biking

Timber Trail

A genuine off-the-beaten-track adventure, deep in the forested heart of the North Island. Quickly establishing itself as one of the most highly rated 2-day rides in New Zealand, the Timber Trail is a superb blend of exciting biking along a purpose built track and ease of use. You feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, but you can enjoy very comfortable accommodation and great dining, and we organise all your transportation too!

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Activity in brief

Distance:
85 km
Duration:
2 days
Start - End:
Pureora - Ongarue
Transport:
Shuttle Bus

Terrain: Trail is well formed with good signage. 500m climb to highest point then mostly descending, some steep sections

Accommodation: Lodge

Nearest Town: Taupo

Activity Overview


Historically the area that the Timber Trail passes through was an important logging site and the huge and majestic podocarp trees, such as rimu, kahikatea and totara, that grew prolifically in this deep heart of the North Island, were in great demand. The logging was halted in the 1980s, and fortunately many mature trees have survived to be marvelled at today. Meanwhile the rest of the forest has quickly started to regenerate. This ride therefore allows you to immerse yourself in a wonderful wilderness environment. Much work has also been done to eradicate mammal predators and the native birdlife is prolific.

The trail was created out of the remains of the old logging tracks and tramways used to move the timber around. Purpose-built bridges cross a multitude of streams and rivers, including 8 spectacular suspension bridges (the longest is 141m!). You will also get to negotiate the amazing Ongarue Spiral – a circle of track formed from bridges, a cutting and a curved tunnel. It originally allowed the timber trams to quickly climb or descend the region’s rugged terrain.

The trail has a predominantly wide and smooth surface but some decent climbs and tricky descents make the whole ride best suited to reasonably fit cyclists with at least some mountain biking experience. Halfway, at Piropiro, you reach your overnight stop at the awesome Timber Trail Lodge where a hot shower, delicious dinner and comfy bed awaits: you’ll definitely deserve it! 

Itineraries

Personalised Itineraries

Personalise your Timber Trail Ride:

If you want to send an extra night on the trail we can arrange that for you. We can also organise extra accommodation for before and after your ride if required.

Contact us to find out more!


Include the Timber Trail in your unique Multi-Activity Trip:

You can combine this ride with any other activity on this website to create your own unique itinerary.

When you develop your own tailor-made itinerary with us, it's fully customised with your choice of activities, accommodation and transport around New Zealand - Click here for more information about Multi-Activity Trips or Enquire Now to get started.



OR SIMPLY BOOK this activity now...
Timber Trail Two Day Ride
  • Cosy lodge accommodation on trail in en-suite room plus dinner, breakfast and packed lunch included. 
  • Luggage transfers included. 
  • Transportation included.
  • Standard or Electric Mountain bike hire available.

Day One: Pureora to Piropiro Flats (40km). You park your vehicle at Ongarue (the end of the trail) in the morning, pick up rental bikes if necessary, and then a shuttle takes you to the start of the trail at Pureora. From here you wind your way through the bird-filled, virgin forest and start the gradual climb up the flanks of Mt Pureora to the trail’s highpoint, 971m above sea level. It’s then predominantly downhill for the rest of the day as the trail winds down the southern side of the mountain. This is also where you first encounter the trail’s amazing suspension bridges. At Piropiro Flats you reach Timber Trail Lodge for your overnight stop where your luggage will be waiting and you can enjoy some great food and relaxation time.

Day Two: Piropiro Flats to Ongarue (45km). Your second day on the trail heads off on a logging road before re-entering native forest on a flowing section of mostly uphill singletrack. Shortly you will reach the Maramataha Suspension Bridge: At 141m long and 53m high it’s the biggest of the trail and also a jolt of adrenaline as you sway across the tumbling gorge. A bit more steady climbing brings you to the Ongarue Tramway terminus and from here the trail follows the old tramway in a generally downhill direction and along the way you’ll see remnants of the area’s logging past, including that amazing Ongarue Spiral. At the end of the trail you can collect your luggage, drop off rental bikes if you have them, and your vehicle will be waiting for you.

Pricing: Timber Trail Two Day Ride

From NZD$315 per person: Includes one night on-trail accommodation, dinner, breakfast and packed lunch on your second day and  luggage transfers. Also includes transportation with your bikes from Ongarue to the start of the trail at Pureora.

Two Days Mountain Bike Hire: From NZD$120 per person for a standard hard tail bike or NZD$230 per person for an E-Bike.

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Activity Planning

When to go

This trail can be completed year round, although most people ride it in the warmer months when the track is usually a bit drier. As it is a forested environment with moderately high altitudes rain and cold conditions are possible at any time of year. You should carry warm clothing and wet weather gear just in case.

What to bring

Bike - Good quality mountain bike or e-bike with suspension and knobbly tires, helmet, spares etc.

Light waterproof hiking shoes or biking shoes

Gloves

Light waterproof jacket

Bidon (Water bottle)

Sunscreen

Insect repellant

First-aid kit

Torch

Communication device

Accommodation
Accommodation on the trail

 

Timber Trail Lodge

The Timber Trail Lodge is brand new, off-grid and purpose-built for convenience and comfort. As the only accommodation actually on the trail, getting between the lodge and trail is easy. The building is spacious and provides multiple opportunities for relaxation after a busy day. The large central relaxation area features floor to ceiling windows highlighting the awesome views of the surrounding forest, plenty of places to lounge and a large fireplace for those chillier evenings. The ensuite rooms are insulated and centrally heated. Delicious snacks, dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch for your second day on the trail are all included.

 

Accommodation in Taupo

We can organise your accommodation in Taupo, or the wider region, for before and after your bike ride if you wish. Please let us know what sort of accommodation you are looking for when you make your booking for this activity, and we can discuss the options with you.

Transportation
Shuttle Bus

Park your vehicle at the shuttle base car park in Ongerue. You are then taken up to the start of the trail at Pureora. When you reach the end of the trail again just bike back to your vehicle.

 

An alternative option is to meet a shuttle bus in the nearby tourism hub of Taupo, which will take you out to the start point at Pureora. You then get picked up from the end of the trail at Ongarue when you finish and returned to Taupo. This is a great option for those basing themselves in Taupo for a longer period or for those who aren't using a vehicle. Contact us directly to organise this.

Route Map
Get in touch

For more information about us or our services contact us on
+ 64 3 390 1584
or email us at [email protected]

Enquire Now