Cycle Through Tauranga’s Best Kept Secret – The Kopurererua Valley

Kopurererua Valley Reserve is one of Australasia’s largest urban wetlands. It sits right in the heart of our city, yet few people know it even exists!

The best way to explore this hidden gem is by bike. A fantastic cycleway has been created that weaves its way from The Lakes in Tauriko to the Historic Village on 17th Ave, before continuing on to Sulphur Point in central Tauranga.

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A mixture of boardwalks, gravel and sealed pathways wind their way alongside the Kopurererua Valley stream and will take you around 45 minutes one way between the Lakes and the Historic Village. There’s also an ‘express’ path that’s more direct so if you have an e-bike or electric scooter, you can zip into the CBD in less than 20 minutes.

This 300ha public park is adjacent to the toll road/expressway that connects Tauriko to the CBD. But once you’re on the cycleway tracks, you become oblivious to any traffic or noise. Over 300,000 native plants have been planted to help regenerate this wetland and the result is a secluded oasis. If you take the track west of the expressway, you’ll find yourself cycling under the cover of trees and lots of native plants; if you chose one of tracks on the eastern side, you’ll mainly be out in the open with views of the wetland to enjoy.

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The Kopurererua Stream meanders through farmland as well as wetland but the cycleway tracks are all well-constructed and dry, with sturdy bridges to cross over the water at different points. 

Historically, the Kopurererua Valley Reserve was home to Ngai Tamarawaho and there are numerous cultural and archaeological sites of importance, including Puketoromiro Pa, that can be seen along the cycleway. Information boards and carvings have been erected to mark their significance, and in time, facilities and further linkages will be improved to encourage people to explore this area.

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Tracks east of the expressway are mainly flat, making them suitable for all ages and cycling abilities, while the western track is more undulating. You can park your car and access K Valley from multiple points including Sulphur Point, Judea, Bethlehem, Gate Pa, Tauranga South (Historic Village) and Tauriko (The Lakes). The cycleway tracks also double as walkways, so make sure you share the paths with those on foot.

If you have kids in tow and need an extra incentive to get them peddling, The Whipped Baker’s donuts and crazy milkshakes at the Historic Village are stuff of legends! A visit is sure to spur everyone’s legs on towards the finish line.

Whether you’re powered by sugar or water, there’s no doubt the Kopurererua Valley cycleway is a brilliant family day out. Find out more here.

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