Rodney Times : January 5th 2016
6 RODNEY TIMES, JANUARY 5, 2016 stuff.co.nz Most of the track is on the flat with a portion of the trail next to strawberry farms. The pottery marker poles help rider Liezel van Rooyen navigate the Matakana Trail Ride. Matakana Bike Trail The Matakana Trail Ridewas named one of the top 10 in Auckland this year and chief reporter Caralise Trayes tries the track out to find out why. Parking in the Matakana township, the trail starts with a walk over the Matakana bridge. Pedestrians have to take extra care as the ‘walkway’ is a small section of road separated from traffic by a few orange cones. Pick a good time to cross and you will make it to the first leg of the ride – a short bush track through to Tongue Farm Rd. The road meanders past Morris and James Cafe, where you could be tempted to stop for an introductory coffee, but we push on. Most of the path is on gravel – either dirt road or stony bike trail. It’s rated as suitable for more confident riders, possibly due to the terrain or maybe it is the ‘‘moderate’’ hill that rises above the flat in the first third. My friend and I attempted to ascend it but dismounted part way up … something we were a tad embarrassed about until talking to a biker in Point Wells who mentioned a number of people have to walk it due to its difficulty and danger. Despite the climb, the view across farmlands from near the top is perfect. On the other side the trail cuts alongside a pine plantation and through a eucalyptus grove. The smell is glorious. My favourite stretch of track runs through a number of strawberry farms where the only sounds heard are the singing of birds and the crunch of the tyre. Thankfully there is a trench separating me from the red berries nearly ready to pluck. Rejoining civilisation, the ride continues roadside into ‘‘garden village’’ Point Wells. A stop at the local shop marks the turnaround point. Taking a left at Broadlands Dr on the way back we divert to Omaha. The Omaha estuary’s expanse is a beautiful welcome to the illustrious township. On a hot day a dip into the surf at the beach would be a treat but we settle for lunch at the Kick Back Cafe near the surf club instead. Refreshed, it’s all aboard and time to head home feeling we had escaped the world for a morning. A dip at Omaha beach would be welcome on a hot day. Stop on the bridge while crossing the Omaha estuary for a reflection time. The new online destination for Over-60s. Discover oversixty.co.nz today!
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