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Cross Creek to Ocean Beach

36km, 2-3 hours, Grade 3 (Intermediate, on-road)

Suitable for:  Regular cyclists with a good level of fitness.

Things to be aware of:  

  • The road alongside Lake Wairarapa is a public road and there may be high traffic. Please ensure you ride single file (one person wide) to allow cars to pass and help increase the safety of all road users.
  • Ensure you are carrying enough food as there are no shops on this part of the trail.

Rimutaka cycle Lake Wairarapa

Some riders may opt to turn north-east on Western Lake Road to the town of Featherston (12km) to finish their day’s ride.  It's also the place to pick up more supplies if required.

The trail, however, turns south west and runs alongside the shore of Lake Wairarapa. This section is a gentle descent on sealed public road, easily ridden, with some care required for occasional motor vehicles.  Riders will travel through rich farmland, where sheep and cattle have grazed since Eurpoeans first settled in the 19th century.

Towards the coast riders pass Lake Onoke, part of the Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park, home to indigenous and migratory waterbirds, and a historically productive food and material resource for local Māori.

Riders reach the big blue of Cook Strait at the settlement of Ocean Beach.


Points of interest

  • Cross Creek Station - A registered Historic site, this was once occupied by several cottages, a hall, school, library, locomotive depot and a turntable
  • Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park – Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Park is made up of the beds of Lake Wairarapa and Lake Onoke and the publicly owned reserves around them. This covers over 9,000 hectares, from Lake Domain in the north to Onoke Spit, 30km away, at Palliser Bay.  The wetlands are traditionally and spiritually important to Māori as an area for food gathering, including eel, fish, waterfowl, and plant material, in particular, flax and raupo.
  • Waiorongomai Station - Seven generations of the Matthews family have farmed Waiorongomai Station since first settlers, Charles and Elizabeth Matthews arrived in 1842 on the sailing ship London.
  • Waiorongomai All Saints Church was built by the Matthews family in memory of Alfred and Hannah Matthews, who died in 1926. It was Alfred Matthew's desire to have an ecumenical church as a place for the whole community to use and to serve as a memorial to the pioneers of the district and to all the families who have worked on Waiorongomai since 1842.
  • Lake Onoke - Walk along Onoke Spit, and look across the sea channel toward Lake Ferry. Stay to the central highest strip of the narrow spit, as the adjacent area is habitat for rare species of plants, birds, and insects; rare Caspian Tern, breed on the spit. Look for banded dotterel, albatross and penguins, or check out to sea-dolphins, seals, and whales are sometimes visible.  
  • The Lake Ferry Hotel is the ultimate spot for a meal with a view.  It's said that their fish and chips are the best in the region!
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