Welcome ...

In 2005 698 riders set off on the very first GrapeRide organized by Pete “the Grape Gonzo” Halligan. We described the course then as “a ride through God’s photo album” and we stand by that description today. From early beginnings we've innovated for fifteen years, focussed on constant improvement of the rider experience. Taking the next step we’re thrilled to welcome you to GrapeRide #16, the first Whitehaven GrapeRide at The Vines Village.

About Graperide 2020

Passionately Marlborough-centric, our naming sponsor Whitehaven Wine Company is committed to the community and the well-being of those in the community. In the 25 years since they established their presence in Marlborough this family owned wine company has looked to create a positive community impact. Managing Director and co-founder Sue White says “We see the Whitehaven Grape Ride as a way to promote inclusivity of communities, sustainable choices and a focus on health and keeping active”.

Stay a while

No matter how you get here, make sure you leave time to sample a little of what makes the region so special. Local produce abounds and our local restaurant and café scene is a vibrant one with chefs of many nationalities bringing their own touches to the food scene. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre offers world class displays of historic military scenes and aircraft from both World Wars as well as other periods in history.

Where to stay

Marlborough offers accommodation at a number of levels to suit all budgets and requirements. To check out the options look here.


The History

Family owned and proudly Marlborough focused since its establishment 25 years ago, Whitehaven sees the GrapeRide as a continuation of its advocacy of Marlborough. Co-founder and Managing Director Sue White says “being a family owned and operated business means that creating positive impacts on our community is vitally important to us”.

Over the years the event has earned numerous accolades and has been awarded the supreme “Best Established Event” award by the NZ Event Industry. The addition of mountain bikes and e-bikes to the event over recent years along with distances to provide a worthwhile challenge makes the Whitehaven GrapeRide a wonderful outing in the beautiful scenery of Marlborough. Join us at The Vines Village for the Whitehaven GrapeRide on March 28th 2020.

The Course

Starting from wine central in Renwick on the Wairau plains, the course passes the outskirts of Blenheim, Marlborough’s largest centre before turning north past the regenerating wetlands of the Para swamp and onward to Marlborough’s maritime hub in scenic Picton. From there you’ll enter the glorious scenery of the Queen Charlotte Drive around the top ends of the Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds, arriving in the green-lip mussel capital, Havelock. From there it’s a final roll down State Highway 6 through forestry and dairying areas before crossing the Wairau river and returning to The Vines Village for all the treats that await.

The mountainbike course is a challenging jaunt through varied features of the Wairau river bed taking in beautiful views up the Wairau valley and across the plains to the Southern Valleys. Best suited to beginner to intermediate riders, the course includes a number of different surfaces and some twisting singletrack through an established pine plantation. Starting and finishing at The Vines Village, the short (20km) and long (40km) courses offer something for everyone.

How to get here

By Bluebridge ferry (with Whitehaven GrapeRide discount) from Wellington to Picton (for those coming from the North Island). Air New Zealand operate numerous flights into Marlborough airport, midway between Blenheim and Renwick and only a few kilometres from The Vines Village.

By road via State Highway 1 north up the East coast of the South island including the fantastic scenery of the Kaikoura coast, soon to be home to the recreational cycling ‘Whale Trail’.

By road via State Highway 63 from the South Island’s West coast or via State Highway 6 from the Nelson/Golden Bay area. 

International visitors, Christchurch and Wellington are the closest international airports but Air New Zealand also offer regular direct flights Auckland – Blenheim if Auckland is your preferred port of arrival.

Event Pricing

Short and Long Course MTB

$85

20 or 40km MTB

see entry portal for concessions

Best for beginner to intermediate riders

Ideal family day out

Classic GrapeRide and 202km Magnum

$125

101 and 202km

see entry portal for concessions

The iconic GrapeRide - tick your bucket list

Fast or slow, the choice is yours

The Taster

$85

42km

see entry portal for concessions

Focus on the fun

Step up to the challenge