Burma Road: easy cycling from Ohope

Historic Burma road stretches into the forest behind Ohope and Whakatane. It's popular for biking and running.

Ohope Beach is best known for a stunning 11km-long sweep of sand, and for Whakaari (White Island), the active volcano that sits 50km offshore.But just inland from the huge beach, the eastern Bay of Plenty town presents superb forest that is inhabited by wild kiwi and other birds. A fun way of seeing some of this forest is by riding Burma road, which was one of region's first roads, cut through about 1872.


Today, you can ride from Ohope, taking the gravel Maraetotara road, then gravel Burma road, and then back to Ohope on 3km of roadside cycle path. Or you can take roadside cycle path from nearby Whakatane to connect to Burma road. Burma road rises from just above sea level to about 100m elevation, so it's not flat. But on the 2km long climb the gradient is even and gentle. The road is closed to motor traffic so is family friendly riding (or walking).


Ask at Whakatane iSITE for their cycling brochure. Or go onto whakatane.com and search Burma road. Ask in Whakatane iSITE about hire bikes. Or, Whakatane is 55km from Opotiki and the start of Motu Trails, where a range of hire bikes are available.


Another way of experiencing the superb forest of this area is by walking Nga Tapuwae o Toi, The footsteps of Toi. Again, search the Whakatane web site or ask in the iSITE for details. You can't cycle that track, but you can ride on gravel road to the track's high-point, Kapu-te-Rangi, Toi's pa. This is about 150m above Whakatane. The roads are fairly steep, but the views superb.

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