Tauranga’s Urban Cycleway
Omokoroa to Tauranga
The Bay of Plenty is on a mission – a cycle mission that is – as part of a wider council initiative, the region is seeing the expansion of its urban cycle network, to provide greater connections and transport options for those travelling into and around the city.
The 19 kilometre scenic trail linking Western Bay of Plenty to Tauranga via existing and new cycle routes is near completion – September deadline – with the Wairoa Bridge crossing ‘clip on’ structure to the State Highway Bridge expected completion this summer. And, with so much growth in the Omokoroa area in the past five years, it’s touted this new cycleway may take a little pressure off the busy road into town (here’s hoping) and become a key part of the tourist trail from Waihi to Maketu.
Traffic matters aside, this cycleway traverses a stunning coastline and wetland area. For those keen on an easy Sunday cycle – but not the full 19 kilometres – begin at Omokoroa Domain and make your way along to Plummer’s Point Peninsula for a picnic at Ongarahu Pa and Huhurua Reserve – one of the most well-preserved defensive fortifications in New Zealand.
Roll with the family
Our family of five put this leg of the journey to the test. With various cycle strengths on board, we challenged the terrain. Fortunately, it was 90% flat contour and smooth sailing. We cycled the water’s edge, watched the train pass alongside, and the views were incredible – Mount Maunganui, Matakana, Motuhoa Island – we were spoilt. And because the route literally follows the water, you don’t encroach into residential territory – nothing worse than feeling like you’re riding through someone’s backyard.
Another highlight, the huge field and facilities at Huhurua Reserve – who would have known this was here, along with two dozen or so citrus trees (which are free to all). We wished we had brought a frisbee!
This has got to be a new summertime go-to for families wanting a day out to picnic and play.
So how did we all fare? No complaints from the five and six-year-olds who were worried about hills, the teenager was stoked to come across another friend riding en route, and the oldies every bit smitten with just how stunning this peninsula is – and how nice not to have to drive! The verdict, would be keen to make this a regular to-do – especially after a week of sitting in traffic!