Geysers 2 Surf
Starts in Rotorua and finishes at Mount Maunganui
Section One: Rotorua to Okere Falls 28kms
Section Two: Okere Falls to Paengaroa 37.2kms
Section Three: Paengaroa to Mount Maunganui 56.7kms
Section One - Starts: Rotorua, Ends: Okere Falls
(Rotorua - Ngongotaha - Hamurana - Okere Falls )
You can put together as many sections as you wish, depending on your fitness and accommodation and activity stops.
Rotorua to Okere Falls (28km): This very scenic route is around the western & northern side of Lake Rotorua. Mainly flat with a two very minor hills and one a bit bigger . Many of Rotorua’s attractions and activities are on this side of the lake so you may wish to do some on this day. There is no accommodation after Okere Falls until you reach Paengaroa. Rotorua is very fortunate to have a wide range of accommodation including some exquisite Boutique Luxury lodges, to find what accommodation suits your needs: www.rotorua.com/visit/accommodation You may wish to linger through this first part taking in the many activities.
A fabulous starting photo opportunity is the Government Gardens in Oruawhata Drive / Queens Drive, Rotorua.
Continue on Oruawhata Drive in a north/ westerly direction with your back towards the Museum ( if you come up to the Polynesian pools, turn about, that is south ) Oruawhata Drive flows into Lakefront Drive, ride through several roundabouts, until you get to the roundabout on Lake Rd that takes you right up a small hill, and take the third exit on your right ( Lake Rd also goes left at the roundabout.– You want to go right ) for 800m This is a very busy road so take care, At the traffic lights on Ranolf St and Lake Rd, get off onto the pavement on your left and cross as a pedestrian to the other side of the road, so now instead of being on the left hand side of the road with the flow of traffic you will be on the right hand side, against the traffic. On this side of the road you will be on a fabulous new walk/ bike concrete Path. ( be careful of entry and exit ways along this path ) This is still Lake Rd which veered right where you crossed at the lights. You will ride along here for 850 m before you turn right into a bike/ walking path beside Railway Rd, keep going straight ahead until you get to Kawaha Point Rd. The path does continue on, directly to Ngongotaha, but if you would like to ride by some of Rotorua’s attractions turn left at Kawaha Point Rd.
Left into Kawaha Point Rd for 500m, where you will come out at the Traffic Lights with very busy Fairy Springs Rd. Again you need to be on the right hand side of Kawaka Point Rd with the traffic coming to-wards you. Either cross at the lights as a pedestrian or if the way is clear, cross before you get to the lights. You are going to ride right onto Fairy Springs Rd on the shared bike/ cycle path, with the traffic coming towards you. It is not a wide path so take care and also be mindful of cars exiting driveways. You are now heading towards Ngongotaha with the flow of traffic coming towards you. This bike / walk path is shared until you get to the next Roundabout. Then you will have to cross the road carefully and ride with the traffic.
Government Gardens to Ngongotaha which is 8.9km. There are many activities on this route: Skyline Rotorua Gondola, Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, Dirt Bike Tours, Canopy Tours, Adventure Playground.
Optional side Trip: Just as you ride into Ngongotaha over a bridge turn left down Western Rd for 1.7km for the Agrodome ( show times 9.30, 11.00am, 2.30pm) and Agroventures.
Ngongotaha also has Essence Café on your left, 125 Ngongotaha Rd. With plenty of outside space to park your bikes.
Ngongotaha to Okere Falls is 19.2km. Continue through Ngongotaha on Hamurana Rd around the Western side of Lake Rotorua until you come to the Ramada Resort on your right. Some areas of the road on the Northern end of the lake are very picturesque but narrow so take care. *
Accommodation Option: Ramada Resort: 1420 Hamurana Rd, Mourea 07 3624120, www.ramada.com Depending on how far you want to ride and if this is your night stop or maybe just a refreshment stop.
Accommodation Option: ( 1 km off the route ) at Okawa Bay, Mourea. Turning right out of Hamurana Rd into SHW 33, carry on for 1km to V R Rotorua Lake Resort, 366 SHW 33, Mourea. +647 3624599. www.vrrotorua.co.nz, email@example.com and retrace your track the next morning for 4 km, continuing past the Hamurana Rd turn off, until you get to Okere Falls
* Otherwise continue on turning left onto SHW 33 until you get to Okere Falls 3.8km away. There is plenty of verge on this road, but take care as it is busy.
There are several B & B’s at Okere Falls if you wish to make this your night stop.
The Okere Falls café is a very popular refreshment option. Okere Falls is your last accommodation/ refreshment stop before Paengaroa 37.2km away
Okere Falls is where Rafting and sledging down the Kaituna river starts. Also Glow Worm Cave Kayak Tours. Between the activities and the very popular café it is a very busy spot so care must be taken.
Optional Side Trip : Lock up your bikes at Okere Falls Cafe. Walk further down the road (180m) on your left from the Café is Trout Pool Rd, walk down here for 0.3 km, on your right you will find a parking area to the very pretty Okere Falls Scenic Reserve. Enjoy the 1.2km walk , 30 minutes walk one way, or even a short way where you can observe the rafters/ kayakers and waterfalls on the river. ( mind slippery spray laden steps ) through the bush and return back up this road.
Section Two: Okere Falls to Paengaroa
On your bikes again: Immediately opposite Trout Pool Rd is a car park ( often filled with Kayakers cars ) cross carefully over to this car park and then across a small foot bridge to the other side of the Kaituna River. Follow the path up the rise ( mind this tree sheltered path can be slippery ) and you come out on Okere Rd, ride 1.9km on this road. Right into SHW 33 at the T intersection, ride carefully along this busy road with a wide verge for 1.1km turning very carefully right into Maniatutu Rd ( tricky corner so take care, suggest you gather yourselves to the left of the road before crossing when the way is clear into the turning lane)
Optional Side Trip: If you wish to take a spell & (toilet stop -next to the playground) by Lake Rotoiti, Turn right down Otaramarae Rd for 400m and you will come to the lake. If you ride past the ramp and boat sheds to gate No. 63 there is a lovely reserve and swimming spot. Retracing your path back up Otaramarae Rd, right into undulating Maniatutu Rd.
Riding along Maniatutu Rd for 26.9km through Cattle and Sheep farming country followed by Dairy Farms and Kiwifruit and Avocado orchards, some of this road is not sealed. Left into undulating Old Coach Rd, at the T intersection for 9.3k until you arrive at Paengaroa.
In Paengaroa Village you will find Comvita, a great stop, open 8.30-5.00pm Health store, café, on site guided bee tours & videos, health and beauty treatment room. The Funky Lizard Café/ Gallery/ Gifts, The Trading Post Bistro & Pizzeria, Fush and Chups Takeaway shop, Paengaroa Country Store, Golliwogs Bakery & Lunch bar, Gull Petrol Station, Aerius Helicopters ( scenic tours ), Te Puke Golf Club,O’Hara Games Estate ( 540 SHW 33, www.outdoorsnz.com )
If you wish to make this your night stop:
Accommodation Option: Junction Motel: www.junctionmotel.co.nz 246 SHW 33 Paengaroa. 07 5331023 where there is secure bike storage and room for your car while you ride the trail. Opposite Paengaroa School ( which you passed as your rode into Paengaroa Village ) turn left down Sunset Drive and left at the T intersection on SHW 33 and the Junction Motel will be on your right. (700m– a less busy option than SHW 33)
Section Three: Starts Paengaroa Ends: Mount Maunganui
Paengaroa - Maketu - Papamoa - Bayfair - Matapihi - Tauranga - Mount Maunganui
Retrace your path back to Paengaroa Village,
Left out of the Junction Motel, right into Sunset Drive, left into Old Coach Rd, follow Old Coach Rd through Paengaroa Village with Comvita on your left, for 2.6 km on Wilson Rd South. Across SHW 2 with a little veer to the right onto Wilson Rd North ( sign posted Maketu ), for 4.7km Right into Arawa Ave for your one small hill. From the top of Arawa Ave you get magnificent views east along the coast and also of the whole hinterland, Papamoa Hills, and coast to the West to Mount Maunganui.
Accommodation option: (Maketu Hilltop Holiday Park, 195 Arawa Ave, www.maketuholidaypark.co.nz. firstname.lastname@example.org. 07 5332222 )
Optional side trip : 1.6km along Arawa Ave on your right is Bledisloe Park Ave, it is worth a small 210m detour or full 1.3km one way down Bledisloe Park Ave to Little Waihi. Seeing the East Coast towards Whakatane, Pukehina Beach and Estuary just below you, Whale Island, active Volcanic White Island and on a clear day down to Cape Runaway, or all the way to the bottom of this hill through the park & white barrier arm on your left to the beach, this hill has a surprisingly friendly gradient to return up. )
Continue along Arawa Ave. Flows into Rauporoa Rd. Stop opposite Williams Cres to admire the spectacular view. Right into Williams Cres ( do not get to much speed up for your next right turning into Town Point Rd at the T intersection !!!) Right into Town Point Rd to the end, from here you get a good view of Plate Island on your right, on the left, low Motiti Island and behind that Mayor Island. Also the Mount and Coromandel peninsular. Cycle back along Town Point Rd and down the hill, you come to Historic Maketu, Maketu Surf Club, Maketu Beachside Cafe and Holiday Park.
www.maketu.nz/ Click on ‘This is Maketu’ then ‘Our History ‘
Accommodation and Refreshment Option: Maketu Beachside Café and Restaurant. (Maketu Holiday Park: www.maketuholidaypark.co.nz 2 Townpoint Rd, 07 5332165 email: email@example.com)
From the Arawa Ave turn off to Maketu beach is 3.5km. Paengaroa to Maketu a total of 10.7 km + 2.6 for Little Waihi 13.3km
Take the time to read the excellent information boards throughout Maketu.
Continue past the Maketu Surf Club riding along the side of the Estuary turning right at the playground car park. Through the car park along the path and into the next car park Left into Park Rd, right at the roundabout ( third exit ) into Maketu Rd, right into Kaituna Rd, ( 2.7km from Maketu to this turn off ) another 2.7km takes you to Ford Rd on your right
Optional side trip : a side trip if you wish, turning right down Ford Rd, 1.7km one way – commonly called ‘The Cut’ where a White Heron can sometimes be seen, plentiful bird life and plenty of anglers fish and whitebaiters congregate where the Kaituna River meets the sea with a fabulous view down the coast to the Mount.)
Otherwise proceed straight ahead until you come to the TEL ( Tauranga Eastern Link High-way ) and turn right onto the trail for 2 km, here you will be riding beside the motorway through Dairy Farming Country. Once you cross the Kaituna River Bridge ( stopping to admire the Maori Carvings ) turn right down the other side and immediately right again and under the bridge onto Bell Rd. ( 22.2km from here to Mount) Right into Parton Rd and through the roundabout.
Optional side trip : At the Tara Rd/ Parton Rd Roundabout turn left, 1km flat ride, each way, down Tara Rd to Pacifica Home and Garden, on your right for refreshments. Bike parking left of the main door by some outdoor tables. A lovely café/ garden centre and gift shop. Retrace your path back to Parton Rd afterwards.
Ride down Parton Rd, just before you come to the Papamoa Village Park sign on your left take the Wairakei Reserve path on your left. Across Longview Drive, across Opal Drive, across Domain Rd, that takes you around the back of the Fashion Island shops, with the Pak n save building on your right and lake on your left.
Refreshment Option: As you come out onto the Gravatt Rd/ Beachwater roundabout, there are many refreshment options on your right. Esquire Café, ( there is a toilet behind this café ) 42 Gravatt Rd, or Gana Café 26 Gravatt Rd at the Fashion Island Shops as well as others.
Across Gravatt Rd / Beachwater roundabout, little veer left on the footpath, look out for the rubbish bin at the start of this path, the reserve path is not immediately visible, right into the Reserve path, across Palm Beach Blvd, across Harford Ave with a little left veer , across Evans Rd. Left into Pacific View Rd - the end of the Reserve path section ( James Henry Ave is opposite ) Right into Grenada St at the roundabout for 2.6km. Left into Monwai St for 550, Right into Gloucester Rd for 550m crossing directly over Girven Rd at the Traffic Lights, into the Bayfair Shopping Centre. As you approach the undercover parking area, turn left at this T intersection, staying in the Bayfair outdoor car parking area, crossing carefully over the entry exit way and follow the parked cars on the outside edge of the car park. Left directly opposite the trolley return stand on your right and large Bayfair sign on your left is the underpass that will take you under Maunganui Rd, carefully over the rail-way line and follow the concrete ride/walk path for 5.4km to Matapihi, This route gives you fabulous views of Tauranga Harbour.
Over the causeway rail bridge to Tauranga. Right as you come off the bridge at the other side. Change sides of the road just before the roundabout onto the footpath by the fountain and cross carefully over the railway line.
Proceed ahead veering left, along the waters edge watching out for two sets of low bollards in the middle of the path, half way along you will come across the Hairy Maclary bronze sculptures from famed children’s book author Lynley Dodd.
You will come out at Dive Cres, stay on the shore line side of the road along the footpath which then then becomes a new cycle/ walk path.
Ahead of you is a white building, Trinity Wharf Hotel Tauranga, take the path right just in front of its foundation pillars and under the Tauranga Harbour Bridge, veer left and stop at the traffic lights.
Optional side trip: Refreshment and special interest: At the traffic lights turn right down Mirrielees Rd. Left into Cross Rd, over the railway line and left again into the next Road, sign posted Otumoetai with a bike picture, to 58 Cross Rd, ( whole one way trip 0.6km ). Ride through the Marine Park car park to the boat ramp. Ride up and over the bridge on your right that takes you over the Fort Nautilus Dry Stack waterway to the Nautilus Restaurant & Expresso Bar Tauranga. There is a bike parking area and outdoor space and tables for you to enjoy refreshments here and or walk back to the gate left of the bridge ( or through the restaurant ) to the most interesting Fort Nautilus Dry Stack, a three boat high storage area. ( the only other one of these in New Zealand is in Auckland ) All the more interesting if they are taking a boat in or out by a fork lift arrangement into the waterway while you are there ! www.fortnautilus.co.nz
The ride / walk path continues past the Nautilus Restaurant a perfect stepping stone to some of Tauranga’s Cycle / walk ways. ‘Cycle network Tauranga City Council’ to down load the maps. This is especially close to the 9 km Waikareao Estuary loop. Or go to www.freewheelingtours.co.nz for guided rides. If you wish to spend time in Tauranga
To extend this side trip, continue down Cross Rd, which flows into Keith Allen Drive for (1.3km one way , from the harbor bridge)and down to the Tauranga Marina to enjoy a little boat watching. There are toilets and refreshment options here.
Retrace your path to the Tauranga Bridge and continue on immediately left at the lights to take you up and over the bridge on the bike/walk path. It is worth taking the time to stop at the top of the bridge to enjoy the view of the Harbour, Marina & Mount. Continue on this safe path
Left( carefully ) into Totaroa St, at the 2nd set of lights, onto the road cycle lane for 2.6km, this is a very busy road so extreme care must be taken. Passing Avantiplus Bicycle Shop (on the Mount wall side of this shop is a fabulous piece of wall art, well worth taking the time to stop.) and Dominion Salt on your right. Left onto Rata St at the T intersection for 120m. Right into Nikau Cres, ride 170m and straight ahead and across Coronation Park which will bring you out between Spongedrop, the toilets and the Police Station onto Salsibury Ave which you will turn left onto. This veers right into The Mall ( the harbour side for 1km ) Veering right again at the base of the Mount into Adams Ave for 280m past the Hot Pools on your left and the Copenhagen Ice Cream shop on your right. Veering right again onto Marine Parade ( the surf side ) for 350m to the viewing platform opposite Commons Ave. Your perfect finishing photo opportunity.
Accommodation and Refreshment Options :Accommodation and eating options under the towers and within the Mount Maunganui township.