Maniatutu Rd Pongakawa Bush Rd Loop
Approx. 33.3 km + ( Café option add on 33 km & 2 hours 26 ride time ) 66.3km total
Time: 1 hours 14 mins approx. ( + Café 2 hours 26mins)
About this ride:
There are no café or toilet facilities on this route unless you do the Café option. There are some hills ( especially on Pugh Rd ) gravel and sealed road. A wonderful hinterland ride through Kiwifruit orchards, dairy, sheep and cattle farms with sea and lake views ( café option ) with very low traffic volumes. There is no cell phone coverage in some areas.
Bike type : Mountain bike or off road tyres required.
Park and start: at Pongakawa School, 956 Old Coach Rd. On the grass opposite the school.
Directions: Ride east on Old Coach Rd ( if you are facing Pongakawa School ride left) for 1.3km Proceed straight ahead onto Pongakawa Bush Rd for 13.8km Right into Pugh Rd for 1.8km until you reach Maniatutu Rd ( * Café option at this point, see below for directions ) Ride out of Pugh Rd turning right into Maniatutu Rd for 13.8 km Right into Old Coach Rd at the t intersection for 2.6km to Pongakawa School.
Okere Falls Café Option: From Pugh Rd ride Left into Maniatutu Rd for 16.4km
Scenic Option: At the end of Maniatutu Rd, if you wish to take a rest & (toilet stop next to the playground) by Lake Rotoiti, Turn left down Otaramarae Rd for 400m and you will come to the lake. Retracing your path back up Otaramarae Rd Left onto SHW 33 ( main Te Puke - Rotorua Highway with good verge ) for 1.1km, busy stretch - take care. L into Okere Rd for 1.8km to the end of the road and walk down a small path on your left. Cross over the bridge and back onto SHW 33 from here you can see Okere Falls café on your left. This is often a very busy area with rafters, kayakers & café patrons, care is required crossing the road.
Scenic Option: Okere Falls Scenic Reserve: At the Okere Falls café lock up your bikes there and enjoy refreshments before or after. Walk back to Trout Pool Rd, which is just opposite the bridge you crossed. 0.3 km down Trout Pool Rd on your right you will find a parking area to the very pretty Okere Falls Scenic Reserve. From this very pretty bush clad area you observe the rafters/ kayakers and waterfalls on the river. ( mind slippery spray laden steps in your bike shoes ) Or ride/ walk your bikes. It is not safe to lock your bikes up in this car park.
Return the way you came, riding all the way down Maniatutu Rd for 29.9km Right into Old Coach Rd at the t intersection for 2.6km to Pongakawa School.