RIDING THE TRAIL
From the shopping centre in Waipukurau, head south on Porangahau Road. There is a cycle lane to begin with. After leaving town the road weaves across rolling farmland, past the Wanstead Hotel and the Wallingford Rest Area before rolling into Porangahau, 45 kilometres from Waipukurau. This small village has a beautiful old hotel and a store. There are toilets at the far end of town.
From Porangahau, backtrack for 1km to head up Wimbledon Road to Wimbledon Tavern, 21km away. On the way, you will pass a signpost marking the longest place name in the world. Wimbledon has a lovely pub, with accommodation.
From Wimbledon, Route 52 heads west and over the biggest hill of the ride. Expect to be climbing for around 20 minutes. On the otherside you will pass Waione, where there is a hall with a good verandah to shelter under if necessary but not much else. The next village is Pongaroa (45km from Wimbledon), which has a great tavern and café and a basic dairy that provides takeaways.
About 10.5km south of Pongaroa is Glenross Lodge and Backpackers, a popular overnight destination for cyclists.
The final leg of Route 52, Glenross Lodge to Masterton, is 81km long and is also across a farming landscape of rolling hills. After 11km, you will reach Tiraumea Hall, which has public toilets. Then 35km from Glenross Lodge, you’ll reach Alfredton.
At Alfredton School, turn left to stay on Route 52. One hundred metres past the school there is a driveway on the right that leads down to the Alfredton Domain where you can find water, toilets and camping.
The last 46km from Alfredton to Masterton is a great stretch of riding; it’s mostly downhill. On the edge of Masterton, is the Pointon Heritage Car Collection. All the vehicles have relationships to the Wairarapa. The owners will take you through on a guided tour of the vehicles, which in turn tell the stories of the region.
Credit photo & content to NZ Cycle Trail
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From the shopping centre in Waipukurau, head south on Porangahau Road., -40.1621, 176.5568