Top Wairarapa Rides #9 Around the Lake

A classic Wairarapa road cycling 65km day ride.

Wairarapa Moana is the third largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand (it is only one square kilometre smaller than Lake Rotorua!). But lots of kiwis have never even heard of it!

78 square kilometres square, but only 2.5 metres deep the lake has been badly effected by silt run off. But it offers an excellent day ride opportunity.

Where to start?

Kicking off in Featherston riding clockwise is a common choice. Riders will often meet at the Featherston Railway station (plenty of free parking) then stop at Everest Cafe to fuel up.

Head South along Western Lake road, often with a generous tail/side wind barrelling off the Remutaka range. The first 10 kilometres leads you to Cross Creek where you join the on road section of the Remutaka Cycle Trail. From this point you have 20 Kilometres of lakeside riding until reaching your left turn onto the East West Access Road.

During this stretch of the road you have scenic native forest expansive lake and mountain views. You pass Waiorongomai Station, currently in the hands of the 7th generation of the Matthews family. Waiorongomai Station offers excellent accommodation as a base for a weekend of Wairarapa road cycling or family fun.

You pass over the Barrage gates, which control flood waters when the region experiences high rainfall. This impressive structure is part of the flood control scheme implemented in the 1960’s. The Wairarapa Moana had the potential to raise water levels by nine metres, and experienced regular sever flooding. The gates allow Greater Wellington Regional Council to quickly raise or lower water levels in Lake Onoke or Waiararpa.

At the end of East West Access take a left hand turn and follow the road through Kahutara back to Featherston.

If you have time follow the signs to Boggy Pond at Parera Road. About 3 km down Parera Road there is sign-posted access to Boggy Pond. Follow the stopbank track for 800 m to a bird viewing hide with close-up views of Boggy Pond. The track carries on for approximately 2.4 km and joins back up to Parera Road. (note it is a gravel road).

You are now about 20km from Featherston where refueling at Ces’t Cheese is a great way to finish, unless you would rather a beer at the Empire Hotel near the Railway station.

This is a cracking day of Wairarapa road cycling that will free your mind and help reconstruct your work life balance.

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