Paengaroa or Ridge Rd to Okere Falls
Approx: 61.80km Paengaroa to Okere Falls return or 27.60km Ridge Rd Reserve to Okere Falls and return.
Time: 3 hours 20 return Paengaroa to Okere Falls ride time. Approx. 30 minutes Ridge Rd to Okere Falls one way. At least one hour return.
About this ride:
Area: Paengaroa, Okere Falls
There are several cafes at Paengaroa including a café at Comvita Also toilets at the playground of Eastern Districts playing fields, Paengaroa Domain just south of the Gull Service station on SHW 33. This is a wonderful country ride plenty of ups and downs. Riding through mainly Kiwifruit orchards, dairy farms and sheep farms, also lake and sea views. Ridge Rd Reserve is a lovely bush section.
This ride can be started at Paengaroa, or Ridge Rd Reserve carpark for a shorter ride.
Bike Type: Mountain bikes, this route is sealed and gravel road.
Park and Start: Paengaroa ( just south of Te Puke) A good parking area is outside Paengaroa Community Hall on 4 Old Coach Road. Or follow the directions to Ridge Rd below where you can park your car at the beginning of the Ridge Road Reserve, which is at the end of the no exit road.
Directions: With Paengaroa Community Hall at your back, ride right into Old Coach Rd, passed Paengaora School. Carry on Old Coach Rd for 3.7km turning right into Roydon Downs Rd. Ride for 6.8km along Roydon Downs Rd until you get to Ridge Rd, turning left into this road with a steady up hill to start for 6.6km until you reach the parking area for the Ridge Road Reserve. Part of Ridge Rd, all of the bush reserve and part of Lichenstein Rd are gravel. The lovely bush reserve is approximately 2 km coming out onto Lichenstein Rd. Ride 6.6km along Lichenstein Rd until you reach sealed Maniatutu Rd, turning right here for 2.2km. You get magnificent views south to the Rotorua hills and Tarawera to the left, and Papamaoa Hills to the right.
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 Turn left onto SHW 33, you will be briefly 1.1km on a busy road, with a good verge. Take care Left down Okere Rd for 1.9km, follow this road to the end passing Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park on your left. At the end of the no exit Okere Rd take the path immediately on your left which will lead you over a small foot bridge and the start of the Kaituna River. ( mind this tree sheltered path may be slippery ) then left to the Okere Falls Café. Lots of Kayaking and rafting happens here.
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 have ridden to either the Ridge Road reserve car park or Paengaroa.