Waipukurau, Ongaonga, Waipawa Circuit
Wed 17 Nov 2021
At around 9am the first of our eleven keen HTC cyclist assembled at CHB’s Waipukurau, Russel Park, car park. The group had their bikes and bodies sorted out, and ready to commence our ride shortly after the official departure time of 09:30hrs.
We had originally intended to incorporate both sides of the new Pukeora Loop Cycle Trail, but pre-trip enquiries by Des had revealed that there were still two incomplete suspension bridges to be finished off on the northern side of the new loop trail. We were able to make a few tweaks in our original route plan to accommodate this, by using the now completed southern section of the Pukeora Loop Track as far south as Pukeora Hill. We then crossed over the Tukipo River Bridge and headed for Ongaonga along the Ongaonga – Waipukurau Rd. There was quite a fresh 35knot N.W. breeze to cycle into all the way to our coffee stop destination at Ongaonga, so by the time we got there everyone was quite happy to relax with their drinks and nibbles chatting around the picnic tables outside in the sunshine at the Ongaonga Café.
By consensus, it was then decided to take advantage of what would now be a nice following tail wind, back to Waipawa. Those people amongst our cycle group, still on the manual pedal powered bikes, revelled in the effortless assistance that the tail wind gave us all the way back to Waipawa. Talk about a free ride, it was wonderful…We all regrouped at the Waipawa River Bridge, before continuing along Tepairu Rd, and then back to Waipukurau via the Suspension bridge across the Tukituki River. After an afternoon tea debrief around the picnic tables at Russell Park, where we all, with the exception of one of our team members having a minor unplanned dismount off her bike whilst coming down a twisty section of limestone trail towards the end of Tepairu Rd and leaving some of her skin off her knee on the limestone trail, agreed that we had enjoyed our 43kms cycle trip and the stunning C.H.B. scenery.
Cyclists: Des S, Rodger B, Christine H, Garry , Peter H, Anne C, Joan R, Alasdair S, Graeme H, Pam P, Sharron W.
The Otane CHB Circuit
Wed 22 Sept 2021
Our group of eleven cyclists assembled in Otane, outside of the historic McCauley’s store – café. We commenced our ride at 09:15 hrs in cool overcast conditions, heading south towards Waipawa via Elsthorpe Rd and Racecourse Rd. We stopped briefly to regroup as we entered Waipawa before traveling thru the township and over the Waipawa River bridge.
At the southern end of the bridge the old original limestone trail has recently been upgraded with a brand-new concrete surface. It is now a great, all-weather surface to ride on, much improved on the old, often badly rutted limestone track. On completion, it will eventually run alongside SH2 all the way to Waipukurau. The short section of this new concrete cycle – walkway that we rode on, was very impressive, and we can’t wait to try out the entire completed track in the not-too-distant future.
On reaching the end of Tapairu Rd; we crossed over to the other side the Tukituki River using the Tarewa Suspension Bridge. Some of our intrepid cyclists got the wobbles due to the slight swaying of the bridge, and had to suffer some good-natured ribbing from the rest of us, as they resorted to pushing their bikes, rather than actually riding them. The group then split into two groups for the short ride south to Waipukurau. Some chose to take Mt Herbert Rd option, and others took the more scenic river-side trail which twists and turns thru the bush, past the oxidization ponds, and eventually comes out at the Waipukurau, Russel Park. We found a nice spot to have our lunch break, handy to the park amenities, and sitting down comfortably at two picnic tables situated under the trees.
After a nice hot drink and something to eat, we all sorted out the world’s problems, and added a few more, and then got down to the real job in hand, of deciding where to go next. The options were many, but we eventually decided to rather than just re-trace our steps back to Otane, boring…we would first check out the 9.8 ha Lyndsay Bush area of native remnant forest. We cycled off across to the northern side of the Tukituki River bridge, then underneath the bridge and onto a very new looking limestone cycle trail which would have taken us along the top of the stop bank, directly to the Tukituki Reserve / Lyndsay Bush. However, a short distance down the new limestone cycle way, our best laid plans had to be aborted. We were confronted by a formidable looking tapped off barrier across the track, and a selection of very official warning notices, telling us in no uncertain terms not to proceed any further. We had no choice but to comply with official track closure warning notices, so we aborted our intended ride along the very inviting looking brand new limestone trail.
Our next cunning plan was to proceed back to Otane via a circular route taking in Lyndsay Rd, Ongaonga Rd, Waipawa Township, Racecourse Rd, and finally White Rd. This turned out to be a good option, as everyone was safely back at the Otane McCauley’s Cafe sipping their preferred beverage by around 13:30 hrs. At our post-ride debrief, we were all very satisfied that we had enjoyed such a rewarding day of cycling, with no one getting punctured or having any mechanical misadventures. It’s always a pleasure to cycle ride in the CHB area, as there are generally very few vehicles to contend with on the deserted country roads, and virtually a total absence of shards of broken glass bottles, which are becoming an all-too-common problem on the local Napier cycle-ways. We are already planning to revisit the CHB to check out some of the unfinished cycle tracks just as soon as they are completed and ready for us to explore further. Can’t wait…
Cyclists: Des S, Rodger B, Christine H, Garry S, Peter Hn, Ray M, Joan R, Alasdair S, Graeme H, Pam P, Sharon W
Pakowhai Park and beyond
Wednesday 10th Feb 2021
On a grey, overcast morning, the Boots on Bikes team, (fifteen in all), gathered at Pakowhai Park to ride one of our favourite circuits – along the stop bank trail to Hastings Golf Club and home (by various routes).
Undeterred by the weather forecast (which proved to be wrong – again!) we set off in the direction of Omahu Rd, making good progress, despite having to negotiate a number of gateways scattered along the trail.
Exercising extreme caution, we crossed Omahu Rd and continued on to Highway 50, stopping at the Roys Hill Reserve for morning tea (or “lunchette” to use Graemes’ definition), after which we continued on down the trail, turning left into Ngatarawa Rd, then to the Golf Course entrance on Maraekakaho Rd, just past the airfield.
Arriving at around 10-30am, we passed a large collection of vintage cars on our way to the upstairs Cafe, where we ordered our favourite treats, sitting on the balcony, enjoying the view and admiring the immaculately manicured putting greens.
After an enjoyable interlude, we set off on the homeward journey, in various directions, according to our final destinations.
All in all it was an enjoyable ride – the high overcast kept the worst of the heat at bay, the headwinds were minimal and the predicted rain did not eventuate.
Riders: – Christine H, Lynn W,, Heather S,, Rodger Burn, Raewyn R, Alan B, Pam P, Sharon W, Peter H, Jim H, Joan R, Alasdair S, Ray M, Des S, Scott C
Waipukurau to Takapau Township
Weds 24th March 2021
We had originally intended our group of 11 people to meet up and leave our 7 vehicles at the Waipukurau railway station. However, we discovered on our arrival there, that the deserted old Waipukurau Railway Station, has now been transformed into a very busy place, with 30mins only, parking restrictions. This recent change has come about because there is now a popular takeaway coffee outlet established in the old railway station building. It was decided the better option was to drive the short distance to Russell Park and leave our cars there.
Our objective was to cycle to Takapau Township, and return by whichever of several alternative routes, people were comfortable with. The cycle route to Takapau Township took us along Porangahau Rd, Arlington Rd, Woburn Rd, and Oruawharo Rd. As we approached the old historic Oruawharo Homestead, a group of us decided to be a bit cheeky and ride on up their gravel driveway to investigate further. Christine and Des approached the current owner occupier Peter Harris, and were lucky enough to get permission from him to wander freely thru the grounds and magnificent 1879 historic homestead. It was just amazing to see the authentic interior of the homestead, and listen to the owner tell us about some of the time, effort, and huge amounts of cash involved in restoring this 142yr old piece of N.Z. history. The background classical music that was being played out-side, was totally in keeping with the place, giving it a timeless and peaceful feeling of what it must have been like back in the day…
We eventually made it to Takapau Township where we all stopped for our lunch break and general catch up. There were no coffee baristas to be found in Takapau township, so we settled for the public picnic table area, on the corner of Sydney St, to have our thermos tea and coffee etc. Having recharged our batteries so to speak, e-bikers included, we then decided on our preferred cycle routes to get back to our vehicles at Waipukurau. Nine elected to return via the way we had come, with a slight detour down Hatuma Rd. Des and Peter decided to return on a slightly more circuitous route, heading further south to join Highway 50, then along Highway 50, thru to Ongaonga, Waipawa, Tepairu road- end, Swing Bridge, and then along the limestone cycleway track back to Russell Park in Waipukurau. D.S.
Cyclists: Des S, Rodger B, Christine H, Garry S, Peter H, Joan R, Alasdair S, Ray M, Lynn W, Pam P, Sharron W.