Day 26 | Eketahuna to Greytown

Side roads, deviations and byways

Date: 16 Feb 2024
Grade: 2

Have you ever heard of the Norwegian church at Mauriceville? What? You’ve never heard of Mauriceville?

This is why we like biking. We have to get to the next destination by roads less travelled, and that leads us to discover corners of New Zealand that we never knew existed, and that we will probably never revisit. To paraphrase Flann O’Brien: “As we went on our way we were slightly glad to have seen this.”

There is not a lot to see between Eke and Masterton but there are a lot of reminders that this area was settled in the 19 century by Scandi-wegians. Ekatahuna (sandbank on the river) was originally ‘Mellemskov’ which means ‘clearing in the forest’. Along with the Danes of Dannevirke, these settlers enthusiastically whittled away at the the huge podocarp forest between the two towns – then known as the 70-mile bush; now reduced to tiny remnants.

After a very friendly coffee at Don Luciano Cafe and Gracio Coffee Roastery (our bikes are like puppies and babies in attracting conversations with strangers) we set off down the very flat Wairarapa plains, bypassing Carterton and only needing to use SH 2 for the last few kms to Greytown, with a wide safe shoulder and the Waiohine River where the Navigator had a swim.

Tonight we are being spoiled by old friends Vicki and Greg, and tomorrow, rather than the usual Remutaka Trail, we are taking the south coast route. However we have been thwarted (rhymes with farted) by the fire-fear closure of the Pencarrow area behind Eastbourne. Current Plan B is round to Orongorongo then up the Wainuiomata valley road, and I bet there will be something slightly interesting to find, whatever way we go.

Supplies: Greytown or Carterton

These videos are best viewed on a computer screen. Turning your phone sideways helps.

Total distance: 77.47 km
Max elevation: 308 m
Min elevation: 45 m
Total climbing: 589 m
Total descent: -759 m
Total time: 06:30:00
Download file: day26.gpx

Battery use: 72% | 450Wh


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