3
Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 5 days cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 2 nights hotel/motel
  • 2 nights lodge
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 3 Lunches
  • 4 Breakfasts

5 Days$3695NZD

Trip Code: TWG

Trip highlights


  • Follow the trails along the mighty Waikato River
  • Cycle the iconic Timber Trail through majestic native forest
  • Stay in the comfort of the Timber Trail lodge in the heart of the Pureora Forest
  • Visit the magnificent Huka Falls
  • Take a relaxing soak in the Wairakei Terraces and Thermal pools
  • Cycle the Whakarewarewa Forest Loop in Rotorua

Experience the best off-road riding the Central North Island has to offer on our fully supported & guided trip riding Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest Loop, some sections of the Waikato River Trail and the Great Lakes Trails and finishing with the iconic Timber Trail.

Our journey begins in the thermal resort town of Rotorua where we'll enjoy riding the newest of New Zealand's Great Rides, the Whakarewarewa Forest Loop, a Grade 2 trail perfect to kickstart your adventure.

Next up we explore 2 sections of the Waikato River Trail, passing through forest & farmland along NZ’s longest river before heading to the shores of Lake Taupo, taking in the volcanic landscape and big lake views.

The next morning we ride the picturesque Northern Trails based around the lakeside settlement of Kinloch with the opportunity for a swim in the Lake, weather permitting!

The adventure continues in the Pureora Forest where we ride the 87km Timber Trail over our last 2 days. We’ll discover mighty swing bridges, timber milling sites, the Ongarue Spiral bush tramway & experience 2 nights in the purpose-built lodge in the middle of the forest.

Our support vehicle means we have the ability to visit the best trailside highlights along the way, including a visit to Huka Falls and the Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Pools.


Today we begin our adventure with an introduction and trip briefing before a short drive to the start of our first trail, the Forest Loop in Rotorua's iconic Whakarewarewa Forest. This loop is the newest Nga Haerenga Great Ride of New Zealand – purpose-built to take in a range of sights and scenery in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest. It also realises the community’s long-held vision to create a classic, deep-forest adventure. Being mostly easy (grade 2) with just a couple of short intermediate (grade 3) sections mixed in, the trail has been designed for confident riders of almost all ages, abilities and fitness levels. Storyboards along the route share the area’s long and fascinating history – from its fiery, volcanic past and rich Maori culture, to the planting of its mighty California Coastal Redwoods, all enjoyed with wonderful vistas of Lake Rotorua and Tikitapu. We finish the 34km ride at The Secret Spot where we can enjoy optional hot pools, showers and a celebratory drink and feed to celebrate the end of some epic riding. A short transfer will take us to our Rotorua accommodation in time to settle in before our first group dinner. Cycling Distance: Whakarewarewa Forest Loop Trail - 34km

Meals:  D

After breakfast we have a 45 minute drive to the start of the Waikato River Trail, a delightful Great Ride which follows New Zealand's longest river. Starting near Atiamuri, we ride the first section of this stunning trail and after stopping for a picnic by the river we then jump back on our bikes to ride a 2nd section of the trail. Both sections are primarily moderate grade mountain bike single tracks and do feature some hazards such as occasional tree roots, loose gravel, short sharp climbs and some tight corners. This southernmost section of the trail offers views of the expansive Lake Whakamaru. Almost directly across the lake at Atiamuri is the stunning Pohuturoa rock, a magnificent historically significant feature, lifted by volcanic forces and weathered by the elements. The second section also has great views along Lake Maraetai and includes the 70m long Mangakino stream suspension bridge. This section is also where the Waikato River Trails Trust has recently planted several thousand native trees along the edge of the Lake. After the ride it's time for some off-bike expereinces! We have a short drive to visit the Wairakei Terraces, nestled in the Wairakei geothermal valley, where we can enjoy a soak in the thermal waters. A visit to the nearby Huka Falls is a must, the largest falls on the Waikato River and the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand. Next up is our accommodation close to sparkling Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest Lake and located in the caldera of the ancient Taupo Volcano. Cycling Distance: Waikato River Trail - 38km

Meals:  B,L

Lake Taupo boasts a wonderful network of trails around the Northern rim of the Lake. Great Lakes Trails are another of New Zealand's Great Rides and are a journey of volcanic discovery around the rim of Lake Taupo, a supervolcano that was formed after one of Earth’s largest known eruptions. Today's ride includes the lakeside settlement of Kinloch and Kawakawa Bay - we'll ride over volcanic headlands and get glimpses across Lake Taupo through to the volcanic mountains of the Central North Island. There are shorter and longer options for the afternoon, all on purpose built trails through lush native forest. As with the trails we have already ridden, these trails are moderate graded mountain bike trails so do have a level of technical riding with tight corners, loose gravel, tree roots and uphill and downhill single track. After our ride, we head to the Timber Trail Lodge in the heart of the Pureora Forest and our home for the next 2 nights. We check into our accommodation and unwind in anticipation for the next day's adventure. Cycling Distance: Great Lake Trail - up to 33km

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast this morning it’s a 50 min drive to the start of the Timber Trail on the edge of the Pureora Forest. The trail follows old logging roads and tramlines linked with well-constructed unsealed tracks and a series of thrilling suspension bridges. This is also moderate grade mountain bike trail and does include some hazards such as occasional tree roots and loose gravel. It can also be muddy if rain has been in the recent forecast. We get the hard work out of the way this morning, climbing for 14km through some stunning native forest until we reach the highest point of the ride. From here it’s mostly downhill for the rest of the day, winding down the side of Mt Pureora and across the flanks of the Hauhungaroa Ranges with a couple of amazing suspension bridges to cross along the way. We finish the day at Piropiro Flats right by our outstanding accommodation and hospitality at the Timber Trail Lodge. Cycling Distance: Timber Trail - 40km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we head back into the native forest and cross over a tumbling gorge on one of the highest and longest swing bridges in the country, keeping a lookout for New Zealand’s native pigeon, the beautiful Kereru. Today’s climbing consists of 2 much shorter uphills compared with yesterday’s ascent, with the 2nd one finishing at the Ongarue Tramway terminus. From there it’s mostly downhill all the way to the end following the old tramway. We pass remnants of the region’s logging history, more swing bridges and the fascinating Ongarue Spiral and its rather spooky, old tunnel. The trail continues downhill to Ongarue, where we finish this wonderful final ride. We then load the bikes before a 2 hour transfer back to Rotorua where you will be dropped at a central location early evening. Cycling Distance: Timber Trail - 43km

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x4), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x3), two course restaurant dinners (x3) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 2 nights motel accommodation with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis
  • 2 nights at the remote Timber Trail Lodge
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Entry to Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Hot Pools
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Transport from Rotorua (return)
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Rider fees paid to the Trail Trusts for ongoing maintenance and improvements, concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • The Secret Spot hot tubs
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. We provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience with one guide always with you on the trail. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Grading

Moderate  
3

The Timber Trail, Waikato River Trail and Great Lake Trails are all graded moderate requiring a reasonable level of fitness and off road biking experience. All the trails feature some trickier single track sections, including tight corners, possible loose gravel, mud and slippery tree roots if recent rain, making it best suited to reasonably fit, experienced cyclists used to riding on moderate grade mountain bike tracks. There is also a significant uphill climb at the start of the Timber Trail with shorter uphill sections on the other trails. Along the Timber Trail and Great Lake Trail there is no vehicle access, so you need to be able to ride 3-4 hours comfortably at a time. Good preparation, fitness and practice riding on off-road trails with uphill sections will add to your enjoyment of the tour.


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$3695NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Bike RentalNZD$350
  • Ebike RentalNZD$500
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$850
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Timber Trail, Waikato and Great Lake Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Videos

Riding The Timber Trail in one day

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