Day 39, Friday 29 September 2017
There are two highways going north from Auckland: the Northern Motorway (State Highway 1) and State Highway 16. The motorway has a toll, and the group of bikers I regularly ride with don’t like to pay tolls on roads their taxes have already paid for, so we go up SH16 frequently SH16 is a good road, but we like variety. There’s a toll-free bypass to the motorway, and most of it is a good road, but it goes through the suburbs of Orewa, and that part isn’t much fun. Today I went looking for a way of bypassing the toll on the back roads north of Auckland, most of which are gravel. I was hoping to find a route using only sealed roads, and it doesn’t matter how much longer or slower it might be than the motorway.
From just north of Wainui, Weranui Road goes northeast to Waiwera, passing under the motorway. It’s a nice twisty country road, but it has three km of gravel at the Waiwera end. I checked that it hadn’t been sealed since last time I was on it. This is quite high (13th place) on Auckland Transport’s list of roads to seal, so it’s probably worth checking on every year or so, but at the moment I wouldn’t take a group ride over it unless we have a group where everyone doesn’t mind gravel.
Also from Wainui, Monowai Road goes north and connects to Krippner Road, which goes east to Puhoi which is north of the toll. Monowai is gravel, but is in second place on the list of roads to seal. The western half of Krippner Road is unsealed, but there are roadworks along it and it looks to me like they are preparing to seal it. At the moment it’s been graded down to bare earth and would be very slippery if wet. It’s 11th on the list. By itself, Krippner isn’t going to help us unless they also seal Monowai, or Tahekeroa Road which goes to Kaukapakapa to the west. Tahekeroa Road is very low priority for sealing.
Another possibility would be to take the sealed part of Weranui Road, turn onto Noakes Hill Road (which is currently gravel), then take the sealed part of Krippner to Puhoi. This would be a nice combination of roads, but unfortunately Noakes Hill is low priority for sealing.
At this stage, it appears there’s no way to get from the west to the east on sealed roads ending up north of the toll road apart from going through Orewa, or going up SH16 to Woodcocks Road quite a bit further north. I’ll keep checking on progress made in sealing these roads.
Photo: The gravel part of Weranui Road passing under the Northern Motorway.
Distance travelled: 123 km. Total distance so far: 5611 km
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