Wairarapa Road Cycling

Food in the Wairarapa

Food in the Wairarapa

The Wairarapa has the best road cycling roads in New Zealand with dozens of options available. There is a very active road cycling club and the friendly locals welcome visitors to join the bunch rides.

Bunch rides start at the car park behind Burger King, Masterton on the corner of Lincoln Road and SH2.

  • Saturday 8.00am - faster more advanced group ride
  • Saturday 8.00am - (summer) slower group ride
  • Saturday 9.00am - (winter) slower group ride
  • Sunday 8.00am - group ride catering for everyone with an average pace of about 27km per hour
  • Wednesday 5.30pm - take lights in winter

Typical Wairarapa scenery on a road ride

Here are some circuits if you want to go it alone or have your own group.

  • These are mostly low traffic volume roads but they are 100km per hour so ride in single file and dress for visibility
  • Always tell someone which route you are taking and your expected time of return
  • Take plenty of food and water plus extra layers of clothing - you never know!
  • Ride all these cicuits anti-clockwise to avoid crossing busy roads

Pakaraka Circuit

Masterton 20km

This is a perenial favourite for local road cyclists. An easy morning or afternoon ride with nothing more than a couple of very short rises. The start of the return leg takes you onto a terrace which looks back across Masterton to the Tararua Range.

Please take care on the descent from the terrace where it joins Masterton Stronvar Road.

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Kourarau Circuit

Masterton 50km

A bit of a challenge with 654m of climbing and 346m from the bottom of Te Wharau Road up past the hyro-electricity generating dam. The short relief at the dam is not the top of the hill with another nagging 70m climb to the crest of the hill. If you want a break it's worth the short detour to have a look at the dam. On the way up to the dam you pass weirs and drop towers down in the valley which are all related to the dam. The final climb which starts after 42km is a sharp solid effort to the lime works quarry where you'll be rewarded with magnificent views across Masterton to the Tararua Range.

Do take care on the descent from the crest of Te Wharau Road as this is very fast and there is a fairly sharp left hand turn at the bottom.

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Masterton Langdale Triangle

Masterton 58km

A favourite Saturday club ride taking you into some very quiet rural back blocks on some fast rolling terrain. The rural views are beautiful and worth taking your camera if you have the time.

The circuit map shows this ride in a clockwise direction but it's safer to ride in an anticlockwise loop so as not to turn across SH2 or the Castlepoint Te Ore Ore Road. Either way you will travel about 7km on SH2 and time your run over the narrow railway bridge in between traffic.

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Masterton - Martinborough (loop return)


Farmland, mountains, vineyards and a mushroom farm make for a longer ride but it's an easy rolling and very scenic few hours. A group could make a day of this stopping in Carterton for a beer or Martinborough for lunch and a wine. 

The return leg from Martinborough on Longbush Road has some very tight stretches of road so stay left and enter bends with care.

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Masterton - Gladstone - Carrington Circuit

85.6 km

This ride takes you to the western side of SH2 and over the short sharp (9.4%) Carrington Hill before the long fast bending descent to Carterton. Back across to the eastern side of SH2 via the roundabout and make your way to another good climb up Millars before rolling back to Masterton. This is another good group day ride with options for stops in Carterton and Gladstone for lunch a beer or a vineyard visit.

Take care at the start as you head towards Norfolk Road on SH2. Give yourself plenty of time and space to cross into the right hand turning bay and to turn into Norfolk Road.

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