The Courses

The Skyline Challenge Courses

Start/Finish Location:

276 Ponatahi Road, Martinborough

The event is held on farmland which is opened to the public only once a year.
It passes through three historic sheep stations Huangarua, Oystershell and Puruatanga (now Martinborough Station).

Directions: From the church at the corner of Princess Street and Kitchener Street head north along Princess Street (towards Masterton) and 276 Ponatahi Road is located 2.76 kilometres from the church.

Four Challenging Courses

34 km
Ride or Run

This Grade 3 ride is perfect for those looking for a mountainbike or extreme running challenge.

Starts at 8:30 am with an event briefing at 8:20 am.

19 km
Ride or Run

This demanding and quite hilly course is great for intermediate level riders or serious runners.

Starts at 9:00 am with an event briefing for all at 8:50 am.

8 km
Ride or Run

This family-friendly course is ideal for getting out with the kids in the countryside, or as a personal challenge for less-experienced riders.

Starts at 9:30 am with an event briefing at 9:20 am.

10 km

This separate 10 km walk which will take you out the back of the historic Huangarua Station and up to stunning view points.

Starts at 10:00 am with an event briefing at 9:50 am.

PLUS 3 km Beginner’s Ride

A flat beginner’s course to introduce children eight years of age and under to the world of mountain biking.

Starts at 10:30 am with an event briefing at 10:20 am.

Read more below….

34 km – Grade 3 – Ride or Run

Starts 8:30 am, event briefing at 8:20 am
This course is now open to runners as well as riders. 2019 saw just one runner start and complete the course and she commented that it was a great run. It took the riders longer to catch her than you might think, given that she had only a ten minutes head start on them. 2021 saw quite a few more runners on this course.

The 34 kilometre course really does take you to the ‘skyline’. Head to the north of Martinborough, and be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of the South Wairarapa, from Ocean Beach to Rangitumau, from Featherston to the Hinakura hills.

The undulating sheep and beef farm terrain is steep in places, rough and rugged in others and delivers both uphill and downhill experiences. There will be extra challenges for anyone who wants to really push it – tracks aren’t always necessary, are they?

From the top you will traverse the ridges for a while before plunging down into Oystershell Valley, eventually (after a few more undulations) tracking back to the start/finish.

19 km – Intermediate – Ride or Run

Starts 9:00 am, event briefing at 8:50 am

The 19 km ride doesn’t quite get to the top of the skyline, but you will get most of the way up. The turn-around point is a plateau from where you can see the autumn vines of the Martinborough vineyards, Te Muna Valley, Lake Wairarapa, the mountains to the west and right around towards the Longbush Valley. The ride itself takes you through a range of terrain, and you will need to be reasonably fit to handle the hills.

Previous events have shown that parts of the track may be too steep for intermediate MTB riders to ride up – but you get to fly down on the way home!

8 km Ride or Run

Starts 9:30 am, event briefing at 9:20 am

The 8 km course is a loop around the lower reaches of the hills, providing challenge-enough for novice and younger riders – we really do intend to make this suitable for all of the family. Even from here you can get spectacular views of Martinborough – usually only seen by sheep, cattle and some lucky farm workers. And if riding a mountain bike isn’t your thing, we are offering a chance to run the 8km course. The track undulates and the terrain offers plenty of variety.

10 km Walk

Starts 10:00 am, event briefing at 09:50 am

The separate 10 km walk which will take you out the back of the historic Huangarua Station, dropping down through a bush walk, before climbing up to Camp David, for a refreshing cool drink and wonderful views over the South Wairarapa and the vineyards in autumn bloom, before following the skyline ridge back to the start. One or two of the hills are quite steep so ideally you should do some preparatory walks prior to the event.

3 km Ride or Walk

Starts 10:30 am, event briefing at 10:20 am

A flat beginner’s course to introduce children 8 years of age and under to the world of mountain biking. Flat enough to walk with the kids. Starts 10:00 am riders and walkers.