The Great Ride runs between the tiny settlements of Pureora and Ongarue. Around halfway, the old Piropiro timber-milling settlement is a wonderful place to wander and wind down on an overnight stop.
Usually ridden from north to south, the trail climbs steadily up Mt Pureora with an optional walking detour to the epic summit lookout. Tracking across the Hauhungaroa Range, it crosses a series of gorges on some of the longest suspension bridges in New Zealand – highlights of the entire Great Rides network.
Intriguing relics and storyboards reveal Pureora’s remarkable stories of the natural world, mana whenua (local Māori people) and timber-milling history. In the bush, birdlife flourishes thanks to the hard work of passionate conservationists.
Other highlights include the crazy old tractor crawler, ethereal cloud forest, and the engineering marvel known as the Ongarue spiral. But there are so many amazing sights on the Timber Trail that that you’ll surely wish to return to ride it twice, or more.