Te ara roa – The long road Fri­day 25 Jan­uary 2019

The long­est of the five stages, this race goes from the Te Awa­mutu town­ship past the his­toric fron­tier town of Ki­hik­ihi.

Waipa Post - - Event Preview -

Te Awa­mutu was the home of two ma­jor pà sites; OtÃwhao and Kaipaka PÃ. When mis­sion­ar­ies ar­rived they set up the OtÃwhao Mis­sion Sta­tion and to­gether with lo­cal MÃori es­tab­lished a num­ber of farms and flour mills. Two per­ma­nent churches were built to ser­vice lo­cal parish­ioners, St John’s Church in Te Awa­mutu and St Paul’s Church in the nearby set­tle­ment of Ran­giaowhia.

Dur­ing the Waikato cam­paign of the New Zealand Land Wars, thou­sands of sol­diers ar­rived in Te Awa­mutu and sev­eral re­doubts were built to house them. The 65th re­doubt (now Al­bert Park) was home to 3,000 men for most of 1864. At the end of the Waikato cam­paign, the town was set­tled by ex-sol­diers and other set­tlers. The in­tro­duc­tion of the rail­way in 1880 helped de­velop the town through farming and paved the way for the Te Awa­mutu we know to­day.

The area also marked the end of the Waikato cam­paign of the New Zealand Land Wars with the bat­tle of OrÃkau tak­ing place on Ara­puni Road just east of Ki­hik­ihi. Ki­hik­ihi it­self be­came a gar­ri­son town hous­ing sol­diers dur­ing the cam­paign and its grid lay­out is a nod to this era. The town is also the site of a me­mo­rial to Rewi Ma­niapoto, on the cor­ner of Lyon and Whit­more Streets. Rewi was a prom­i­nent mem­ber of NgÃti Paretekawa, a hapĭ of NgÃti Ma­niapoto. He was well-known for his lead­er­ship, knowl­edge of tra­di­tions and was a key player in the Kín­gi­tanga move­ment.

Loop­ing around through the rocky and pic­turesque Ďtoro­hanga dis­trict, rid­ers re­turn past Mt Kakepuku, both a recre­ation and his­toric re­serve and one of the trea­sured maunga in the Waipà dis­trict. Mt Kakepuku has been oc­cu­pied by sev­eral hapĭ in its his­tory and there are the re­mains of four pà sites present in the forests. Hiku­rangi PÃ, on the sum­mit of the maunga, is re­garded as one of the best pre­served hill top pà in the re­gion.

This iconic part of the Waipà sky­line is ac­tu­ally an old vol­cano. More re­cently a con­ser­va­tion group was es­tab­lished to help re­duce pest num­bers on the maunga. You can take a walk to the sum­mit for an amaz­ing view of the sur­round­ing land­scape.

Get your spot at the fin­ish line on Bank Street in Te Awa­mutu and cheer on the rid­ers!

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