December 09, 2016

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Cycle Touring New Zealand - Cycling around the Waikato Region

Rather than cycling through a region one alternative is to do rides from a central location within the region. We selected Te Awamutu as a central point in the Waikato region and we did four rides from this location. The total ride distance was 290 kilometres.

Once you leave the main roads in the Waikato the secondary roads are ideal for cycling with excellent surfaces and little traffic. One positive effect of the new Waikato expressway has been to reduce traffic on the secondary roads so that the roading infrastructure becomes more like the roading hierarchy in France where cyclists ride on secondary roads and do not go near motorways and there is also minimal local traffic.

The main Waikato geographical features include the Waikato River, Mount Pirongia in the west and Sanctuary Mountain in the East.. There is also a volcanic cone near Te Awamutu being Mount Kakepuku. The rides include some foothills so there are climbs and downhills included in the routes.

The Waikato region is a very green and fertile farming area and the four rides will take you around most parts of the region.

Waikato Day - One - From Hamilton to Cambridge and back in a round trip taking in Lake Karapiro.

This ride started and ended in the Hamilton gardens so we did this ride on the way to Te Awamutu.
The route uses quiet secondary roads with the most difficult part of the ride being getting in and out of Hamilton.
We visited Cambridge and Lake Karapiro and the Avantidrome which is just out of Cambridge on the route.

Waikato Day-One

The Cycleway between Cambridge and the Avantidrome

Waikato Day-Two

The day two ride goes from Te Awamutu to Otorohanga partly on the main road which has a high volume of large trucks and care has to be taken over this section.
There is a climb out of Otorohanga to Honikiwi and then there is a long downhill through a scenic and isolated valley.

Waikato Day-Three

Day three heads east from Te Awamutu towards Sanctuary Mountain and then goes to Cambridge which makes a good destination for a coffee stop.

Waikato Day Four

The final day involves taking a car from Te Awamutu to the starting point of the ride.
This was a very good days cycling with in the most part quiet and smooth roads. All of the routes would be very good for training on.


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