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Stage 452 – Hokitika to Greymouth

File this one under “Great route, if a little straight: shame about the lump in the middle”. Stage 452 is literally straight up the coast, heading north east towards Greymouth, but the wide estuary of the Taramakau River just after halfway sends the route a mile inland and that throws a spanner in the works of it being a fast flat course from end to end.

The first half of the course is pretty innocuous as it heads into Arahura within a mile and out of it, crossing the Arahura River in the process, by two miles. The river then merges with Flowery Creek and the two of them flow into the sea as one. The creek actually runs alongside the road, on its left hand side, for the next two miles, with the railway nestling between the two.

Interstate Route 6, which has now become Kumara Junction Highway, crosses over the railway at four miles before the line crosses back under the road a mile later. Immediately after the second railway bridge, at five miles, the road passes over Waimea Creek as it makes its way down to the sea. After that it’s pretty uneventful until the sharp right hander at ten miles where the A6 heads inland for a mile in preparation for the much wider crossing of the Taramakau River.

The road swings left onto the Taramakau Bridge at twelve miles, having climbed almost a hundred feet in half a mile in order to make the required elevation. Off the bridge, the road descends back down to sea level and swings right as it passes through Camerons to resume its run along the seafront. Miles thirteen to eighteen are uneventful from a lumpiness perspective, punctuated by Gladstone at fifteen miles, Paroa at sixteen miles and South Beach at seventeen miles.

The road wiggles right then left at nineteen miles and although the road continues to run parallel with the coastline thereafter, it’s half a mile inland which necessitates some climbing from the eighteen mile mark. As the route enters Greymouth, it passes the Hospital with a mile to go, with the airport beyond the hospital, its runway ending right beside the beach. The finishing straight is half a mile in length along High Street with the line itself at the junction of Frankline Street by the Bella Vista Motel.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 322 feet / 98 metres

RGT Magic Road: xKLXBB2SGCfB

Total distance: 20.43 mi
Max elevation: 131 ft
Min elevation: 28 ft
Total climbing: 321 ft
Total descent: -298 ft

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