Waipukurau — Masterton (2 days, 202km)


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.

River Grove Olives, Gordon Street (opposite Henley Lake) has modern accommodation overlooking the working olive grove.

Getting There

Waipukurau is 70km south of Napier on Highway 2, and is serviced daily by Intercity buses.

Masterton is 98km northeast of Wellington on Highway 2 and is serviced daily by the Wairarapa Line commuter train.

Both services take a limited number of bicycles.

There are bus services available to and from both destinations.

The Tranz Metro Wairarapa train runs daily between Wellington and Masterton. This train stops at Upper Hutt, Maymorn, Featherston, and all other stations to Masterton. Large groups need to contact TransMetro first.

Visitor Information

  • Masterton i-SITE Visitor Centre on the corner of Dixon and Bruce Street, Masterton
  • Martinborough i-SITE Visitor Centre, Kitchener Street, Martinborough
  • Pongaroa information

Be Prepared

  • Accommodation, restaurant, takeaways
  • There is bike shop in the Ford car dealership, Ruahine Motors, 85 Ruataniwha Street
  • 3 Straw Stone Homestay (3km out of town), Ph: 06 858 6587
  • Wanstead Hotel, Ph: 06 855 4849
  • Waipukurau Holiday Park (under refurbishment at time of writing) Ph: 06 858 8184
  • Dairy, accommodation and food
  • Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Ph: 06 855 5266
  • Beach Road Holiday Park, Ph: 06 855 5281
  • Tavern and accommodation, Ph: 06 374 3504
  • General store/café, food, accommodation
  • Pongaroa Hotel, Ph: 06 376 2864
  • The Village Retreat, Ph: 06 376 2882
  • Wild Side Farm Activity Retreat, Ph: 06 376 2500
  • Glenross Lodge, Ph: 06 376 7288
  • Camping at the domain: 06 375 8440
  • There is an enormous range of accommodation available in Masterton.
  • Hazeldene is the first accommodation in Masterton as you leave Route 52. A restored 1930’s homestead set on 4 acres of quiet Wairarapa countryside.
  • Lansdowne House is an historic property with accommodation and the site of the original vineyard in the Wairarapa. Nearby is Natusch House also in Lansdowne.
  • At the intersection of Te Ore Ore Road and State Highway 2 is Mawley Park Motorcamp, which is bordered by the Waipoua River. The main entrance is off Oxford Street just to the right.
  • Budget accommodation can be found at the Empire Lodge in Queen Street, central Masterton.
  • The most central Masterton accommodation is at Natusch House.
Activities in Masterton include:
  • Pointon Heritage Car Collection – all the vehicles have a Wairarapa story behind them
  • Genesis Recreation Centre – indoor pools and gymnasium
  • The Wool Shed – historic story telling of the Wairarapa’s shearing heritage
  • Aratoi Museum of Art & History – a modern gallery with touring exhibits
  • Queen Elizabeth Park Paddle Boats – cruise the lake, feed the ducks and spot the eels
  • Regent 3 Cinemas – for the latest movie releases
  • Hedley’s Books – a traditional old style book store
Restaurants in central Masterton include:
  • 10 O’Clock Cookie Bakery – an award winning bakery of fine cakes and pastries
  • Cecile in the Park – an excellent restaurant in the middle of Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Entice – a very popular cafe adjoining Aratoi and looking across to Queen Elizabeth Park

Route 52 cycle route

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