In 2009 an idea was born to create a network of cycle trails that would not only provide a healthy and enjoyable way for Kiwis and international visitors to see the country, but would also generate economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand communities. The New Zealand Cycle Trail network - Nga Haerenga is made up of nineteen trails around the country. The Ruapehu region is lucky enough to be home to two of the great rides which are part of this network: the Timber Trail and the Mountains to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono.
Ruapehu Cycling & Mountain Bike Trails
The Mountains to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono cycle trail starts on the flanks of Mt Ruapehu, travels through Tongariro National Park and Whanganui National Park, then follows New Zealand's longest navigable river to the ocean floor in Wanganui. For further information visit mountainstosea.co.nz.
The 44km Timber Trail between Piropiro Flats and Ongarue is largely centred around Pureora Forest. A family-friendly cycling adventure on easy gradients and surfaces, following historic bush tramways, old bulldozer roads and newly constructed track. The trail features large suspension bridges (the longest being 141 metres, 55 metres high), and the recently restored, historic Ongarue Spiral.
For further information visit timber-trail.co.nz
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Now fully restored as a cycle trail, the Ohakune Old Coach Road was originally used by horse-drawn coaches to transport passengers between the two rail heads of the unfinished North Island trunk line. Steeped in history, there are great views and sights, including the Hapuawhenua Viaduct. The Ohakune Old Coach Road is a section of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.
Te Pepe Bike Park & Pump Track
The Te Pepe Bike Park & Pump Track offers an adrenaline filled circuit trail whatever your ability. Featuring a series of rollers and berms, the pump track is designed to allow riders to learn how to keep momentum on a bike trail without pedalling. Enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Located on Old Station Road, The Junction, Ohakune.
Starting at Kapoors Road, Taurewa on Highway 47, the 42 Traverse mountain bike trail is around 46 kilometres long with an overall descent of 570 metres. Follow old logging roads as you navigate challenging downhills and muscle-testing uphill paths.
The Mangapurua Valley was opened by the government to encourage settlement by returning World War 1 soldiers and their families. The land was cleared of forest and turned into farmland but problems such as poor access, erosion and falling stock prices during the Depression years forced most of the settlers to abandon their farms. The few remaining farmers were forced to leave the valley in 1942 when the Government refused to maintain the storm damaged road. The trail features a uphill climb to the Mangapurua Trig, sheer bluffs, regenerating native forest and the historic Bridge to Nowhere. Three campsites are available along the trail. The Mangapurua Track is part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail. For more information see DOC Mangapurua/Kaiwahakauka page.
Like the Mangapurua Valley, land within the Kaiwhakauka Valley was offered to returned World War 1 servicemen. Beginning at Whakahoro, the trail follows a farm track then the true left bank of the Kaiwhakauka Stream up to the Mangapurua Track. The track is a mixture of regenerating bush and farmland. The Kaiwhakauka Track is part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail.
Whanganui River Road
Follow the scenic Whanganui River Road, a trail showcasing a rich natural and cultural heritage of the Maori and early European settlers. Pass through small settlements including Jerusalem, Ranana, Koriniti and Atene. Cafes and accommodation options available along the way as well as many signposted historic points of interest.
Fishers Track mountain bike trail is also part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail and includes a 520m descent through farmland. Be ready for a steady climb to the summit and then zoom along the 17km downhill stretch. Located near Whakahoro and Whanganui National Park.
Marton Sash & Door Tramway
A loop trail which follows a recovered bush tramway route, back country dirt roads and a pine plantation which travels alongside the North Island Main Trunk Railway Line.
A network of connected loop trails for intermediate and advanced riders through standing and cut over pine plantation. The trails can be accessed from the Waikune Mill Road or a 2 - 3km ride from National Park Village.
Forgotten World Highway
Spanning 150 kms between Taumarunui and Stratford, this route cuts through some of the most remote and historic parts of New Zealand, winding over four mountain saddles, through the 180m one-way Moki tunnel and along the beautiful Tangarakau Gorge.
Watch our video
Mountain Biking in Ruapehu, New Zealand
Further Mountain Biking & Cycling Information
Details on these and other bike trails in the region can be found in both the Mountains to Sea and Other Great Rides and Timber Trail and Other Great Local Rides Brochure. Both are available from the Ohakune i-SITE, contact them by email or phone +64 6 385 8427. Alternatively download your copy now.
|Mountains to Sea Brochure - Trails|
Adobe Acrobat Document, 10.4 MB
|Mountains to Sea Brochure - Map|
Adobe Acrobat Document, 3.74 MB
|Timber Trail and other great local rides|
Adobe Acrobat Document, 12.7 MB
Mountain Bikes & Gear for Hire
Don't worry if you haven't brought your bike. You can still enjoy the trails by hiring a mountain bike from mountain biking providers in the region.