Pureora Timber Trail

The Timber Trail is one of the 23 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Status: Open

Grade: Easy (2) - Intermediate (3)

Duration: 2 days

Total Length: 77km

This spectacular 77km trail will offer riders the chance to experience the rich heritage of the Pureora Forest Park. Cyclists will ride through forest terrain, passing 800-year-old trees, a bush tramway and historic timber-milling sites. Situated within a three hour drive of Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Taupo, the trail will cater for all levels of cycling ability.

The Timber Trail passes through the Pureora Forest Park, where riders will pass through four ecological areas showcasing remnants of the great forests that once dominated the area. The trail traverses the culturally significant Mount Pureora then runs along the western side of the Hauhungaroa Range before dropping down to Ongarue.

The full trail will be a 2-day-ride but there will also be several options for shorter rides, with trackside shelters and toilets at regular intervals to ensure the comfort of travellers.

Through informative interpretation, the ride will showcase the history of timber logging.  Bush lokies, jiggers, and bush camps will become familiar as the story of life in the bush unfolds, with real life accounts of the men and woman who toiled in the harsh conditions to make a living.

The nationally significant Ongarue Spiral is being lovingly restored to its former glory as part of the cycle trail’s development.  Some of New Zealand’s highest and longest suspension bridges will also be a feature of the trail.

Best time to ride

The best time to ride the trail is in late spring, where cool frosty mornings give way to spectacularly clear days to best enjoy the vistas.  Pureora enjoys stable weather over the summer and through to late autumn, but rain and cold weather make riding the trail through winter only for the fearless.

Getting there

Pureora Village is located along State Highway 30, 45 minutes east of Te Kuiti. Turn off State Highway 30 at Maraeroa Road. Just past the Harakeke Centre turn left onto 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.

For experienced mountainbikers, looking for a challenge - the Pureora Timber Trail may be ridden from south to north.  To begin in Ongarue, turn off State Highway 4 onto Ongarue-Waimiha Road.  Turn right to cross the river at Tuhua Road, and turn left onto Ngakonui-Ongarue Road.  The trail begins 7km from this point – please note the last 2km of Ngakonui-Ongarue Road is gravel.

Plan and prepare: Your safety is your responsibility

Access onto The Timber Trail is relatively easy however the trail is located within a remote back country area.  There is limited cell phone coverage.  Before your trip ensure you have:

•    Checked the latest forecast
•    Left your intentions with someone
•    warm clothing and some food.

There are no food stores or petrol outlets at Pureora or Ongarue; the nearest facilities to Pureora are at Benneydale, 15 minutes west along SH30, or at Mangakino, 20 minutes east.  The nearest facilities to Ongarue are at Taumarunui, 20 minutes south-west of Ongarue.

Trail partners

The trail is a joint initiative of the Department of Conservation and The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Click here for more information, photos and maps.