The road was originally used by horse-drawn coach to carry passengers and goods between two railheads on the North Island main trunk link before they were linked in 1908.
It is an easy 15km one way walk that will take around 5 hrs if you allow time for lunch, or 2-3 hours by mountain bike. The journey will take you through some beautiful stands of native forest with sweeping views across the district. The Old Coach Road can start from either Horopito or Ōhakune but because Horopito is about 500 feet higher than Ōhakune it is easier to journey downhill from Horopito. A number of operators in the region will be able to drop you in Horopito if you wish.