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The Great Rides and Cycle Trails of New Zealand

Turakirae Head / Wester Palliser Bay

Regional Ride

Wairarapa, North Island

A 19 km 4WD track takes you through 2 private properties and Department of Conservation (DoC) land. It's mostly rideable with a few creek crossings and areas of loose sand.

At Turakirae Head, tectonic uplift has created a series of raised beaches which are geologically of international significance and the area is protected as a Scientific Reserve with each level of beach having its own micro ecosystem. There's a seal colony which is best seen between August and September.

You'll see breathtaking coastal scenery and pass by some neat stands of Karaka trees. Check out the Mukamuka rocks and monument. This was the route taken by early settlers mustering sheep from Port Nicholson to set up New Zealand's first sheep station south of Martinborough.

Courteous contact of landowners is required:

Orongorongo Station 
Jacinda & Grant Absalom 
+64 4 568 6466 
[email protected] 

Richard Rooney 
+64 6 307 7581 or +64 277 106 968 
[email protected]

Assuming permission is granted, please do take care when riding around that stretch of coast as it is rugged and you are out of cell phone reception. Take the standard precautions of:


  • advising people when you are going in and expected out 
  • sticking to the coastal track 
  • taking food and water 
  • taking a change of clothes for cold weather 
  • taking a first aid kit 
  • not crossing any swollen streams 
  • not going in a southerly wind 
  • No dogs.