The Timber Trail is OPEN.  Check our Trail Status for more information

Getting here - by bike, car and bus

The Timber Trail begins in Pureora Forest at the north eastern end and is easily accessed off SH30 between Te Kuiti and Mangakino.  

  • Most riders choose to leave their vehicles at the south western end (Ongarue), and shuttle to the start so when you're done, your vehicle and gear are waiting to take you straight to your next destination (home, Mountains to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono Great Ride, or beyond)

  • The central part of the trail, can be accessed from Piropiro campsite at the end of Kokomiko Road, Waimiha, and from Ongarue, via SH4 at the southern end. 

  • There is highway signage near Pureora and Ongarue to direct riders to the ends of the trail.

Where to find the ride

Nestled between Waitomo and Taumarunui and the Western side of Lake Taupo,

Timber Trail - Central North Island Location

Driving to Pureora

The Timber Trail spans the Pureora Forest Park between Pureora and Ongarue.  It is nestled between the Western shores of Lake Taupo, Taumarunui and Te Kuiti. (Waitomo).  The trail start is well signposted. (Look for the brown Timber Trail signs). If you are using a GPS navigation system, ensure you load the route before you leave reception coverage.  

  • The Timber Trail begins in Pureora Forest and is easily accessed off SH30 between Te Kuiti and Mangakino.

  • The central part of the trail can be accessed from Piropiro campsite at the end of Kokomiko Road, Waimiha, and from Ongarue, via SH4 at the southern end. There is highway signage near Pureora and Ongarue to direct riders to the ends of the trail.

General guide times for travel are:

  • Auckland to Ongarue is 260kms (around 3.5 hours driving)

  • Ongarue to Pureora is 36kms (around 45mins drive)

  • Taupo to Purerora 81kms (1 hours’ drive)

  • Taumarunui to Ongarue 24kms (20mins drive.)

  • Te Kuiti to Ongarue 64kms (approx 1 hour)

  • Te Kuiti to Piropiro 62kms (approx 1-hour drive - some gravel road)

Cycling to the Trail - and connecting onwards

As a popular part of the Tour Aotearoa  and Kopiko Aotearoa bike packing adventure routes, the trail can accessed from Mangakino.  Riding a mix of surfaces including 10 km gravel path, 14 km sealed roads, 25 km dirt and gravel roads.

The Centre of the North Island Heartland ride connects to the Timber Trail at Pureora. Riding across the infamous Arataki Bridge before heading up the traila mix of single track and gravel.  .  You will come across the official 'Centre of the North Island' before heading towards Link Rd.

Heading to South to Taumarunui from Ongarue - use the Ongarue Back Road rather than the busier  SH4.  The two Heartland rides include The Ohura Connection onwards for Kopiko riders heading east-west (or vice versa), and those heading south ride along the Timber Trail connector to Taumaranui. 

Public Transport and Shuttle Options

The Intercity Bus to Taumaranui is your best option - and then arrange with one of the Ongarue based shuttle companies to collect you from there. (Te Kuiti to Palmerston Route - book directly with the i-Site teams)

The Northern Explorer train stops in Taumarunui three days a week.

There are no shuttles from Te Kuiti for individual riders at this time.

The guided trips from Taupo include transport.

Getting here...and home

Our suggested itinerary:
Arrive in the area the day before, and stay in one of the many accommodation options at Ongarue, Manaiti-Benneydale, Piropiro or Waimiha.  (Alternatively Te Kuiti and Taumaranui make great places to stay).

Leave you vehicle in a secure location either at your accommodation or at Ongarue and take a shuttle to the start in Pureora,  You get an overall drop in elevation in the east-west direction and the big hill done and dusted early.

Riding here... connect to the trail with these Heartland Rides

Extend your stay...and explore the region

  • The old Endean timber mill on Ongarue Stream Road, just 15 minutes from the lodge. This was a working mill until the 1990s when it was abandoned. The old buildings, vehicles and machinery still remain, and provide a fascinating glimpse of the area’s history. Entry by appointment only.

  • Forgotten World Adventures – take a ride on a Railbike, or a Railcart into the Forgotten World. Or a jetboat ride on the Whanganui River to the Bridge to Nowhere (Maybe extend your adventure further and tackle all of part of the Mountains to Sea - Ngā Ara Tūhono Great Ride)

  • The Tongariro Crossing – one of New Zealand’s classic Great Walks

  • Waitomo Caves and beyond adventures – have a subterranean adventure and see the amazing glow-worms

  • Try your hand at trout fishing on local streams including the Waione and Ongarue, or go further afield to the upper Whanganui or Whakapapa, or visit the Tongariro National Trout Centre in Turangi

The Timber Trail is a partnership.  Thanks to our partners for making this Adventure Cycle Trail possible.


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