Paengaroa - Maniatutu Rd - Ridge Rd Loop
Time: 3 hours
About this ride: Steady very do-able climb from Paengaroa through Kiwifruit and Dairy Farming country, sheep and cattle farming in the higher country. Fabulous views of Rotorua hills, Te Puke and Papamoa hills and out to sea. Quiet country roads mainly sealed, some gravel, including the beautiful bush clad Kaikokopu Trail. Some hills. There are several cafes at Paengaroa including a café at Comvita. Also toilets at the Eastern Districts Club playground
Area: Paengaroa / Pongakawa
Bike Type: Mountain bikes or a fatter tyre suitable for gravel roads.
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, passed Paengaora School. Carry on Old Coach Rd for 6.9km turning right into Maniatutu Rd ( also goes left ). Carry on Maniatutu Rd for 24.7km * ( coffee option directions below start here ) turning right into Lichenstein Rd for 6.6km at the end of no exit Lichenstein Rd take the path on your right to go around the gate, take the trail veering right, through the pine trees and onto the beautiful bush clad Kaikokopu Trail for approx. 2 km coming out onto no exit Ridge Rd. Ride down Ridge Rd for approximately 6.6km enjoying the sea views. At the bottom of the hill turn right into Roydon Downs Rd for 6.8km. Left at the T intersection into Old Coach Rd for 3.7km, this is the road you started your ride on. Returning back to your parked car at Paengaroa.
Coffee & Scenic Option: The coffee option without the scenic extras will take 5.2km one way. For the coffee option do not turn into Lichenstein Rd but carry on Maniatutu Rd, for an extra 2.2km.
Scenic Option on route to your coffee 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.
Continuing to the Coffee Option: 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. At the end of 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 concrete 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 walk 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 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, from Maniatutu Rd turning left into Lichenstein Rd