A Foxton Beach to Castlepoint Cycleway

29 04 2012

The Tararua Traverse is a proposed cycle track linking Shannon and Eketahuna. It is beyond the means of ratepayers in Horowhenua and Tararua to fund and it was put forward for the first round of the National Cycleway funding. It missed out. So lets hope there is a second round of National Cycleway funding. The track would follow the Mangahao Road from Shannon to the white water kayaking course at the powerstation at Mangahao and then up the hill to the reservoirs. A new track would have to be cut between the No.1 Reservoir on the Mangahao River up the old Puketurua Track to Ngapuketurua (at 1094 metres) and then down a very long ridge coming out of the Forest Park at Kakariki West Road. From Kakariki West Rd to Eketahuna it is a flat ride on quiet rural roads. I’ve ridden the Shannon to the Dams route a few times and even that and back is a decent enough day out, so I can’t think the route over the tops is going to be particularly easy.

But I want people to think bigger. I think the Tararua Traverse should be part of a longer ride from Foxton Beach on the Horowhenua Coast to Castlepoint on the Wairarapa Coast. The first section is the short but pleasant ride from Foxton Beach to Foxton. From the start at the coastal carpark it would go through the parks to the Manawatu Estuary and follow the new paths along the edge to the boat club and then along the cyclepath to Foxton town.

There are numerous possible routes from Foxton to Shannon using the quiet roads, the levee banks of the river and the Moutoa Floodway. There’s also the Moutoa Reserve which could have its muddy and grassy tracks upgraded to cycleable. A bit of thinking outside of the square could also fix the problem of a lack of a safe cycle crossing across the Manawatu.

On the eastern side after Eketahuna the route follows roads to Castlepoint via Alfredton (there are a couple of small hills between Eketahuna and Alfredton), the Castlehill Road (flat), the Alfredton Tinui Road (big hill on a dirt road), the Manawa Road to Tinui (flat) and then the Masterton to Castlepoint Road to Whakataki (one moderate hill) to Castlepoint (undulating).

The route would be approximately 25km from Foxton Beach to Shannon. Shannon to Eketahuna by the Tararua Traverse is 86km. Eketahuna to Castlepoint is 78km. That’s a total of about 190km. As well as the new hut at Ngapuketurua, there’d be places to break the journey at Alredton, Tinui, Whakataki, Eketahuna, Shannon and Foxton.

Photos of the route (except for the bit over the tops, as I’m yet to get up there):

On the edge of the Manawatu Estuary in Foxton Beach

The cyclepath between Foxton Beach and Foxton

The Ken Everett Memorial cycleway to bypass the SH1 on the Wharakino Trestle

The Mangahao Road between the dams

The 3rd dam on the route, holding back No 1. Reservoir on the Mangahao. The route crosses the top of the dam.

Near Nireaha on route to Eketahuna

The view east of Castle Hill

The Alfredton Tinui Road

Down the road to the flats towards Tinui



Extra Channels New Zealand

22 04 2012

Dear loyal subscribers,

I’ve got a new blog called Extra Channels New Zealand and on it is my first post – Why New Zealand should fund SBS the Australian public broadcaster.

The blog will be about receiving TV channels that aren’t Freeview or Sky, mainly through satellite TV, but also internet TV, because life is too short to watch Shortland Street.

As for the cycleway blog – I’ve been pretty quiet. It’s not defunct. I haven’t had much to say. I still have a few ideas formulated in the old noggin, but I’ve recently lacked the wherewithal to write them up. I also don’t live or work in Welly anymore so its hard to see what goes on day to day. I could hazard a guess that work hasn’t begun on the Petone – Ngauranga cycleway. Patience is required if you were waiting for any posts (or a safe route to Petone). I’ve not moved far, but I seldom come in to town these days.

Cheers, Matty T