Blog // Tales from the trail

15 Jan
2016

Onto the Surf Highway, New Zealand

By Keith

The Route

The route according to GoogleMaps

The route according to GoogleMaps

Route stats:

  • Total distance - 58 km
  • Time taken ~ 3 hours
  • Coastal viewpoints - 1
  • New pairs of shorts - 1
  • Wind still favourable? - Yes yes yes!

The Deal

Whanganui, some 160 km east was our next major destination and one thing we learnt from our New Plymouth cycle extravaganza was that 160 km is a number more easily divisible by three, certainly when it comes to cycling! This would also allow for a few detours and stops along the way, which today included checking out the popular surfing town of Opunake.

Feeling strong, despite a somewhat groggy head from the night before, we assumed this was more a result of a healthy tailwind than any cycling prowess and cruised into Opunake in no time at all. We even had the legs to complete the bumpy coastal road out to the town's impressive coastal lookout and catch some views of its popular surfing bay.

Made it to the coastal lookout

Made it to the coastal lookout

Opunake bay

Opunake bay

Birds still making use of an abandoned structure

Birds still making use of an abandoned structure

Returning to town itself, it was a curious looking affair, art-deco looking buildings flanking the perfectly flat and straight Route 45 (a.k.a. the 'Surf Highway') that bisected the town. A quick stop for coffee, a new pair of shorts spied on the sale rack outside a surf shop and a tasty cafe lunch and we were back on the road again, cruising down the Surf Highway, wind in our panniers... you get the drift!

A surf-apparel shop in town

A surf-apparel shop in town

Opunake town centre (and one of the many murals)

Opunake town centre (and one of the many murals)

Cruising the Surf Highway

Cruising the Surf Highway '45

With plenty of time to spare we rolled into our quaint campsite for the night in the small and charming coastal town of Ohawe, tucked away in small valley off the highway.

Ohawe valley

Ohawe valley

The very friendly lady owner informed us of a coastal walk starting from the campsite, but only accessible at low tide (in an hour's time) and 'stick close to the sea' as apparently the crashing waves masked the sound of any slips from the crumbling cliffs and we wouldn't stand a chance!

Ohawe beach and coastal walk

Ohawe beach and coastal walk

Definitely a walk to be taken at a relaxed pace we thought as we strolled along the soft black sand after what had definitely been the easiest 58 km of the trip so far. Let the good times roll!

Keep right!

Keep right!

Keith enjoying the walk

Keith enjoying the walk

Life

Life's a rocky beach

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