:    

There are no shops or restaurants near by so pack a picnic and cool drinks for after your mini off-road triathlon training session. The ocean temps in White’s Bay can be chilly but on hot days, it’s a great way to cool down. Pack your swim suit and towel as well. 

THE DATA:

TrailForks report can be found here

Some history, maps and further logistical information can be found on New Zealand's Department of Conservation site

GPS data uploaded from my Suunto Ambit3 Peak and a cool little video for the bike:

and another little video for the trail run: