Paengaroa to Otamarakau and return
Approx: 22.km one way
Time: approx 1hr 30 min. one way
About this ride:
Area: Paengaroa, Pongakawa, Otamarakau
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 training ride with plenty of ups and downs. Riding through mainly Kiwifruit orchards, and dairy farms with sea views at the Otamarakau end. This is not a busy road.
Bike Type: Road bike all sealed surface.
Park and Start: Paengaroa ( just south of Te Puke) A good parking area is outside Paengaroa Community Hall on 4 Old Coach Road.
Directions: With Paengaroa Community Hall at your back, ride right into Old Coach Rd, past Paengaora School. Carry on the whole length of Old Coach Rd until you reach Otamarakau School and just past that, Otamarakau Hall. This road then joins up with busy SHW 2, you can ride this flat way back to Paengaroa turning left at Wilson Rd South but it is a very busy highway although it does have a good verge.
Return back the way you have come making the most of the ‘down hill’ momentum.
History of the Pongakwa River:
In 1823 Hongi assembled another army and set out to avenge the deaths of some of his tribesmen at the hands of the Arawa people of Rotorua. On arriving in the district Hongi found that the Arawa had withdrawn to Mokoia Island in Lake Rotorua and that all of their canoes had been gathered there. Hongi's determination, however, was equal to this obstacle and he arranged for his army to bring canoes from the Bay of Plenty. They paddled and dragged the canoes up the Pongakawa River from near Maketu to Lake Rotoehu, then carried them overland to Lake Rotoiti by what is now called Hongi's Track. As there were no further obstacles Hongi was then able to assault the fortress on Mokoia. With his great superiority in firearms he had no great difficulty in overcoming the Arawa warriors. After feasting on the slain and pursuing scattered Arawa parties throughout the district the Ngapuhi went back to the Bay of Plenty and then on to Waihi, where they camped for a few days and completed a peacemaking ceremony with the Arawa.