Mountains to Sea

RIDING THE TRAIL

From end to end, the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail involves 3 to 5 days of riding over 200km through remote areas of native bush. It’s recommended that you start your ride from Ohakune, or look at the alternative slightly more difficult route beginning at National Park Village.

Option 1: Ohakune Old Coach Road to Mangapurua Trig (76 km – Grade 2-3)

From the Ohakune Railway Station, the trail follows the historic Ohakune Old Coach Road to Horopito. This is a cobbled route once used by horse drawn coaches to transport passengers between the two rail heads of the unfinished main trunk railway line (completed in 1909). This 15km section of trail is Easy (Grade 2) and provides a great day out for families.


The Hapuawhenua Viaduct is a highlight of the Mountains to Sea – a rare curved lattice viaduct with 13 concrete piers and 4 steel towers that was built in 1908 and is listed with the Historic Places Trust. From Horopito, the trail follows rural roads to the start of the Mangapurua Track at Ruatiti, then on to the Mangapurua Trig (61km) which is a great spot to stop and take in the views of the national parks and mountains around you – this section is an Intermediate (Grade 3) ride.

Mangapurua Trig to Whanganui (142km – Grade 2-3)

Mangapurua Trig – Mangapurua Landing [24km] – Grade 3 Intermediate

Mangapura Landing – Pipiriki [32km] – pre-arranged Jetboat / kayak

Pipiriki – Whanganui [86km] – Grade 2 Easy


The trail continues along the Mangapurua Track, dropping down into the valley. You will pass remnants of original settlements and the iconic Bridge to Nowhere. From the bridge, it’s only 3km to the Mangapurua Landing, where you will start your jet boat / kayak journey down the mighty Whanganui River to Pipiriki (32km). Don’t forget to book your jet boat pick up in advance! Try Whanganui River Adventures or Bridge to Nowhere Tours.

After skimming though the gorges and rapids of the Whanganui River you’re back on your bike at Pipiriki, following the Whanganui River Road to Upokongaro. From here, there is a short section of riding along State Highway 4, before connecting with a dedicated cycle path that will take you through Whanganui city to the end of your ride at the Tasman Sea at North Mole, Castlecliff.

ALTERNATIVE START: NATIONAL PARK VILLAGE TO MANGAPURUA TRIG (68KM Grade 2-4)


This alternative route starts at the National Park Railway Station. The trail follows Fishers Track (Grade 2), descending through native bush into the Retaruke Valley and along gravel roads to the War Memorial Monument at the junction of Upper Retaruke and Oio Rd. From here, continue along Oio Rd to Whakahoro and the start of the Kaiwhakauka Track (Grade 4). You will travel through farmland and native bush before connecting with the Mangapurua Track (and the cycle trail from Ohakune).
at which point you will then follow the same route as described above from the Mangapurua Trig.


Getting There

The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail is located in the Central North Island, approximately half way between Auckland and Wellington which is approximately a 4 hour drive from either airport.

The nearest domestic airports servicing the Central North Island are located in Taupo, Palmerston North, and Whanganui. From these airports you can connect with scheduled bus services or drive to get to Ohakune or National Park and the start of the cycle trail within 2 hours.

The region is also serviced by Kiwirail’s Northern Explorer train that travels between Auckland and Wellington. There are train stations located in National Park and Ohakune.

Visitor Information

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

Majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. This ultimate 14 day adventure offers the perfect opportunity to ride 3 of the famous cycle trails allowing you to achi...

 

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Stellar reading in the latest issue of NZ Cycling Journal for anyone who wants to explore the Motu Trails Cycleway, and beyond. Hot off the press, the cover story for Volume 8 of the magazine describes a three-day bike-packing trip from Whakatane to Opotiki, and on to Motu Road and Rere Falls Trail. Liam Friary...
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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  Mountains to Sea Trail DATE:  4 April 2018 ISSUE:  Mangapurua Track is now OPEN We are advised the Mangapurua Track is now open.  It will be muddy, slippery and narrow in some places. Watch out for falling rocks at bluff sites and dismount and walk through narrow sections. Staff are ...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Mountains to Sea Trail DATE: 12 March 2018 ISSUE: Trail Closures We are informed that the Kaiwhakauka will be closed for some time due to large over slips.  The Mangapurua Track on the Mountains to Sea Trail is also closed, preventing access through to the Bridge to Nowhere.  http://www....

 

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A Buck A Bog

5 Jan 2018
The muddy bogs on the Kaiwhakauka Track of the Mountains to Sea are growing every time it rains. It's time to fix them, and with the help of BikeTaupo and YOU, we can do it. Pete Masters (apptly named master track builder) has just been through the track and reports that there are now 81 bogs, and 20 of them are whe...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Mountains to Sea Trail DATE: 17 May 2017 ISSUE: The slip on the Bridge to Nowhere Track has been cleared We are advised the Bridge to Nowhere Track is now Open, however care is required, thank you....

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Mountains to Sea Trail DATE: 16 May 2017 ISSUE: Slip on the Bridge to Nowhere Track It has been reported that a slip on the Bridge to Nowhere track has occurred today closing the track. A team will be onsite tomorrow morning doing an assessment on what needs to be done to open it. Fu...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Mountains to Sea DATE: 11 April 2017 Please note DOC are assessing the state of the campsites on the Whanganui Journey today. All facilities on the Whanganui Journey are open, canoeists should be aware that the access tracks to some campsites may be silty. A rockfall on the Bridge to Nowh...

 

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Due to a significant slip, please note the Mangapurua Track on the Mountains to Sea Trail is closed below Johnsons Campsite. Work is scheduled on the track next week to create a temporary walk track around the slip until it can be cleared completely. There is no damage to the section of track from the Mangapurua...

 

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Jonathan Kennett, Cycling Author
The Mountains to Sea Trail is a fantastic mountain bike adventure from the Central Plateau volcanoes, across massive viaducts and the Bridge to Nowhere and down through Whanganui National Park to the Tasman Sea. JONATHAN KENNETT – Cycling Author