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A former logging stronghold, the Timber Trail has been restored into a national cycle trail. Follow old tramway lines to the flanks of the culturally significant Mt Pureora then along the Hauhungaroa Range before dropping down to Ongarue. Remanents of original railways, settlements and an historic way of life can be seen scattered throughout the trail.
Complete the entire trail over two days or select a section (northern or southern) of your choice to accomplish.
Day 1 (40 kms)
Begin at Pureora Village and head south towards Mt Pureora. As you pass the 4 km marker the trail will climb for the next 14 kms until it reaches the western flanks of Mt Pureora. From there descend a steep and rocky downhill (it is recommended to walk parts of this section) until you reach Angel’s Rest. This is a great place to stop for lunch and to refill your water bottle. Finish the day at Piropiro Flats, campsite facilities and other accommodation available nearby.
Day 2 (42.7 kms)
Head south from Piropiro Flats into the regenerated Podocarp Forest. Soon you will reach the trails longest and highest suspension bridge, the Maramataha Bridge. Once over the bridge, cycle a short, steep climb to the most northern point of the tramline, the cleared area known as ‘the terminus’. From here the remainder of the trail gradually descends towards Ongarue. Points of interest along this section of the trail include the old Mystery Creek triangle where locomotives once turned, amazing views of rocky bluffs in the valley and the historic no.11 campsite. The Mangatukutuku suspension bridge near the site of the historic viaduct is a real highlight as well as the Ongarue Spiral and tunnel. After descending the Ongarue Spiral, cycle along flat sections of the trail between native forest and farmland before ending at the Ongarue carpark.
Hire, Transport and Accommodation
Transport providers, accommodation and mountain bike hire can be found in Taumarunui and surrounding townships.
Pureora Village is located along State Highway 30, North-east of Taumarunui, just past the Pa Harakeke Centre turn left on to Barryville Road and travel 2km to the beginning of the trail. Please note that Maraeroa and Barryville roads are gravel.
Pureora Village may also be accessed by turning onto Barryville Road from State Highway 30 and travelling 2.5km to the beginning of the trail.
To get to Ongarue turn off State Highway 4 on to Ongarue-Waimiha Road. Turn right, cross the river at Tuhua Road then left onto Ngakonui-Ongarue Road. The trail begins at the Bennet Road Carpark 2km from Ongarue.