Tour de Wairarapa – Farmers on Tour!
Several times a year, groups of farmers (they just happen to be farmers!) from around the country descend on Wairarapa and charge about for a week exploring this often unexplored part of the country. In April we welcomed 16 friends from the Waikato/BOP region and showed them around. Here are some of the highlights!
After welcome drinks and Dinner at Union Square Restaurant, and a good nights sleep at the Martinborough Hotel we had a relaxed start to the tour, heading off at around 10am to Maymourn Station to start the ride. The relaxed start was partly due to our desire to avoid the threatening rain and partly due to the fact we are on holiday!
The team rode up and across the Incline with no sweat and made a bee-line to Ocean Beach! In total around 60km was ridden. The majority of the group were riding e-bikes of various types, some they brought themselves, others that were hired. Two riders ran out of battery power just one kilometre from the coast but toughed it out to finish!
Throughout the tour we encounter a wide range of varying terrain that exposed cyclists to new challenges . Often, it is not until you get off the tourist routes that you get a real understanding of the world.
Palliser Bay and Whiterock
Palliser Bay and Whiterock offer some dramatic South and East Coast scenery sweeping views and historic landscapes adorned with cultural and geological monuments. It is always a pleasure to ride amongst the bulldozers and boats scattered across the beach at Ngawi and marvel at surfers on the word class Ngapotiki point break. The remoteness of this area should not be underestimated and being guided through it ensures everyone is safe and has a great time.
A day is spent enjoying wine tours and Martinborough, with quick ride in the morning for coffee and shopping in Greytown. The Farmers enjoyed a hearty vegan (!) meal at Food Forest Organics, owned by Hollywood producer, James Cameron, before imbibing a little wine. An alternative is to explore the incredible Patuna Chasm (below).
Homewood and Castlepoint
Gravel beckons on the quiet Homewood Road that takes us from Te Wharau to Riversday Beach and on to Otahome and our base for a couple of nights on Castlepoint Station. The Homewood valley is a beautiful ride, far from anywhere. Highlights of the day are the flock of Stansborough Grey sheep, specifically breed for their grey fleece that was widely used in costumes for Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
We are spoilt to be allowed to ride through the massive Castlepoint Station, an iconic coastal farm that includes an excellent quality central road affording spectacular views out over the ocean. We exit the Station at Castlepoint beach where you can visit the lighthouse and enjoy watching the surfers. Often, in the afternoon we make a visit to Brancepeth, once a 78,000 acre station employing several hundred people.
Our final day of riding on this itinerary takes us from the small village of Tinui, through bucolic valley and over Castle Hill before cruising down to Alfredton and out to State Highway 2 at Eketahuna.
This “Tour de Wairarapa” itinerary really gives riders an unrivalled opportunity to explore this often contact Stu to discuss bringing a group to visit the region and really experience it in depth. As it is a bespoke itinerary we can alter any part of it to suit your needs. The accommodation is 4.5 star hotel and hunting lodge style – it is beautiful and more than comfortable. We have access to expansive private farms and can arrange for groups to meet with the property owners for a bit of knowledge and technology transfer.