Tongariro River Trail

1-2 HRS

15 Km

Highlights

  • Beautiful river scenery
  • National Trout Centre
  • Fun single track

Proximity

Grade

Intermediate

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A relaxing ride beside one of the best trout fishing rivers in the world. There are two large swing bridges, connected by tree-lined single track.

Overview

The Tongariro River Trail is one of the Great Lake Taupo region’s most picturesque mountain bike trails. Discover lush native bush and the sounds of the tranquil Tongariro River as you leisurely cycle along its banks. The pristine Tongariro River is a magnate for trout fishers all around the world. You will see them standing up to their small parts in pools along the river, patiently doing battle with the wiley fish, frowning when occasionally disturbed by a passing raft or kayaker. For those that prefer to stay dry, the river trail is the best option. You can stop off at the fascinating National Trout Centre to learn all about the variety of fish that live in the river.

Riding the trail

The Tongariro River Trail is a mainly flat, easily ridden 15km loop track. It follows the banks of the world-famous trout fishing river from the township of Turangi to Red Hut Bridge and back. The trail can be ridden in either direction and has multiple entry/exit points, giving you many options for shorter rides to suit your particular needs.

There are many places to stop on the way and view the Tongariro River, and some days when conditions are favourable you will see anglers trying their luck with the trout in the clear waters. You will find beautiful picnic spots along the trail and access to the river for a refreshing swim during the warm summer months. 

The trail is mostly smooth and easy, as it travels up one side of the river, right past the National Trout Centre, to a large swing bridge. After taking in the views cross the bridge and follow the trail back down the other side, through low forest and occasionally beside farmland, all the way to Turangi. The centre, which showcases trout in their natural habitat, is a popular option for families or those interested in learning about New Zealand’s freshwater ecology. 

This ride is a great adventure for those just starting out with mountain biking, or for families, but is equally enjoyable for experienced mountain bikers looking for a ‘cruisy Sunday afternoon’ type ride. It’s a fantastic way to experience the lush native bush surrounding the Turangi area and the trail has some fun sections where you can duck and dive between trees, enjoying the easy flowing corners of this purpose-built mountain biking trail.

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Getting there

The start of the trail can be reached by cycling from the Turangi town centre to the Taupahi Reserve, or you can drive to one of the many entry points along the way. Shuttle services and bike guides are also available if booked ahead. Most of these services can also arrange bike hire if required.

Useful Information and Links

The Tongariro River Trail is a shared use trail so you are likely to encounter anglers, dogs and  walkers. Mountain bikers must give way to walkers. The Tongariro River is home to the endangered whio, the native New Zealand blue duck. For this reason it is important to keep dogs under control at all times.

Tongariro River TrailAccommodationBike hire and Guides

Nearby tracks and trails

42 Traverse, Whakarewarewa Forest Track, Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity ParkGreat Lake Trail

Where to next?

Mountain Biking 42 Traverse →

Mountain Biking in The Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest) →

Skyline Gravity Mountain Biking Park →