Published: February 23rd 2009December 25th 2008
Break by beach
Mt Maunganui in background
···· Plan ····
Day 1: Hamilton to Waihi through Paeroa and the Karangahake gorge. We will take a few breaks on the way to rest and have some food. This will likely be in Paeroa, the Karangahake Gorge, the Waihi town and then the beach also. We plan to camp in Athenree (south end of beach). Having completed approximately 110 km shall leave us nicely tired for a good night's sleep.
Day 2: Leave Athenree and take a break at Mt Maunganui for food and a beach experience,... and finish in Maketu where we will camp near beach. Having completed approximately 100 km it will be a second long distance day so again deserving a good break.
Day 3: Maketu will be left after a nice start on the beach... and we will camp near the beach in Thornton. At approximately 50 km this will be a nice smaller day with a little more pleasure of enjoying the beachfront.
Day 4: Ready for another good day we will leave Thornton in the morning and head along the coast... ,take a break in Whakatane before passing over the big hill to finish the
Takin a break on way over hill 2 Ohope
day in Opotiki where we shall again camp near the beach. This day will be a challenging because of the long hill to finish our 66 km in Opotiki.
Day 5: The next day will start in Opotiki heading along the coast to start taking on a less developed road. We will finish in Te Kaha after completing our 67 km day with more little hills to go up and down.
Day 6: We shall leave Te Kaha in the morning in order to see a lot of the more spectacular coast views from being up to get nice downward scope on the beautiful less developed coast. We shall really enjoy the camp spot near the Hicks Bay beach. This will be a beautiful day of about 85 km and we shall certainly deserve the nice camp spot!
Day 7: Leaving Hicks Bay we shall bike past Te Araroa to go to the East Cape for a view off the lookout at the eastern most part of the main islands in NZ. At the end we will camp in Te Araroa after our cruisy 35 km day.
Day 8: Starting from Te
On way around to Opotiki with heavy bike
Araroa we shall part-take in a pleasant trip to Tokomaru which has some beautiful... This day will have us peddling about 80 km which is not all flat, but has some mellow hill climbs and descents.
Day 9: From Tokomaru we shall leave on a fancy day along the amazing coast until Tolaga Bay where we shall stay by the beach near one of the longest piers in NZ. We shall have completed just 40 km to enjoy a lot of the most attractive coastlines in NZ and maybe have made some sidetracks to increase that distance.
Day 10: On this day we shall stay by Tolaga Bay and do a walk to Cooks Cove where there are some great little caves through the peninsula to enjoy another special perspective of the coast.
Day 11: From Tolaga Bay we will undertake another beautiful viewing day to finish by the great surfing beach, Makarori Bay where there are a few walks up a hill at the north end along the coast. This will be another relaxing 40 km of cycling which will give us chances to explore view points and enjoy the water.
Day 12: From Makarori we shall take a nice break in Gisborne to observe some of the traditional maori contributions to NZ for a long part of the middle of the day. We shall finish the day by Mahanga. This will give us a easy, flat 65 km day with a nice break in the middle for some nice observations.
Day 13: Leaving Mahanga in the morning we shall enjoy our last day where we will finish by Mahia Peninsula. There are many beautiful scenes at the peninsula at the northern and southern ends. After a day of a little 30 km to get there it will be a great place for us to celebrate the finish to our 13 day trip!
···· Actual Progress: ····
Day 1: Hamilton to Waihi.
Distance: 96 km
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Max Speed: 41.6 km/h
Wind: Side wind but not much of it so not tricky!
Rests: A half hour break of nuts and dried fruits 5km past Morrinsville. Dinner in Paeroa of Chinese takeaways.
Health: Madeleine chased Stewhan in circles trying to pinky slap
Nutter at The Nut-House
This creature enjoyed being at home!
his sunburnt thighs. He forgot that one vital spot with the sunscreen 'till it was too late.
Mission for the day was the last stretch through the Karangahake Gorge in the late evening. Getting to Athenree by sundown was near impossible so we ended up camping in the corner of Waihi's Botanic gardens hehe...
Excitement for the day: Brushing our teeth and washing the sweat and sticky sunscreen off in a Superloo.
Overall result:Not bad considering we were off to a late start at 12:45pm. But by the time we found a place to set up tent it was 8:00pm
Day 2: Waihi to Papamoa
Distance: 94 km
Time: 5 hours
Max speed: 59.3 km/h
I never knew the ground shook so much when Road Trains roar past, just like my shake as they whisper threats of an endless silence. It will be nice to hit the beach...
Started with a yummy breakfast in a cafe after which we hit the road. It was packed out with traffic and a lot of big trucks. This taught resistance with bugger all space in pseudo rush-hour (day long).
Made it to
Mt Maunganui for a rest and then continued to Papamoa. A quick bathe in the figid Ocean to clean and then by the time we found 'Noodle Canteen' and ate, we were setting up our tent in the sand dunes after dark.
Day 3: Papamoa to Thornton
Total distance biked: 76 km
Time: 4 hours 13 minutes
Max speed: 57.5 km/h
Great start having breakfast at the Gana cafe and excellent weather again. Road traffic was medium going through amongst cornfields, orchards, vinyards and animal farms. Coloured Flowers, flax and even birds kept us company. First beach stop was Otamarakau then biked along to Matata for another beach stop. John and Sharron drove over to meet us and stay over for the night with us. We all searched for a camp spot and we eventually found one in Thornton. In the evening we went to Prickly Puha Cafe for a yummy dinner.
Our thoughts go out to Troy as he had a serious climbing accident yesterday.
Flies Swallowed: 2
Punctured tyres: 1
Happy people: 2
Day 4: Thornton to Opotiki
Distance: 66 km
Time: 3 hours
A demonstration of how 2 live a sweet life...
Max speed: 63.9 km/h
Ready for another good day. After a morning game of Petanque we left Thornton and headed along the coast to Whakatane where Stewhan’s bike-tyre was fixed (yesterday afternoon’s puncture). Then the challenge was passing over the large hill to Ohope where another game of Petanque and a beach swim were enjoyed on another sunny afternoon. We said our farewells to John and Sharron and went on our merry way...Using the evening's spectacular low-light we enjoyed our arrival in Opotiki, where we deserved great sleep at a motel; Our chance to have a slice of luxury before camping in remote areas for the next seven days.
Day 5: Opotiki to Te Kaha
Distance: 79 km
Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Ave speed: 19.3km/h
Max speed: 58.2 km/h
Beautiful day to Hawai where we refilled water and met camp worker who had had a helicopter crash and is back to 'normal' now. Nice to meet companions... Mission of a hill to Haupoto but then nice photos and a break at the Motu River. We arrived in Te Kaha just before dark and got to the only open
Tolaga Bay wharf
The longest in NZ
shop in town one minute before it closed, lucky! Had a great night camping in a park under a Pohutukawa tree on the sea shore.
Day 6: Te Kaha to Waihau Bay
Distance: 40.3 km
Time: 2 hours 04 minutes
Ave speed: 19.4 km/h
Max speed: 51.7 km/h
The weather turned sour on us for the whole morning so we shopped for food supplies. At about 1pm it stopped pouring with rain so we made a dash for it. With less tiring hill rises we enjoyed passing through the nice, old-school traditional Maori way of living and structure simplicity. After crossing Raukokore River was an old van with "no hunting up river" written on it. After another kilometer there was a Macadamia "Nut House" with beautiful display of tropical trees and a nice nut shell driveway. We arrived in Waihau Bay a little late as the food shop was closed so we nibbled on musli bars and nuts for dinner. A local offered for us to stay at his batch for the night. The hot shower and sleeping in an actual bed was a real treat.
Day 6: Te Kaha to
The little area that looks lovely, but we were surrounded by herd of cows & bulls!
Distance: 40.3 km
Time: 2 hours 4 minutes
Average speed: 19.4 km/h
Max speed: 51.7 km/h
The morning weather was rainy with some strong wind blowing us a little wet. However it cleared back to pretty much perfect at midday so we started our day of biking on flatter therefore more relaxing road than yesterday. We enjoyed the nice old-school, traditional maori way of living and structural simplicity. After crossing the Raukokore river was an old van with "No Hinting Up River" written on it's roadside. After another 1 km was a Macadamia "Nut House" with a beautiful garden display of tropical trees and nutshell presentation on the access driveway. We enjoyed samples of those great nuts and various products produced in a cooking process of them.
Our actual arrival in Waihau Bay was a little late for the shop so we what we had left by the harbour area. Fortunately we were invited by Paul to stay at his place which was a nice bike back up the hill to a simple house with a beautiful view of the coast. We enjoyed a chat about the purpose of our trip and
Climbin in the cave
Can you spot crazy Stew gettin ready to fly through...
enjoyed another night under a roof.
Day 7: Waihau Bay to Hicks Bay
Distance: 54.2 km
Time: 2 hours 38 minutes
Average speed: 22.6 km/h
Max Speed: 57.1 km/h
Moist morning but left when the weather was clear to get some food supplies and a yummy meal of burgers & chips. Weather itself was not too hot, not too cold, no strong wind and no sunburning conditions. We peddled away from coast on gentle undulations. Many flowering Pohutukawas in X-mas colours were seen & then a 3 drop waterfall off a 20 m rock cliff that was surrounded by bush. Arriving in Hicks Bay itself we wanted to swim for cleaning off gear and big effort, but we got surprisingly cold & actually aborted that plan! We ended up going for a nice walk along the beach to use different movements. We also really enjoyed "Aunty's Takeaways" for dinner. Early night was taken to ease our tired bodies from a great day of peddling!
Day 8: Hicks Bay to Te Araroa with trip to East Cape
Stewhan got up early to admire beauty start to day and look for water
Farm lake on hike
This is a view of pleasure for many of the local sheep stayin here
to drink. The day was yet another beauty, but found no water...
Shortly after departure Stewhan's gear tensioner snapped as we biked up the first hill and he lost control of gears. We coasted back down the hill to Hicks Bay, asked the locals and found that a quick fix was not possible. With a stroke of luck we hitched a ride to Gisborne in a van with a guy who does delivery runs through east cape daily. We chatted about culture, scenery and history in the area. Tokomaru, Tolaga, Pakarae and Makarori looked like fantastic spots on that fine day. We took bike to be repaired at bikeshop overnight & then went to Travellers Inn and swam in their pool. It was a refreshing cleanoff & we finally cleaned our clothes & gear to civilise ourselves again.
Day 9: Gisborne to Tolaga Bay...
Distance: 80 km
Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Average speed: 21.4 km/h
Max speed: 51 km/h
Picked up repaired bike, packed our gear and went to Waikanae Beach to eat before heading back north. Early on a wax eye bird with a broken leg was found on the
Lookin down 2 Tolaga Bay wharf
Another of the views from our day of hiking to Cooks Cove
road & Madeleine took it to a safe spot away from the road. Had a break at Wainui Beach, where Maz Quinn had his surf base & then had another at Makarori Beach. Just before starting the inland hills we took a scenic snack break at Marine reserve in Whangara. Ascending and descending the hills had immensely satisfied with our arrival at Tolaga Bay where we explored the wharf, the longest in NZ, just before sunset. We had a yummy dinner in village followed by a good night sleep, considering we had a leaky tent during the rain storm.
Day 10: No biking!
Went into village for food & did some beach exercise for a while. Late in the avo we started our hike to Cooks Cove over a hill with beautiful views and crews of animals too. Stocks of sheep and goats were seen on the way over with great views off the cliffs. The "Hole in the Rock" provided some attractive shots and nice little climbing exercise. The Cooks Cove itself had cows making loud "Mooooooooo" noises and gathered in a large herd. The late afternoon scenery with near sunset conditions were excellent!
Lookin down from Morere
'Twas a long climb up this hill, but at least it gave a good rewarding view
Day 11: Tolaga Bay to Wainui Beach
Distance: 63 km
Time: 3 hours 23 minutes
Average speed: 19.5 km/h
Max speed: 53 km/h
After picking up food supply from the village we were packing & met a UK cyclist, had a chat & then left!
A lot of the first area was on hills and against a strong wind and away from the coast. Finally got back to the coast for another great rest & snack at the Marine reserve. After that, cycling along the coast had beautiful light and the wind kept us from getting too hot! A viewpoint by the entrance to Makarori Beach allowed yet more spectacular photos. From there on we were looking at many spots where we could maybe spend the night after our yummy dinner. We got some delicious takeaways from the southern end of the beach and ate that in a rest area that we ended up sleeping in. Another mission for the night was trying to find some fresh water that tasted healthy enough to enjoy without getting crook. We eventually got some from drinking fountains at the Wainui beach schoolground, but Madeleine got crook anyway...
Our final destination
Mad is pretty stoked 2 be close!
Day 12: Wainui Beach to Gisborne
Distance: 16 km
Time: 40 minutes
Average speed: 24 km/h
Max speed: 37 km/h
We left with an assisting tailwind which made our arrival in Gisborne pleasantly easy and scenic. On arrival we visited friends on "Hakura" boat in the harbour and had a yummy lunch of freshly caught tarakihi from the morning.
Day 13: Day in Gisborne
Distance: 12 km
We biked to Waikanae Beach with some yummy food to eat and then go for a swim. It was seriously cold, but we observed the training of youngsters to be surf lifeguards with paddling gear on the beach and ended up having a handstand competition. We ended up getting some veges and fruit to take back to "Hakura" for another delicious dinner and dessert. After getting well-fed we played a game of "Phase 10" for the first time with the experts on board. Stefan happened to win!
Day 14: Gisborne to Morere
Distance: 62.3 km
Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Average speed: 18.7 km/h
Max speed: 58.3 km/h
Leaving Gisborne was relatively easy before a
Yay, we made it!
Indication of satisfaction with a high 5!
strong southerly head-wind made our progress twice the normal mission! We stopped in Muriwai to fill water bottles with an outdoor tap. We expected turnoff shortly after that to avoid the hilly sections just ahead of us on that road and end our day to camp in Mahanga. No turnoff was seen and we ended peddling up, up, up and down until we, absolutely exhausted, arrived in Morere. There was a campground there, but no shops open to get food. Fortunately we met some friendly UK citizens, living in France, but on tour here, who offered us some food to go along with what we had left (which was only one pear). At least we ended up with a meal and a great night's sleep!
Day 15: Morere to Mahia Beach. Final destination!
Distance: 27.3 km
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Average speed: 20.6 km/h
Max speed: 59 km/h
We avoided morning trip to Morere hot-springs and just ate breakfast, packed and took the nice downhill road to the Nuhaka dairy. Madeleine was looking for some energy drink so I chatted to the owner about our bike trip and sponsorship reasons. He was
Balancing while waiting
Had fun doing challenges while waiting all avo
impressed and gave us $10, very friendly!! Heading east several young maori locals were seen; I said "Kiaora" and told them about our long bike trip and their reaction was; "Wow!" Views over the active beach zones made some great shots! Arrival in final destination at 3pm gave us a lovely afternoon to enjoy the warm weather and a scenic beach while waiting for our pickup. We celebrated our success with sweets, treats and chatted about our successful trip!
Whole trip progress report:
Distance: 766.1 km
Time: 39 hours 20 minutes
Average speed: 19.5 km/h
Max speed: 63.9 km/h
Total bugs consumed: So many we lost count
Hitch hikers: One lady bug from Gisborne to Morere in Stewhan's hair,- A spider on the handle bars of Madeleine's bike from Whangara reserve to Tolaga bay
- And a wobbly 30 second ride because of a friendly wasp down Madeleine's top passing through the Motu River (honey country)
Fitness improvement: YUP, BUNS OF STEEL!
It was great weather providing a totally fun time!
There are more photos below