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Stage 461 – Wairau Valley to Renwick

The descent continues. This is a glorious stage, indeed one of the stages of the whole journey to date as it descends close to the eastern shore of the South Island of New Zealand. There’s just one more stage left before Wellington and the onward journey north. Once again following the Wairau River east, the stage loses over six hundred feet of elevation whilst only climbing a hundred feet to balance the books, and most of that is in one gentle climb at fourteen miles.

The rollout crosses Boundary Stream immediately then curves gently right before running straight and downhill to just before two miles where the road curves back left. It then runs straight, descending all the time, to Wairau Valley for a further three miles, crossing Walkers Stream at four miles as it does so.

The road is as far away from the river (one mile) as it gets on the stage as it passes through Wairau Valley then as the river bends slightly right as it heads further east, the two converge again as the road maintains a virtually straight course. There’s more water at six miles in the form of Church Stream followed by Centre Valley Stream at eleven miles. All of these streams flow into the Wairau River, adding to its already considerable volume.

The road hangs a right as it crosses Centre Valley Stream before then crossing Black Valley Stream a mile later. The highway passes a small reservoir at twelve miles and shortly after that runs along the bottom of the ridge that sits on a mountain range to the south. With the river in close proximity to the north, the road rises gently to fifteen miles as it comes off the end of the ridge on a right hand bend.

The state highway then descends to cross the Waihopai River at sixteen miles where the road bends left, and a mile later it swings back right on approach to the Lanark Lane junction. Then it’s a straight downhill run through Waihopai Valley at nineteen miles before hanging a left/left on approach to Renwick. The first of those left turns takes the route off Highway 63 and onto Route 6 heading north. The finish of the stage is just north of Renwick before the crossing of the Wairau River: that will come at the start of stage 462.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 190 feet / 58 metres

RGT Magic Road: KQ3kaP5Zv6bx

Total distance: 21.99 mi
Max elevation: 734 ft
Min elevation: 172 ft
Total climbing: 190 ft
Total descent: -747 ft

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