This route gives a diverse interesting range of terrain and vistas. It has been divided up into two sections to give you some km and start / stop options.
Section 1: Section One - Starts Mt Maunganui, Ends Paengaroa (Mt Maunganui - Papamoa - Maketu - Paengaroa).
Your starting photo opportunity, the viewing platform on Marine Parade, opposite Commons Ave ( with toilets below it and water drinking fountain beside the footpath ). Ride back towards the Mount, Mauao ( plenty of cafes below the accommodation towers here ) following the road for 350 m flowing left into Adams Ave. 280m further you will pass the Hot Pools on your right and the Copenhagen Ice Cream shop on your left. Left into The Mall ( Harbour side ) for 1km which flows - Left into Salisbury Ave then half way along this road on your right ride in between the Police Station and toilets, straight through 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 past Avantiplus Cycle Shop ( there is a fabulous piece of wall art on the Avantiplus Cycle Shop wall, well worth stopping at ) & Dominion Salt on your left. At the second set of traffic lights is a major intersection with Hewletts Rd, you need to be on the right hand side of the road with the oncoming traffic coming towards you. The safest way to do this is to go up onto the footpath with Ultimate Motor Group on your left and behind you and cross the road as a pedestrian. You will then be on a concrete walk / bike path with Hewetts Rd traffic coming towards you. You have done a right-hand turn but stayed on the right side of the road. Ride up and over the Harbour bridge. It is worth taking a moment at the top of the bridge to enjoy the view of the Mount, Harbour, Marina, Port and Tauranga.
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.
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. Toilets and refreshments here. This side trip is all flat. Retrace your path
As you come off the Tauranga Harbour 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. Veering right, head towards the white building which is the Trinity Wharf Hotel and ride in front of the foundation pillars which will take you left onto the cycle /walk path on Dive Cres. Continue left ( don’t cross over the railway line.) at Bobby’s Fish shop ride onto the footpath and 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. This is down town Tauranga with plenty of eating options on the Strand. Left down the Strand Rd at the roundabout, ( sign posted Bayfair with a cycle ) heading towards the railway bridge, ride left up and over this and onto the Matapihi cycle path for 5.4km enjoying views out over the harbour at points along the way. 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, cross carefully over the entry exit way ( staying in the car park area ), riding straight ahead, when the underground 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 round about for 250 m, right onto the Reserve path. ( slightly obscured by a rubbish bin, trees and electrial boxes, it is just after Reef Ave) James Henry Ave is on your left. 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.
Refreshment Option: Looking left down the road you will see Repco and before that Esquire Coffee at 42 Gravatt Rd ( there is a toilet behind this shop. ) or Gana Café further down at 26 Gravatt Rd.
As you popped out of the reserve track onto Gravatt Rd, ride left along the foot path past the Beachwater Roundabout and cross the road and ride between the white bollards under the Norfolk Pine tree, directly opposite, this path goes around the back of the Fashion Island Shopping Centre which takes you past a small lake on your right and out onto Domain Rd, cross Domain Rd and continue on the reserve track. Carry on the reserve track, crossing Opal Drive, and Longview Drive. ( Gravatt Rd to Parton Rd is 3.6km) Right onto Parton Rd ( below the Papamoa Village Park sign ) into the 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 remnants 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 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. A great place to stretch your legs and a toilet stop. Coming out of the garden centre turn left into Tara Rd, ride through the round about, Right at the next Parton Rd roundabout. ( from the Parton Rd roundabout to the Kaituna Bridge is 7km)
Continue along Parton Rd. On your left at 176 Parton Rd you will pass Blokart Heaven which also has Drift Karts . Continue over the TEL ( Tauranga Eastern Link motorway opened in 2015) motorway bridge . Left at the T intersection onto Bell Rd. 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. Ride on for 2km turning left off the TEL walk/bike path into Kaituna Rd for 4.2km ( to the side option ), riding through Dairy Farming country.
Optional side trip: A side trip if you wish down Ford Rd ( on your left ) , 1.7 km one way – commonly called ‘The Cut’ where a White Heron can sometimes be seen 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.
From the Ford Rd Intersection to Maketu Rd is 2.7km, left at the T intersection into Maketu Rd for 2km 1st exit left at the Roundabout into Park Rd for 260m, right at the foreshore in the direction of the playground. Left into Beach Road for 400m running along the Estuary edge until you get to Maketu Surf Club, Maketu Beachside Café and Holiday Park. For more information about Historic Maketu www.maketu.nz Click on ' this is Maketu' then ' Our History '
Refreshment and Accommodation Option:
(Maketu Holiday Park: www.maketuholidaypark.co.nz 2 Townpoint Rd, 07 5332165 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Maketu Beachside Café.
Continuing past the Maketu Surf Club up Town Point Rd, riding for 1.3km for your one hill of the day to the end of the road. 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 for 300m, turning left into Williams Cres for 300m. Turning left at the T intersection with Arawa Ave, STOP and look back to an amazing vista of the Papamoa hills, Hinterland and coast to the Mount. Ride for 1.1km to the optional side trip.
Optional side trip: 1.1km along Arawa Ave on your left 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, all the way to the bottom of this hill through the park & white barrier arm on your left to the beach, this hill has a surprisingly friendly gradient to return up. )
Continuing along Arawa Ave for 1.6km from the Bledisloe Park Ave
Accommodation Option on Arawa Ave: Maketu Hilltop Holiday Park, 195 Arawa Ave, www.maketuholidaypark.co.nz. email@example.com. 07 5332222
Left into Wilson Rd North for 4.7km, right veer into SHW 2 and across in the direction of Paengaroa on Wilson Road South for 2.6km until you reach Paengaroa Village.
Maketu to Paengaroa a total of 10.7 km + 2.6 for Little Waihi 13.3km
Look out for Comvita on your right, a great stop, open 8.30-5.00pm Health store, café, on site guided bee tours & videos, 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.
Accommodation: Junction Motel: www.junctionmotel.co.nz 246 SHW 33 Paengaroa. 07 5331023 where there is secure bike storage and space for your car while you ride the trail. firstname.lastname@example.org. Carry on Old Coach Rd, through the village past Paengaroa Hall, opposite Paengaroa School turn right down Sunset Drive and left at the T intersection on SHW 33 and the Junction Motel will be on your right. (700m– a less busy option )
Section 2: Paengroa to Okere Falls
Section 2 Start: Paengaroa
End: Okere Falls
Riding out of the Motel turning left into SHW 33 back towards Paengaroa ( this is a busy highway so take care ) Right into Sunset Drive and right again into Old Coach Rd at the school ( you might like to stop at Paengaroa for coffee or food to take with you, in which case you will turn left at the school and into the village and then retrace your path ) Continuing along Old Coach Rd. Todays ride is mainly undulating through Kiwifruit and Avocado orchards, Dairy farms in the first half of the ride and Sheep and Cattle in the second half (visits to any of these can be arranged in advance ) Follow Old Coach Rd, for 9.3k, right into Maniatutu Rd for 26.9km ( it also goes left ) Once you get into the Cattle and Beef farming area you get magnificent views south to the Rotorua hills and Tarawera to the left, and Papamaoa Hills to the right.
Optional Side trip: 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. Ride past the boat ramp and boat sheds to gate No. 63 where there is a reserve and lovely swimming spot. Retracing your path back up Otaramarae Rd
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 (Paengaroa to Okere Falls 36.9km ) Okere Falls is where Rafting and sledging down the Kaituna river starts. Also Glow Worm Cave Kayak Tours. 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. ( this tree sheltered path may be slippery ) then left.
Scenic Option : Veer left once you reach the road and lock your bikes up at the very popular Okere Falls Cafe. Walk back down the road to Trout Pool Rd, ( where you came across the river ) 0.3 km down on your right you will find a parking area to the very pretty Okere Falls Scenic Reserve. Enjoy the 1.2km walk , 30 minutes walk one way, or part way where you can observe the rafters/ kayakers and waterfalls on the river, a beautiful bush path. ( mind slippery spray laden steps in your bike shoes ) On your return, exit right out of Trout Pool Rd in the direction of the Okere Falls Café.
There are several B & B’s at Okere Falls if you wish to make this your accommodation stop. There is no accommodation between Paengaroa and Okere Falls.
The Okere Falls café is a very popular refreshment option combined with the rafters and kaykers this is a very busy stop so please take care. Or continue for 3.8km for more accommodation options.
Section 3: Okere Falls to Rotorua
Start: Okere Falls
Continue on a slightly busier road for 3.8km with good verges and turning right into Hamurana Rd
Accommodation Option: you will come to - Ramada Resort Rotorua Marama which is on your left, 1420 Hamurana Rd, Mourea 07 3624120, www.ramada.com Depending on how far you want to ride and what activities you want to do, this is a very good accommodation / refreshment stop. This resort is on the Ohau Channel which joins Lake Rotoiti to Lake Rotorua. (Ramada Resort to the Rotorua main waterfront is 22.8km if you wish to carry on )
Accommodation Option ( this is 1km one way off the route )
There is also accommodation at Okawa Bay, Mourea. Instead of turning right into Hamurana Rd, carry on for 1km to V R Rotorua Lake Resort, 366 SHW 33, Mourea. +647 3624599. www.vrrotorua.co.nz, email@example.com and retrace your track the next morning to Hamurana Rd.
Rotorua is very fortunate to have a wide range of accommodation including some exquisite Boutique Luxury lodges, to find what accommodation suits your needs: www.rotorua.com/visit/accommodation There are many options around this north western side of the lake. From Ramada Resort there is one hill to start then flat with a couple of very minor hills, the first part of this very scenic route is narrow so take care. Many of Rotorua’s attractions and activities are around this northern and western side of the Lake Rotorua.
Ramada Resort to Ngongotaha Village is 15.2km Ngongotaha to Rotorua waterfront Reserve is 7.6km There are many shops in the little village of Ngongotaha also Essence Café on your right 125 Ngongotaha Rd. With plenty of outside space to park your bikes.*
Optional side trip: For the Agrodome ( show times 9.30am, 11.00am & 2.30pm) & Agroventures, ride to the end of the Ngongotaha village and turn right down Western Rd, riding 1.7km, then retrace your pedals.
And / or
Optional side trip and / or detour: For Paradise Valley Springs, continue through Ngongotaha right at the roundabout into SHW 5 for 2km, then left into Paradise Valley Rd riding up Paradise Valley Rd for 8.8km until you come to the Park. Exit the park by turning right onto Paradise Valley Rd, left onto Clayton Rd, straight ahead into Lake Rd at the big intersection with Fairy Springs Rd, and onto the bike path watching out for the entry exit ways. Left at the traffic lights into Lakefront Rd, you will come to the Lake front reserve ( 10.1km from Paradise Valley Springs to Lake front Reserve) Ibis or Novotel Hotel are very close to the reserve
And / or
From Ngongotaha continue along Ngongotaha Rd you will come across Adventure Playground and Dirt Bike Tours, Canopy Tours, Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park and Skyline Rotorua Gondola
From the roundabout the footpath is a shared walking/ cycling path. At the second set of traffic lights, just past the Skyline Rotorua Gondola intersection turn left into Kawaha Point Rd for 500m. Right on to the riding trail ( also on your left ) this is just before Matthew Place on your right. Follow the riding trail until you come out beside Railway Rd,
* If you do not wish to do any of the side trips or activities and wish to ride a direct cycle/ walk path to Rotorua turn left into Taui St in Ngongotaha, right into a car park area, at the end of this car park is the cycle/ walk path, veer left and over a bridge. This will take you over several roads and out beside Railway Rd onto Lake Rd
Turning left at the roundabout onto Lake Rd on a very nice concrete bike /walk path. Mind the road /drive way exits as you ride along here. Left at the traffic lights into Lake Front Rd, as you get to the top of this road, look down on your left into the car park for lake views and the Te Papaiouru Marae and Saint Faith’s Anglican Church. Left at the roundabout into Lakefront Rd, you will come to the beautiful Lake Front Reserve. Overlooking the Lake Front Reserve are the Ibis or Novotel accommodation, which have secure bike storage. If the weather is not nice and you don’t have an accompanying car, you can dine in or easily walk to the nearby restaurants and shops from here. The accommodation choice is entirely yours.
You may wish to ride a little further to the magnificent Government Gardens. From the Lake Front Reserve ride along Lakefront Drive and the lake in an anticlock wise direction, flowing into Oruawhata Drive which will take you into Queens Drive . Explore the beautiful gardens and magnificent building that is the Rotorua Museum, formally the Bath House, & Café. (www.rotoruamuseum.co.nz ) This is a very fitting finishing spot. Further on from here is the Polynesian Spa.