Our Trails

Tongariro River Trail

grade - easiest grade - easy
Grade 1 - 2 Easiest - Easy
1days
15km

The Tongariro River Trail is a Grade 2 ride that is an excellent introduction to mountain biking as the trail weaves in and out of pockets of native bush.

Just as the names suggests the Tongariro River Trails follow the banks of this famous trout fishing location. The trails form a 15km loop and has a few different start/finish which enable riders to customize the length of their ride.

Shuttle Options

Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.

grade - easy
Grade 2 Easy
12 km
grade - easiest
Grade 1 Easiest
3 km

Note: The above video describes an 11km loop that is accessible from Taupahi Reserve, however there is now more trail that allows a for a 15km loop to be done starting and finishing from the State Highway 1 Tongariro River Bridge near the Bridge Motel and coffee cart. Please walk your bike along the footpath on the State Highway 1 Tongariro River Bridge, do not ride on the road.

About the Trail

Just as the names suggests the Tongariro River Trails follow the banks of this famous trout fishing location. The trails form a 15km loop and has a few different start/finish which enable riders to customize the length of their ride. 

The Tongariro River Trail is a grade 2 ride that is an excellent introduction to mountain biking. The trail is undulating with only one significant climb, but there is reward, from the top of the hill riders get a fantastic view over the river mouth and lake Taupo. The remainder of the ride provides many river views as the trail weaves in and out of pockets of native bush.  The Tongariro RIver Trails also pass the front doorstep of the Tongariro National Trout Centre therefore this ride can be combined with a visit to this destination, you might eve catch a fish while you are there.

This ride makes a great family excursion when the the conditions on nearby Mt Ruapehu are not great for skiing. When you come for your skiing weekend bring your bikes too!

The Tongariro River Trail is a two-way dual-use (walking & cycling) trail so the loop can be ridden in either direction. It is heavily used by walkers and anglers. Maintain control of your bike and give way to walkers and anglers.

To ride the full Tongariro River Trail loop starting the ride from Waipa Reserve (SH1 Tongariro River Bridge): 

From the paved car park ride towards the SH1 bridge. Ride along the foot path on the left side of the bridge. At the end of the bridge immediately turn left to go down and under  bridge on the track. The trail is easy to follow once you start climbing the hill. 

To ride a shortened Tongariro River Trail loop, start the ride from —-Reserve:

Ride south (upstream along the river bank. You will pass through a few squeezes before reaching Major Jones Bridge. From here you can ride the loop either way. Cross the bridge and ride up the East Bank to ride the loop in a clockwise direction. 

Navigation

The Tongariro River Trail is marked with small white TRT signs as well as DOC signs. If riding in a clockwise direction (and start from the SH1 bridge) you tackle the largest climb of the ride first then you ride the East river bank to the Red Hut Bridge, followed by some stairs and a car park. In the car park stay right to find the start of the west bank trail that goes past the Tout Centre and back down to Turangi.

Conditions

The surface of the Tongariro River Trail has been upgraded in recent years and now is mostly graveled, therefore it drains well and can be ridden in most weather conditions.

Logistics for this ride with a round trip (two-way) shuttle:

Take our shuttle from Taupo to the trail (45min)

Ride the 15km loop (1.5 – 2.5hrs)

Take our shuttle back to Taupo (45min)

$90 per person BOOK NOW

$140 SPECIAL including bike hire (see bike hire section)

Ask us about guided tours. If you are already going to be in Turangi and don’t require transport, guide and bike hire packages are available.

Hard tail (front suspension only): Specialized Rockhopper Expert ($1600 retail value)

  • $70 for one day

High-end full suspension mountain bikes: Specialized Camber Comp ($4000 retail value)

  • $120 for one day

E-bikes (electric mountain bikes) are available in hard tail and full suspension models. Ask us for more details and prices. Limited quantities available.

Our hire bikes come with a helmet, spare inner tube, tire levers, pump, and multi tool. The bikes come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request.

For your enjoyment, it is important that you hire the right size bike, so we are here to help. When you contact us to make your booking, we will gather the correct information to get you on the right size bike. Our hire bikes are high quality and you can be sure to have a great ride because they are cleaned, checked, and serviced between every use.

NOTE: Bike hire only (without transport or guiding) for the Tongariro River Trail requires a higher minimum number. Ask us.

Bike hire is usually paired with transport services. However, we can provide bike hire only if you are looking for hire a full suspension bike for 2 or more days.

If you are booking a shuttle and bike hire, your bike will be on the shuttle ready to go at the time of pick up. You do not pick up your bike beforehand.

You can either stay in Taupo, Turangi, or somewhere in between. We recommend staying in Taupo.

Taupo is a very popular town and has loads of accommodation and dining options from budget to luxury. There are many holiday parks, motels, and hotels. Kinloch has no options where you can simply book a room, but there are lots of holiday houses (baches) available for rent, which can be economical if you have more than a couple people. Kinloch only has two options for food.

We recommend you stay in Taupo and make the most of the huge variety of accommodation, cafes, restaurants, and other facilities available in our great town.

Ask us for accommodation recommendations, or we can include one of our preferred providers in your package.

Having a guide is a great way to maximise the enjoyment of your ride. The Tongariro River Trail is rich in both natural and cultural history and a guide can explain some of this at key locations as you ride the trail. Our expert guides will not only show you way and provide insight into our land, but also teach you some bike skills as we go. With our guided experience, you can be assured that you are in the best of care while on the trail.

Just as the names suggests the Tongariro River Trails follow the banks of this famous trout fishing location. The trails form a 15km loop and has a few different start/finish which enable riders to customize the length of their ride. 

The Tongariro River Trail is a grade 2 ride that is an excellent introduction to mountain biking. The trail is undulating with only one significant climb, but there is reward, from the top of the hill riders get a fantastic view over the river mouth and lake Taupo. The remainder of the ride provides many river views as the trail weaves in and out of pockets of native bush.  The Tongariro RIver Trails also pass the front doorstep of the Tongariro National Trout Centre therefore this ride can be combined with a visit to this destination, you might eve catch a fish while you are there.

This ride makes a great family excursion when the the conditions on nearby Mt Ruapehu are not great for skiing. When you come for your skiing weekend bring your bikes too!

To ride the full Tongariro River Trail loop starting the ride from Waipa Reserve (SH1 Tongariro River Bridge): 

From the paved car park ride towards the SH1 bridge. Ride along the foot path on the left side of the bridge. At the end of the bridge immediately turn left to go down and under  bridge on the track. The trail is easy to follow once you start climbing the hill. 

To ride a shortened Tongariro River Trail loop, start the ride from Taupahi Reserve:

Ride south (upstream along the river bank. You will pass through a few squeezes before reaching Major Jones Bridge. From here you can ride the loop either way. Cross the bridge and ride up the East Bank to ride the loop in a clockwise direction.