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The Ohakune Old Coach Road was used by horse drawn coaches in the early 1900s to transport passengers between the two rail heads of the unfinished North Island trunk line. Once the railway was complete, the cobble route became discontinued and was lost to the forest for almost 100 years.
Recently restored and now part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail, the route wanders the lower slopes of Mt Ruapehu, passing historical sites including the camps of railway workers, the ruins of the Taonui viaduct and the Hapuawhenua Viaduct.
The trail can be completed from either Horopito or Ohakune, a Grade 2 track suitable for most fitness levels. Horopito to Ohakune is a slightly easier route featuring downhill sections.
There are plenty of local mountain bike rentals and transport providers available.
- Venturing through the pitch black of the Hapuawhenua Tunnel (optional)
- Learning history along the way through stories told on the many information boards
- Watching freight trains steam across the new Hapuawhenua Viaduct from the perfect vantage point of the original structure