Grade 2-3 | Easy to Intermediate
On this four day itinerary on the Timber Trail, you'll feel like you've been suspended in time.
Discover some of the longest suspension bridges in New Zealand as well as ancient forests, ancestral lands of local Maori and a historic tramway on the unique Timber Trail.
Enjoy a leisurely brunch in Auckland before journeying down the centre of the North Island to Taupo. There’s plenty to see and do en-route, from the rolling hills of the Waikato to the lush forests and views of Lake Taupo. The Huka Falls, located just before you reach Taupo, is an impressive show of hydropower. Want to get even closer? The Huka Falls Jet Boat combines adrenaline and adventure and gets visitors close up to the falls themselves.
From Taupo, travel to Pureora, located between Lake Taupo and Te Kuiti and the start of the Timber Trail. There is the option to ride with a guide, or to have your transport, bike hire and accommodation taken care of. Start the trail with a warm up through native forest before gaining elevation up Mt Pureora, and then heading downhill through the Hauhungaroa Ranges. Here, cyclists encounter one of the jewels of the trail – one of the longest and highest suspension bridges in the country.
That evening, stay at the newly opened Timber Trail Lodge, which has been designed and built to make your Pureora experience even more memorable. Set in the middle of a renowned conservation park featuring huge podocarp trees and rare birds, the lodge opened in April 2017 with nine guest rooms, and expanded to 20 rooms in September 2017. Alternatively, try Piropiro Flats campsite or Black Fern Lodge, 6km from the trail.
The second day is easier than the first, with the trail winding its way through mixed forest, past huts and across more soaring bridges. Soak up the historic Ellis and Burnand Tramline, the Ongarue Spiral and the Maramataha Bridge along the way. In many of the open areas cyclists get to enjoy panoramic valley views. The trail comes to an end when you reach Ongarue, where cyclists can catch their transfer back to Taupo.