Photo copyright: The Timber Trail

Timber Trail

RIDING THE TRAIL

The trail is marked with blue and orange directional markers showing kilometre sections of the trail. The numbers are identical regardless of the direction you’re riding. Trail brochures, including maps, may be obtained from the Timber Trail, or from DOC offices nationwide.

Information about accommodation around the trail is listed at timbertrailaccommodation.co.nz.

Pureora to Piropiro, (Grade 3 Intermediate) 40km

The first section of this ride is graded Intermediate due to the climb around Mt Pureora.

Starting 200m from the DOC Pureora Field Base on Barryville Rd, the Timber Trail winds through beautiful podocarp forest until the number 4 marker.

These first 4km are an ideal introduction to riding for younger members of the family. There are loops at that end of the trail to extend the riding distance.

From the number 4 marker the trail climbs steadily through exotic trees and regenerating bush to a shelter past the number 8 marker. This is a good spot to rest and enjoy the views.

From the shelter past the number 8 marker the trail climbs to its highest point at 980m above sea level.

Past the 12km mark there is a track on the right heading downhill. Do not take this track.

Riding to the number 18 marker is an easy downhill ride including a 115m suspension bridge, followed 1.2km later by another bridge of 109m.

Between markers 21-28 the trail follows an old logging road mostly downhill. There are some steep downhill runs between 25 and 26 – it is strongly recommended to walk these sections. Across the suspension bridge at marker 27 is a good place for a picnic or to pitch a tent, with easy access to water, a toilet and shelter.

At marker 39 you will reach Piropiro. If you are staying at Blackfern Lodge you’ll need to ride 7km on a signposted side trail (4.8km before Piropiro). This lodge is usually booked out in advance.

Piropiro to Ongarue, (Grades 2-3, Easy to Intermediate) 45km

The trail from markers 39 to 85 is graded Easy to Intermediate. From marker 39 to 42 it is an easy ride through newly regenerating forest.

From marker 42 you will climb steadily through tawa and tanekaha forest, before levelling out towards the Maramataha Bridge. This is the longest and highest bridge on the trail at 141m long and 53m high.

From the bridge, the longest climb of the day (around 30 minutes) will bring you to a cleared area known as ‘the terminus’. The trail is almost entirely downhill from this point to the end in Ongarue.

Other points of interest

Marker 54 – the old Mystery Creek triangle denotes where locomotives once turned. It has a toilet and shelter.
Marker 59 – good views of rocky bluffs in the valley, and the historic No. 11 campsite. Also has a toilet and shelter.
Marker 69 – the Mangatukutuku suspension bridge near the site of the historic viaduct.
Marker 74 – The Ongarue Spiral, a marvel of engineering. Take your time to read the signage about how this impressive structure was created. Has a toilet and small shelter.

Getting There

The Timber Trail begins in Pureora Forest Village and is accessed off SH30 between Te Kuiti and Mangakino:

SH30 – Maraeroa Road – Barryville Road to entrance or
SH30 – Barryville Road to entrance.

The trail may also be ridden from Ongarue, which may be accessed off SH4 between Te Kuiti and Taumarunui:

SH4 - Ongarue - Waimiha Road – Village Road to beginning of trail in the heart of Ongarue.

A third option for cyclists wishing to ride a day section is to begin in the middle of the trail at Piropiro campsite on Kokomiko Road:

SH30 or SH4 – Ongarue-Waimiha Road – Ongarue Stream Road – Kokomiko Road.
There are 14km of gravel on Kokomiko Road. Follow the signs from the campsite to join the trail.

Visitor Information

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

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Hancock Forestry have informed DOC of a necessary temporary closure of the Southern end of the Timber Trail (77km to 84km mark) due to forestry harvesting activities.  The closure is required to ensure the health and safety of trail users. To minimise impacts on trail users and business operators, a temporary diver...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Timber Trail DATE: 27 October 2017 ISSUE: Timber Trail Fully Open Following the recent significant rock fall we are pleased to inform everyone the trail is now open. Thank you....

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Timber Trail DATE: 29 September 2017 ISSUE: Rock Fall Closure A substantial rock fall has occurred at the 75km mark on the Timber Trail, immediately south of the Ongarue Spiral. The Department of Conservation has closed this area of the track until further notice. A team of Geotech en...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Timber Trail DATE: 6 April 2017 Please find below a few updates from DOC about the trail status due to the rain: 1. Tree down across Timber Trail at 29km mark. Cyclists can still pass over it. This was from earlier this morning (Thursday April 6th) 2. Due to the current heavy wet weathe...

 

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Deep in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island, right in the middle of nowhere, is the beginning of a dream.

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NEW MARKETING ROLE - TIMBER TRAIL Play a part in developing the Timber Trail cycleway, one of New Zealand’s Great Rides An opportunity has arisen for a person with a background in tourism marketing. We are looking for someone that has a keen interest in the Waitomo and Ruapehu Districts and who would like to a...

 

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Tourism New Zealand has announced Aussie star Megan Gale as its first ever ambassador to promote tourism, cycling and The New Zealand Cycle Trail to the Australian market. It is hoped the International model, designer and actress’s influence and family connection to New Zealand will increase awareness and preference...

 

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** Timber Trail Update ** Industrial abseilers have finished removing loose rock for now, however bikers will still need to move carefully around the rocks.   The digger operator will be working at the site over the next few days. Please be mindful they will be working over the weekend, and there will be a need ...

 

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TRAIL UPDATE: Timber Trail re-opens: Please note the following updated information relating to the significant slip at the 60km marker along the Timber Trail. This is the section between Piropiro and Ongarue. Work will continue along this section of the Trail, but has re-opened to cyclists with an on-going...

 

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ALERT / IMPORTANT NOTICE: There has been a significant slip at the 60km marker along the Timber Trail. This is the section between Piropiro and Ongarue. At this stage DOC do not propose to close the track and are taking advice on the safest way to remove the boulders. Cyclists will need to be nimble to navigate across ...

 

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On 1 February the Timber Trail will play host to NZO Trailblazer, a mountain bike event with something for everyone. The Timber Trail is located in the Pureora Forest in the heart of the King Country – a perfect weekend destination within easy reach of Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington. Riders c...

 

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