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Rides in the lower North Island

Recommended Rides in the Lower North.

Featherston loop via Lake Ferry, Martinborough & Gladstone

170 km – 2 hours (add 2 hours to include Cape Palliser)

Wairarapa’s most popular motorcycle route. Fuel up in Featherston. Challenging twisty sections follow, especially towards Lake Ferry. Option to continue past Lake Ferry down the scenic coastal (gravel) road through Ngawi to Cape Palliser Lighthouse – an extra two hour round trip. It’s essential to stop at railway crossings. Watch for campervans, especially in summer, agricultural vehicles and mud on the road. Popular cycling route. Good rest and food stop at Gladstone Inn.

Masterton loop via Route 52 & Pahiatua

210 km – 3 hours

A great summer ride but caution required in the winter. Fuel up at Masterton. A few twisting curves in the middle of the ride towards Pongaroa (a good stop for refreshments). Watch out for the crosswinds, including on the route through to Pahiatua, and for moss on the road. More good refreshment stops in Mangatainoka or at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre – a great stop for nature lovers. Easy riding back to Masterton via SH2.

Masterton – Riversdale Beach – Castlepoint

175 km – 2 hours 30 minutes

Fuel is seldom available at Castlepoint so fill up in Masterton. The ride to Riversdale is mostly sheltered and easy with a few demanding sections requiring care. Heading back to Castlepoint via Langdale Road, you’ll find single carriageway sections and tight curves. Good rest stop and refreshments at Tinui, or at Castlepoint. This section has tight curves demanding care and watch out for logging trucks, campervans and boaties in summer.

Masterton loop via Pahiatua Track & Rimutakas

300 km – 4 hours 15 minutes (no stops)

A good day ride, up to 8 or 9 hours with rest stops. Turn off SH2 at Mangamarie for Pahiatua Track, looking out for wind and the railway crossing. These sections are twisty with tight curves. Watch for debris on road and cyclists. Route to Shannon is a good ride. It’s farming country with the risk of mud and slurry on road. Good rest stop at Shannon. Take SH1 through to Paekakariki. Traffic can build up on Sunday afternoons. Option to take the very scenic but narrow and winding Paekakariki Hill road, or SH1 and Grays Road before using SH58. Take care over the Rimutakas, watching for slow vehicles and debris.

Masterton to Pahiatua via Pa Valley

78 km – 1 hour 15 minutes

This is a shorter ride that’s good for beginners, and includes Mauriceville and Dreyers Rock Road through to Route 52. Turn into Pa Valley Road towards Pahiatua. Do watch out for numerous railway crossings in the first section.