This stage reinforces the notion that the New Zealand leg of Around The World is making progress, because eight miles into the stage, it passes from Wellington district into Manawatu-Wanganui district: without crossing borders, the journey makes no progress.
But first, the rollout. It’s straight and gently uphill for two miles before a left/right wiggle takes the Route 1 Main Highway over the Otaki River. The road then scoots by the eastern side of Otaki itself before starting a lumpy climb at four miles. The climb gains only a hundred feet of elevation, but it’s still enough to attain the highest elevation of the stage at the border. Over the top, the road drops down into Manakau before rising up to Tatum Park then back down to Kuku at eleven miles. There’s a small water crossing immediately after Kuku before a more substantial crossing of the Ohau River at twelve miles.
A short rise up to Weraroa straight after that is followed by a longer but still gentle three mile descent to Levin at sixteen miles. The second significant climb of the stage then kicks in as the highway begins a long left hander that finishes as the road approaches Heatherlea at eighteen miles. With Route 1 now heading west again back towards the coast, it’s no real surprise that the last three miles of the stage are downhill. The end of the stage is where the road begins a right hander on the approach to the junction to Waitarere Beach.
Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres
Ascent: 591 feet / 180 metres
RGT Magic Road: GJt968OHwd8C
Max elevation: 291 ft
Min elevation: 148 ft
Total climbing: 590 ft
Total descent: -587 ft
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