Pongakawa - Rotoehu Loop
Approx: 57.2 km 2 hours 33 minutes (café option + 17.8km return, + 1 hour 14 minutes) Total: 75km
Time: Approx 3hrs 47 minutes.
About this ride:
Area: Pongakawa, Rotoehu, Rotoiti.
There are no café or toilet facilities on this route unless you do the Café option. There are some hills, sealed and gravel road. Generally it is a gentle climb. A wonderful hinterland ride through Kiwifruit orchards, dairy, sheep and cattle farms with some sea and lake views. There is no cell phone coverage in some areas.
Bike type: Mountain bike or off road tyres required.
Park and Start; Pongakawa School, 956 Old Coach Rd, Pongakawa, Te Puke ( park oppositethe school )
Directions: Ride East ( if you are facing Pongakawa School – ride left ) on Old Coach Rd past Pongakawa School , (watch for the left turn at the 1.3km) to Rotoehu Rd for 4.3km Turn Right ( straight ahead ) into Rotoehu Rd for 28.4km Rotoehu Rd/ Maniatutu Rd T intersection * Café option at this point look below for directions Turn Right into Maniatutu Rd for 21km Turn right into Old Coach Rd at the T Intersection for 2.6km to reach Pongakawa School. Okere Falls Café Option: * L into Maniatutu Rd from Rotoehu Rd for 5.9km
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 L into SHW33 for 1.1km ( this is the main Te Puke to Rotorua Highway with a good verge ) L into Okere Rd for 1.8km to the end of the road and walk down a small path on your left. Cross over a bridge and back onto SHW 33 from here you can see Okere Falls Café on your left. This is 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 the length of Maniatutu Rd for 27.1km Turn right into Old Coach Rd at the T intersection for 2.6km to reach Pongakawa School.