1-6 Days 231 km


  • Volcanic Tongariro National Park
  • Deep forest Whanganui National Park
  • Fascinating natural & human history


Grade 3-4

Intermediate - Advanced

Stretching from Mt Ruapehu to the Tasman Sea, the ‘connected pathways’ known as Ngā Ara Tūhono, journey through two national parks and many more memorable landscapes.

Mountains to Sea, Ruapehu

Beginning on the slopes of a live volcano, these rides reveal varied natural and human history on their winding and often wild journeys. One of the longest and most adventurous multi-day journeys within Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window), it also offers endless day ride options taking in highlights such as Ohakune Old Coach Road, the Bridge to Nowhere, the deeply historic Whanganui River Road and arty Whanganui city.

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, Ruapehu

Ride experience

The length and variety of this network means there’s something for everyone. Day rides offer enjoyable sightseeing across the Ruapehu and Whanganui regions, while fit, experienced mountain bikers will love the full Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono journey taking anywhere from 2–6 days.

The six sections start with the Mountain Road, a view-filled descent down Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park. The trail then follows the Ohakune Old Coach Road, an historic byway featuring jaw-dropping railway viaducts and lush native forest. 

The quiet, country Ruatiti Road section leads to the Mangapurua Track, a classic backcountry mountain bike ride through the wilds of Whanganui National Park. Long-deserted pioneer farms, lofty bluffs and the Bridge to Nowhere are among its highlights. 

A thrilling jetboat ride, or memorable kayak adventure will take you down the Whanganui River to Pipiriki, the start of the Whanganui River Road. The importance of Te Awa Tupua–Whanganui River was underscored by its declaration in 2017 as a living entity in landmark legislation and a United Nations proclamation. 

The River Road is a tranquil meander notable for important Māori and settler history, with fascinating heritage sites dotted along it. Continuing through to Whanganui, New Zealand’s only UNESCO City of Design, the Great Ride follows a super-easy riverside trail that’s a deservedly popular day ride for visitors. 

Keen mountain bikers can also factor in two more classic sections – the Fishers (grade 3, intermediate) and Kaiwhakauka (grade 4, advanced) tracks. 

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Official Website

A detailed description of this Great Ride, including maps and more information, can be found here.

Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono(opens in new window)

Hapuawhenua Viaduct, Mountains to Sea Trail, Ruapehu

Need to know

  • Most of the Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono is grade 3 (intermediate) following bike paths, quality singletrack, quiet country roads and an old cobbled road. Some trickier and remote sections on the Kaiwhakauka Track push the grading up to grade 4 (advanced). 
  • A quality, well-maintained mountain bike with suspension is essential; e-mountain-bikes are also welcome. 
  • Riding the entire trail is a challenging and often remote adventure requiring off-road experience, fitness, careful planning and favourable weather. Some sections pass through alpine environments and high rainfall areas making warm clothing and wet weather gear essential. Always check the forecast and trail status(opens in new window) before setting off. 
  • Local advice, bike hire and shuttles are readily available for a variety of day ride and multi-day options taking in must-see sights, suitable for most riding abilities. 
  • Ohakune, National Park Village, Raetihi and Whanganui city all make excellent bases for adventure. Food, toilets and other services are available from these and other settlements, but riders should carry ample provisions on remoter sections.
  • Both Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks offer many more adventures including hiking, canoeing and waterfall-watching. 
Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, Ruapehu

Transport & tours

Whether you’re looking for a short ride or the full, multi-day adventure, there are plenty of tour companies offering everything from bike hire and shuttles to fully packaged tours with everything included. These include Mountain Bike Station(opens in new window)Whanganui Tours(opens in new window) and Kune Shuttles(opens in new window)

Jetboat trips for the river section should be organised in advanced with Bridge To Nowhere Lodge(opens in new window) or Whanganui River Adventures(opens in new window)

Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono’s official partners can be found on the Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) and official trail(opens in new window) websites. 


There are plenty of accommodation options in the main trail towns of Ohakune, National Park Village and Whanganui, with more dotted along and around the trail.

Accommodation providers partnered with the trail are listed on the Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) and Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono(opens in new window) websites. 

Useful links

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails(opens in new window) 

Mountains to Sea Ngā Ara Tūhono (opens in new window)

Visit Ruapehu (opens in new window)

Discover Whanganui(opens in new window)

Great Rides app - Mountain to Sea(opens in new window)

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