The Surf Loop
Mount Maunganui -Tauranga - Matapihi - Bayfair - Papamoa - Paengaroa - Maketu - Papamoa - Mount
Total: 89.3 km mainly flat, one small hill. Suitable for road bikes, trail bikes or Mountain bikes. All year around trail ( except August ) + 2.6km extra for Little Waihi + 3.4 for Ford Rd to The Cut + 2km for Pacifica Home and Garden + 1.2km Nautilus Restaurant and Fort Nautilus Dry Stack + 1.7 km Tauranga Marina + return
This can be started anywhere you please. It is a Loop so you will come back to your car. A consideration will be where you can safely leave your car if you are doing this ride over several days, and accommodation options.
We started at Paengaroa. ( Road bikes ) and parked outside the Paengaroa Hall in Old Coach Rd, out of the way of the village traffic. Read down to pick the instructions up from where every you wish to start.
Starting in Paengaroa
Continue through Paengaroa past Comvita ( Comvita on your left ) on for 2.6 km on Wilson Rd South. Cross SH 2 with a little veer to the right onto Wilson Rd North ( sign posted Maketu ), riding 4.7km down this road turning right into Arawa Ave for your one small hill. Carry on Arawa Ave
Accommodation Option: ( Maketu Hilltop Holiday Park, 195 Arawa Ave, www.maketuholidaypark.co.nz. firstname.lastname@example.org. 07 5332222 )
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.
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, 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. There is a Store here. (this hill has a surprisingly friendly gradient to return up. )Turn right into Arawa Ave on your return.
Arawa Ave veers left into Rauporoa Rd, Stop opposite Williams Cres to admire the spectacular view. Right into Williams Cres ( don’t get too much speed up at the next T intersection, a down hill and right turn !! ) 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 Mayor Island. Also the Mount and Coromandel peninsular. Cycle back along Town Point Rd and 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 ‘)
Maketu Beachside Café and Restaurant. There is also accommodation right beside the café (Maketu Holiday Park: www.maketuholidaypark.co.nz 2 Townpoint Rd, 07 5332165 email: email@example.com) A refreshment / accommodation option.
From the Arawa Ave turn off, to here is 3.5km. Take the time to read the very interesting information boards in Maketu. Paengaroa to Maketu a total of 10.7 km + 2.6 for Little Waihi 13.3km Continue past the Surf Club along the Estuary turning right at the playground car park. Across the grass or path to 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, 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 Highway ) and turn right onto the trail for 2 km, here you will be riding beside the motor-way 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 Roundabout you may want to take the left turn, 1km ride, each way, down Tara Rd ( there is a ride/ foot path on the right hand side of the road ) to Pacifica Home and Garden Centre for refreshments. Bike parking left of the main door by some outdoor tables. A lovely café/ garden centre and gift shop. From here and along Parton Rd you get a magnificent view of the Papamoa hills and the contoured remnants of ancient Maori Fortifications )
Ride down Parton Rd, just before you come to the Papamoa Village Park sign on your left ( not far from the roundabout ) take the Reserve path on your left, signed posted Wairakei Reserve. Across Longview Drive, across Opal Drive, across Domain Rd and that takes you around the back of the Fashion Island shops, Papamoa. ( PaknSave will be on your right as you go along this path, the lake on your left ) Across Gravatt Rd, ( Coffee options down on your right: Esquire Café 42 Gravatt Rd, or Gana Café, 26 Gravatt Rd at the Fashion Island Shops. Little veer left on the footpath on the opposite side of Gravatt Rd, (the Reserve path is not immediately obvious so look out for the rubbish bin ) onto the reserve path on your right, across Palm Beach Blvd, across Harford Ave with a little left veer, across Evans Rd. Right into Pacific View Rd for 450m..( The Papamoa off road trail finishes on Pacific View Rd ) ( James Henry Ave opposite ) Left at the round about onto Papamoa Beach Rd which flows into Maranui St for 1.7km. Right into Yale St for 96m. Left into Ocean beach Rd for 3.7km. Take the 2nd left exit at the round about into Marine Parade ( refreshment option: 154 Marine Parade, Tay St Beach Café ) and follow the shoreline back to the Mount for 3.4km. Commons Ave will be on your left, opposite you will see a viewing platform on your right.( well worth a stop and photo opportunity -Toilets beneath, drinking fountain near the foot-path.) A large selection of Cafes below the accommodation towers ahead of you. There are also many refreshment stops on the whole loop. Continue on from the viewing platform towards the Mount following the road for 350 m flowing left into Adams Ave for 280m , past the Hot Pools on your right and the Copenhagen Ice Cream shop on your left.
Flowing left into the Mall ( Harbour side ) continue for 1km which flows - left into Salisbury Ave, ride right in between the Police Station and toilets, straight through and across Coronation Park which comes out on Nikau Cres, ride 170m straight ahead on here, Left onto Rata St away from the Port for 120m. Right into Totora St for 2.6km, along the road cycle path passing Avantiplus ( Bicycle shop )( on the Avantiplus wall is a fabulous piece of wall art, well worth stopping for ) & Dominion Salt on your left, straight through the roundabout. This is a busy road so care must be taken. At the second set of lights is a major intersection with Hewletts Rd, ( Ultimate Motor Group will be on your left and back) The safest way to deal with this intersection is to go up on the footpath and cross to the right hand side of Totora St as a pedestrian, onto a concrete walk/ cycle path. You have now turned right onto busy Hewetts Rd on your path with the traffic coming towards you. This will take you up and over the harbour bridge. It is worth taking a moment at the top of the bridge to enjoy the view.
Optional side trip: Refreshment and special interest: As you come off the harbour bridge turn right down Mirrielees Rd at the lights. 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.
And / or Alternatively carry on down Cross Rd ( not turning left to the Restaurant after the rail way line) which flows into Keith Allen Drive for 1.3km one way from the harbour bridge , and down to the Tauranga Marina to enjoy a little boat watching. The Marina Café is also here. This side trip is all flat. Retrace your path
As you come off the bridge immediately turn right onto a cycle path that will take you back the way you came but at ground level, (signed posted Cycle Mount Maunganui. ) This will take you under the bridge you have just ridden over. Head towards the large white building which is the Trinity Wharf Hotel and ride in front of their foundation pillars which will take you out onto the cycle path on Dive Cres, turning left here.This is down town Tauranga, with many eateries on the other side of the railway line.
Continue left on the cycle footpath ( don’t cross over the railway line.) just after Bobby’s Fish shop ride onto the foreshore path and park straight ahead of you. Proceed ahead, 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. Proceed ahead, when you get to a small white building turn right and you will see a small fountain near the rail way line, cross the rail way line carefully here, Left down the Strand Rd at the roundabout, ( sign posted Bayfair ) heading towards the railway bridge, ride left up and over this and onto the Matapihi cycle / walk path for 5.4km , enjoying harbour views as you go, passing Omanu Golf Course on your left. When you meet the railway line cross carefully over it and under the underpass into the Bayfair shopping centre car park. Turn right in the car park and follow the outer edge of parked cars, crossing over the entry exit way ( staying in the car park area ), riding straight ahead, when the covered car park is on your left turn right into the traffic lights area, and ride straight through the traffic lights across Girven Rd, into Gloucester Rd for 550 m Left into Monowai St for 550m Right into Grenada St for 2.6km Left into Pacific View Rd at the roundabout for 250 m, Right onto the Reserve path. ( slightly obscured behind a rubbish bin and electrical boxes & trees. Watch out for Reef Ave on your right, then you know you are nearly there.) James Henry Ave is on your left. Mind the bollards as you enter and exit the reserve paths.
Carry on the Reserve path for 2.57km, crossing over Evans Rd and Hartford Ave ( a little down on your left the reserve path continues.) cross over Palm Beach Blvd continue on the reserve, until you pop out at the Fashion Island Shopping Centre on Gravatt Rd. and the Beachwater roundabout. You will see Repco and before that Esquire Coffee -obscured ( there is a toilet behind this shop. ) ( Coffee options: Esquire Café 42 Gravatt Rd, or Gana Café 26 Gravatt Rd at the Fashion Island Shops, ride left along the foot path past the Beachwater Roundabout and cross the road. If you are not stopping - ride through the white bollards under the Norfolk Pine, ( Bendon sign on your left ) there is a path around the back of the Fashion Island Shopping Centre, passing a small lake on your right, which takes you out onto Domain Rd. Cross Domain Rd and continue on the reserve track. Crossing Opal Drive, and Longview Drive. ( Gravatt Rd to Paton Rd is 3.6km) You come onto Parton Rd just as you see the Papamoa Village Holiday Park sign on your left.
Right into the Parton Rd road cycle lane. You are now heading in the direction of the Papamoa Hills. ( from here you can see the front of the hills are contoured with the rem-nants of ancient Maori fortifications ) Carry on to the roundabout on Parton Rd.
Optional Side Trip: Coffee option: Right at the Parton Rd/ Tara Rd roundabout, ride 1km, on your right at 112 Tara Rd, is Pacifica Home and Garden, a lovely gift shop, garden centre and café which is well used to cyclists. There is a cycle rack left of the main door by some outdoor tables. Coming out of the garden centre turn left into Tara Rd, back the way you came , ride through the round about, turning right into the Parton Rd roundabout.
Continue for 2.1km along Parton Rd, on your left at 176 Parton Rd you will pass Blokart Heaven which also has Drift Karts. Continue up and over the Tauranga Eastern Link ( TEL) motorway bridge. Left at the T intersection onto Bell Rd for 4.2km Continue along Bell Rd, just after you have ridden under the TEL over bridge ( notice the waka pattern on the Kaituna River bridge ) take the bike path on your left and left again to ride up over the bridge, taking a moment at the top to admire the Maori carvings, Papamoa Hills behind you & Rotorua Hills to the South and Maketu in front of you. Riding the whole length of the TEL Cycle /walk path. Right into Te Tumu Rd at the end of the TEL path for 0.7km ( signed posted Rotorua ) Right again at the T intersection into Maketu Rd for 0.3km
Left over the Railway line onto the concrete bike path to Paengaroa, ( sign posted Rotorua ) crossing carefully at the round about, at the start of the TEL motorway, stick to the path. ( don’t go clockwise around the roundabout with the traffic, but cross as soon as you reach the road and roundabout ) in the direction of the Maori carvings. Continue on the concrete path to Paengaroa.
Look out for Comvita on your left, a great stop, open 8.30-5.00pm Health store, café, guided bee tours, health and beauty treatment room. Also in Paengaroa: The Funky Lizard Café/ Gallery/ Gifts, The Trading Post Bistro & Pizzeria, Fush and Chups Takeaway shop, Paengaroa Country Store, Golliwogs Bakery & Lunchbar, Gull Petrol Station, Aerius Helicopters ( scenic tours ), Te Puke Golf Club, O’Hara Games Estate