How to get there.
This is a wonderful scenic ride, with magnificent views of the Manawatu Gorge, Ashhurst, Woodville and Palmerston North. You need to be reasonably fit as there is a good climb (300m vertical) to start off with and at over 40km, it is a reasonable distance to ride.
From the bridge ride along Ballance Gorge Rd for 500m then turn right into Hall Block Rd. You immediately start a reasonably steep climb that continues on for 6km to reach the first of the wind turbines. Go through the gate and continue along the gravel road through the windfarms (there are a few gates along the way, but this is all public road - please leave gates as you found them). Once you get to the Pahiatua Track Rd, turn right and descend the long downhill to Aokautere. Turn left at the intersection to take the road through Summerhill and across the Manawatu River into Palmerston North.
This ride should take a reasonably fit person around 2:30 hours to get back to Palmerston North. If your really keen (or don't have any friends with a car) you can ride this as an "out and back" epic from Palmerston North. Alternatively, park your car at the top of the Pahiatua Track and ride up North Range Rd through the windfarm. Take a camera as the views are amazing. Not recommended on a windy day.
The ride passes through the Tararua Windfarm, which comprises 134 turbines with a total capacity of 160MW and the smaller Te Rere Hau Wind Farm, nearer to the Pahiatua Track, which has 97 turbines producing 48MW. There is also another windfarm, Te Apiti, operated by Meridian Energy on the north side of the Manawatu Gorge, which can be seen when climbing Hall Block road. In total, these three windfarms produce enough power for more than 110,000 homes.
Ballance Bridge to Palmy - The Windfarm Ride at EveryTrail
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