Cycling, Life at No.22, New Zealand

Spoke’tacular – Tauranga to Maketu

While doing my mandatory morning leg stretches, glancing at a new dawn’s sky; it held a promise of sunshine with no dark clouds and little wind. It was perfect for an organised long cycle ride with a friend.

Looking back toward the city centre and home

Greetings were exchanged at our apartment complex shed, and then off we went through the city centre and onto the Matapihi Bridge, which takes us on a dry ride over the Tauranga harbour. Turning left as there is no right, we head up a slight incline for a cruisy semi-rural undulating ride on a wide footpath created just for cyclists and walkers. Then comes the tricky bit, under the busy motorway via an underpass, an area of the motorway still in the process of being completed.

A suburban cycleway through Papamoa

We were back into suburbia, heading towards Papamoa and then another cycleway through the waterways until we arrived at Pacifica Cafe via Tara Road. Always a pleasure enjoying a coffee and a treat at this cafe.

Parked up outside at Pacifica Cafe

Leaving the cafe, we set off on Te Okuroa Drive, then Bell Road and over the Kaituna River bridge, then onto mostly off-road trails and quiet roads to the river mouth of Maketu.

Stopping before heading over the Kaituna River bridge and below is the official start to the cycleway from Papamoa to Maketu

After a few straight roads and fewer winding turns, we arrived at Maketu and a cafe seat with a sea view. The café’s enclosed deck overlooks the wide blue ocean, with impressive views back towards Mount Maunganui in the west and the towering Okurei cliffs in the east. I requested a cushion, and the cafe assistant was amused; little did she know I was pretty serious.

I know what a combination, and I can tell you it went down a treat for girls who don’t eat chips on a regular basis

Anyway, the caffeine, a bowl of chips, and the ocean’s sound drowned out those aching buttock muscles screaming in protest of having to lower themselves onto another hard surface.

The seagull is flying over towards the Maketū Spit, which is 45 hectares of coastal duneland located at the mouth of the Kaituna River. It is 3.5km long and is the most intact coastal dune ecosystem in the Tauranga Ecological District. 
Thanks to Mrs Google, here is a more detailed view of the area

The Historic Village of Maketu

Taken on a previous trip to Maketu

Maketū is one of the most historic coastal landmarks in the Bay of Plenty. The Te Arawa canoe made landfall at Maketū, and a small cairn built in 1940 commemorates the event. The Ngāi Te Rangi and Te Arawa tribes contested authority over the area in the early 19th century. Te Arawa supported trader Phillip Tapsell, who lived there in the 1830s. From fortified positions, Te Arawa and British forces repelled war parties from the East Coast seeking to join Waikato supporters of the Māori King movement in 1864. Because it was isolated between swamps along the Kaituna and Pongakawa rivers, there was little European settlement at Maketū until much of the swampland was drained early in the 20th century.

To this day, it is still a small settlement.

Everything is at a slow pace here in Maketu, though the pies go out the bakery door at a faster rate.
Parked in the shade, ready to set off

After an hour or so, re-energised by food and splendid scenery, we repeated our journey back home with one alternation; we stopped to indulge in fruit-laden ice cream.

Once home, we marvelled at how well we felt after completing our 82km ride and stopped short on planning another long cycle ride, as we needed more enthusiasm as the energy tanks were shallow.

A few weeks later, we ventured out towards Omokoroa until we discovered Anna’s bike tire had a puncture, putting another long adventure to rest. Always another day isn’t there, and in Anna’s words, “We still rock”.

36 thoughts on “Spoke’tacular – Tauranga to Maketu”

    1. The view from the cafe was well appreciated. Pouwhenua, or pou whenua (land post), is the name of the poles in the photo. They’re used by Māori to mark territorial boundaries or places of significance.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cathy. It is a good flat ride as long as there’s no strong westerly on the return ride, which there wasn’t that day. We are very fortunate that we have so many cycle trails in the Bay of Plenty.
      Energy well spent 🙂


      1. Always and there were plenty of empty seats and the place is up for sale. I personally wouldn’t like to have a business in that area, too many loose canons living there. Lovely place to enjoy another aspect of the coast.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, Jo, might be a good idea 🙂 The Easter Bunny sent me a head cold for my Easter. I am enjoying time to catch up with writing and reading and to take a deep breath. I am sure you are enjoying catching up with family in the UK.


        1. That’s wonderful, Jo. I do remember many of those in the UK . We’re having unsettling autumn weather even with tornadoes scattered around NZ. Luckily, it’s not near us.


  1. I’ve been to Maketu Suz, and we have a brilliant story to tell about our time there, maybe I told you when we met up in the UK all those years ago?!! I loved your ride and well done on 82 kms, it looks like a fabulous day out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems a lifetime ago since we met up in the UK. Fun times. I know you have been to Maketu, Deb. The place has a few social problems with gangs as do many small towns. I like that cyclists can boost the cafe business there without any trouble. There’s so many cycle ways around the Bay of Plenty and hopefully more to come. You would enjoy them.

      Liked by 1 person

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