Guest blog by Jane Admore,
Jane is our highly effective Membership Secretary and an adventurous cycle tourist.
Fed up with battling the mean streets of our outer city by bike to reach the country? Or even worse, loading your bike onto the car to get out of town? Public transport is there to help you leap the barriers.
1. Omana & Clevedon
Catch the great Pine Harbour Ferry from downtown –weekdays only (& not public holidays – check the timetable at www.at.co.nz) (Leave on a later ferry on Friday evening – they are reasonably tolerant on bikes).
You’re straight into coastal delights . Push up the path to Beachlands & amble through delightful Beachlands and Omana Regional Park (& even make a camp stay) & around the coastal path to Maraetai. Laze on the golden sand & return the same way. Or carry on the fantastic coastal route to Duders/Umupuia, into Clevedon (Market Sunday) & catch the train back from Takanini. Check out the MAXX Southern Cycle Map.
2. Hunua (overnight ) & more
Get out of the city fast , by train, to Takanini & head for Ardmore & Clevedon or from Papakura, towards Redhills & the Hunua Gorge (the quarry trucks may be on holiday!) Stock up at Hunua & head down the gorgeous Paparimu valley to Maungatawhiri where the peskie traffic has been given an expressway & cyclists enjoy the old State highway almost to themselves. A little bit of busy then turn off at Mangatangi Road & roll over the hills to the back of Miranda. Stay at the Miranda Shorebird Centre or the camp or backpackers at the Miranda Hot Pools. Return via the coast (Tapapakainga (Regional Park Camp), Orere Point (never turn a camping cyclist away) possibly back to Omana for a ferry cruise back to town. Or Clevedon to Takanini & the train.
3. Hauraki Rail Trail
Either of the above could lead you on to the Hauraki Rail Trail at Thames.
Remember after the Waitakaruru Bridge you can duck (right into East Canal Road) off the main road & wander a slightly longer route away from traffic till just before the Kopu Bridge. Lots of info on the Hauraki Rail Trail site
4. Coromandel Ferry & Beyond
Cruise the gulf to Coromandel (Hannaford’s Wharf) Book your bike to ensure a place.
Wander the edge from the wharf as others squeeze into the bus. At the main road head right (south) & over the hills (not the greatest) & back down to the coast. Spend a night at Te Mata perhaps then head into the hills from Tapu. It’s a brilliant quiet road with the great Water Gardens &Café to fuel you up the hill. Wonderful bush & the unsealed bits have an easy gradient & are pretty smooth. Book in with your mates at their bach on the other side after a stop at the famous Coroglen Pub. Whitianga Ferry is a great way to avoid part of the busy road. 5. Gulf Harbour, Orewa & beyond
Join the twitchers going to Tirirtiri (or join them & get off on the way back). Bike the Whangaparaoa Peninsular (any mates to call in on? or camp at Shakespeare Regional Park.) It’s a slog out of Gulf Harbour but then head along the bike route to Red Beach &onward to maybe trundle down some stairs to connect to the path on the south side of the Orewa inlet. Cruise the full perimeter of the Orewa lagoon, Te Ara Tahuna, & then spin off the back onto quiet country roads to Wainui & Waitoki (great café) before heading to Kaukapakapa Highway 16 can be pretty busy & fast from there into Helensville. (Malolo House e is good or choose another B & B or the Parakai camp with added bonus of a hot swim. Next day head up the hill & return via Waimauku & the country to Triangle Road & home on the bikeway. Alternatively add a bit of below…
6. West & Muriwai
Head out on the North-West Cycle way, up the Twin Streams & then the cycle route to Swanson (refreshments at the Station). A bit of a slog (or country stroll) up Kay Road & you are in the country.
Last shop at Waitakere (you may be able to miss all the slog if you’ve picked a day when the Western Line rain goes all the way to the station there). Head off on minor country roads , Hunter, Cuthbert (slog), Annadale, Tawa (whizz down), Awa, Foster, Hinau (lovely bush), Cable,, Muriwai Valley, Taiapa & Oaia Roads to sneak in the quiet back way. ( a little unsealed) The Beach Camp is great & there’s good food at the Beach Café & supplies (including wine) at the Muriwai Lodge up the hill.
Head out on the gulf with Fullers (bike rides free) & grab the Waiheke Cycle Map. Stay with friends, at backpackers or the Whakanewha Regional Camp (beautiful tidal beach front). Drop the gear & do a ‘bottom end’ circuit – some steep & some gravel – some both but investigating Man-o War & Stony Batter is fun (you can take your bike way beyond where the car ‘arrivees’ have to walk from)! Notes & Links
Looks like AT is advising that the Southern line (through Newmarket) and Western Lines will be closed from Christmas to 5 Jan but may not be subject to the big closure January 2013. Still, always check the AT website and scroll down for ‘rail bus replacements’ if you trip depends on a train connection. Remember, trains only carry bikes off peak but they are now free!
Regional Parks around Auckland. Need prior booking esp over Christmas/New Year
360 Ferry to Coromadel & Gulf Harbour
Malolo House at Helensville