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.
Starting at Kapoors Road, Taurewa on Highway 47, the 42 Traverse mountain biking 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 trail features a uphill climb to the Mangapurua Trig, sheer bluffs, regenerating native forest and the historic Bridge to Nowhere. An iconic mountain bike trail.
Like the Mangapurua, land within the Kaiwhakauka Valley was offered to returned World War 1 servicemen. The land was cleared of forest and turned into farmland but due to the Depression years most settlers had to abandon their farms. Beginning at Whakahoro, the trail follows farmland then a road to the Mangapurua Valley which provided access by horse and cart.
Fishers Track mountain bike trail is also part of the Mountains to Sea 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.
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 the Mountains to Sea and Other Great Rides Brochure. It is 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 Brochure|
Adobe Acrobat Document, 1.53 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.