Leader: Graeme McGowan

Cyclists: Athol, Micheal B, Bill, Wendy, Catherine, Jim H, Marlene, Janette, Marianne, Rob W, Carol, Adrian, Rose

Day 0 – Miranda – 5th June – no cycling

Scribe: Catherine

The corralling together of 13 excited cyclists began with a briefing lead by Graeme for all at the Shorebirds Centre. Followed by a fabulous dinner the night. A venue that I can highly recommend for both service and food.
I must also highly commend those who arrived by pedal power – Mike from St Heliers, Rose and
Adrian from Thames. The rest of us had car-ported our bikes to settle into The Miranda
Shorebird center for the night. Our sleeping bags were required only for this night, therefore no need to carry on our bikes. 🙂

Day 1 – Miranda to Huntley – 6th June – 84km

Scribe: Catherine

We had breakfast the first morning together at the Center with a view of the most magnificent sunrise – a blaze of fire over the Kaimai Ranges.There were pillars of mist, rising into the air and not a breath of wind, which boded well for over 3\4 of our ride. It was a chilly start but we were soon warmed by the first stop – coffee at the Glory Cafe Ngatea.The roads were quiet, with Graeme giving us a little tourist commentary on the Hauraki Plains canals, stopbanks, pump stations and historic flax mills. The roads were very quiet and gloriously flat until we hit the grueling gravel incline on the Ohinewai Road. Lunch at the top and then nothing but joy whizzing down the undulating tarred surface towards Huntley . Unfortunately the rain caught up with us about an hour before our final destination – the Essex Arms, Hunlty. We all arrived safe
and sound, some more drenched than others, Athol with a flat tyre and myself with a soggy wet dead phone.

Day 2 – Huntley to Cambridge – 7th June – 67km

Scribe: Marianne McNeil

The weather was kinder to us today. It was a little cooler as we set out over the Waikato river, then  travelled  down Riverview Rd on the western side, crossing both the Waipa and  Waikato again at Ngaruwahia.

Morning coffee stop was at Breaking Bread Cafe.

From Ngaruwahia we followed the Te Awaroa cycle trail, meeting Mike from Hamilton, who knew the diversions. We dismounted to walk a well built boardwalk through the native bat section, but didn’t see any hanging from trees.

Lunch was at Tamahere.

One left the group shortly after that to ride the road on to Cambridge, while the rest of us started on the river path toward the velodrome to see some action there.

Unfortunately our leader, had been so conscientious re health and safety, came off. He was escorted to doctors in Cambridge, then sent to hospital for plastic surgery on his finger tip. He was unluck as the junior doctors were on strike and he had the senor surgeon operate on his finger

Leaderless, (well Rob had GPS and Marlene sorted accommodation) we finally made it to very comfortable accomodation at Top10 Camp in Leamington.

We were able to cook up food we’d bought at the local Fresh Choice, before we retired for the night, some earlier than others. Graeme arrived back from hospital about 10pm.

Day 3 – Around Maungatautari – 8th June – 80km

Scribe: Michael Bradbury

Seven riders left the Leamington TOP10 (Rob (leader), Bill & Wendy, Janette, Marlene, Michael, and Rose) around 8:30 under cloudless skies. We headed out towards Lake Karapiro for a clockwise circumnavigation of Maungatautairi. Once the fingers thawed out it was perfect weather for cycling – cloudless, blue skies with a light southerly. The rolling green farmland, the shimmering Lake, the autumn leaves also added to the perfect days riding. Although at one stage we ignored the scenery to watch a robotic lawn mower operating in a tight corner of the lawn. An 8.5K hill climb up Arapuni Road lead us the bird sanctuary centre for lunch. Post-lunch riding yielded some thrilling downhill and undulating road. We cover 80.2 and 990 meters of climb.

Day 4 – Cambridge to Paeroa – 9th June – 88km

Scribe: Jim Hawkins

Day 5 – Paeroa to Miranda – 10th June – 55km. Flat all the way

Scribe: Athol Berry

We spent a comfortable night at the Pedlars Motel in Paeroa and assembled at 8.30 am on Friday to cycle back to our departure point last Monday -The Miranda Bird Sanctuary. Ride leader was Athol 

We were down to 11 cyclists as Graeme had withdrawn due to his accident and Adrian and Rose were cycling directly back to their hometown Thames.

The weather was fine with no wind as we cycled out of Paeroa along SH2 to Netherton and once over the Puke Bridge onto all  flat quiet country roads cycling towards Ngatea.

After coffee at the Glory Cafe it was more flat back roads to Waitakaruru.  Then onto the bike trail beside the highway back to the bird sanctuary,where we arrived at 12.30PM.

A successful cycle tour with great weather .Thanks to Graeme McGowan for organising.

Waikato Unsupported Tour – 5th to 10th June 2024