Guided and self-guided package tours available.
THE MOUNTAINS TO SEA TRAIL
Just as the name suggests, the Mountains To Sea trail stretches 238km from the slopes of Mt Ruapehu in the volcanic central plateau to the Tasman Sea at Wanganui. This is the most diverse trail in the NZ Cycle Trail network. This multi day journey combines purpose built cycle trail, both gravel and paved rural backroads, a historic coach road and access tracks of pioneering settlers. Last but not least, it also a unique river experience which is essential to the logistics of the ride.
Length: 238km Grade: 2-4 Seasons: Best ridden in the dryer months (Oct - Apr)
The Mountains To Sea Trail has 6 distinct sections, plus an alternate start.
1) The Ohakune Mountain Road 16km • Grade 3 • Sealed road
2) The Ohakune Old Coach Road 14km • Grade 2+ • Trail
3) Ruatiti Road 43km • Grade 2 • Gravel road and sealed road
4) Mangapurua Track 38km • Grade 2-3 • Trail
5) Whanganui River 28km • Choose a jet boat or canoe
6) Wanganui River Road 87km • Grade 2 • Sealed Road
The alternate "northern arm" of the Mountains To Sea Trail starts in National Park village. This section also has 3 distinct sections of it’s own:
1) Fishers Track 17km • Grade 2-3 • Trail and gravel road
2) Upper Retaruke and Oio Roads 35km • Grade 2 • Gravel road
3) Kaiwhakauka Track 15km • Grade 2-4 • Trail
***The jet boat shuttle from Mangapurura Landing is essential to the logistics of the ride. The trail ends at the river. There is no other way out, you must take the boat (or canoe). Tread Routes will arrange your jet boat ride for you when you book a shuttle with us.
The Mangapurua Landing is the place where trail meets the river and where the jet boat shuttle will pick you up. It is just 3km passed the Bridge To Nowhere. The landing is in the middle of nowhere, there are no shops no cafes and no mobile reception.
Several kilometers downstream (but only part way to Pipiriki) is the Bridge To Nowhere Lodge, which is only accessible from the river. Tread Routes can arrange for you to stay the night there, if it suits the logistics of your experience.
In Pipiriki, the village where the jet boat drops you off, there is nice campsite with a kitchen, lounge, and a couple of cabins. This great place is the HQ of Whanganui River Adventures, who operate a jet boat service.
Please note the Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka tracks are in a very remote area. There is no mobile reception on the trail, except for a very limited amount at the Mangapurura Trig (the high point of the trail).
The full 238km Mountains To Sea Cycle Trail takes 3 - 5 days to ride. Visit out Mountains To Sea Trail packages page for more info.
Logistics and shuttle pricing for day trips to ride sections of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail:
BRIDGE TO NOWHERE SECTION
* Note about the Bridge To Nowhere Section: If you are riding the Bridge To Nowhere Section, you must also have a boat transfer at the end of the ride. Tread Routes will arrange your boat transfer for you when you book a shuttle with us. The price of the boat transfer is $90 per person for 3 to 11 people. It is $135 per person if you are a group of 2 and there are no others on the trip.
Pricing for the two way/round trip shuttles above is for day trips only. If you require each half ofa particular shuttle service on different days, the price will be different. Contact us for details.
Guiding: Tread Routes is your Central North Island mountain bike guide, we have the largest range of trails to choose from and offer the most options. 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 in our remote wilderness.
Bike hire: We provide high quality hard tail mountain bikes for $60 per day. Most of our hire bike are in the $1000 - $1500 retail price range. High end dual suspension bikes are available 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 the right information to get you on the right size bike. Helmets are provided with bike hire.
Best places to park:
Ohakune: at the Cycle Trail car park in between the The Junction and the Railway Station (near the Powderhorn) There is a big New Zealand Cycle Trail sign here.
National Park: (if you are doing the alternate Northern start) at the Station Cafe
Taupo: the boat harbour near Stir Cafe (if you have arranged round trip transport with Tread Routes)
Most commonly ridden sections of the Mountains To Sea Trail:
Ohakune Old Coach Road
Park in Ohakune at the Cycle Trail car park in between the The Junction and the Railway Station, and arrange for Tread Routes to drop you off at the Horopito end of the trail.
Mangapurua Track (AKA: Bridge To Nowhere Track)
Park in Raetihi or Ohakune if you are want to ride Mangapurua Track only. Our shuttle will pick you up from either of these locations. There 4 parts your round trip journey for day:
1)Shuttle from Raetihi (or Ohakune or Taupo) to the Ruatiti Rd end.
2)You ride the 38km Mangapurua track to Bridge To Nowhere followed by the Mangapurua Landing
3) Jet boat ride downstream to Pipiriki
4) Shuttle from Pipiriki back to Raetihi (or Ohakune or Taupo)
Our recommendation for moderate to experienced mountain bikers is to add the more adventurous Kaiwhakauka Track. The logistics are similar (to the common trip described above), but the round trip is best started from National Park (or Taupo).
The 4 parts of the round trip journey are as follows:
1) Shuttle from National Park to Whakahoro
2) You ride the 42km to the Bridge To Nowhere followed by the Mangapurua Landing. This includeds the Kaiwhakauka Track and the best part of the Mangapurura Track.
3) Jet boat ride downstream to Pipiriki
4) Shuttle from Pipiriki back to National Park (or Taupo)
The final section of Mountains to Sea Trail is the Whanganui River Road. The road, which is a classic NZ cycle touring route is now sealed from Pipiriki all the way to SH4. The road takes riders through historic settlements that grew from the river being used as essential transport arterial to the Whanganui high country in centuries past. The River Road meets SH4 just 10km north of Whanganui, cyclists must ride the highway into Whanganui. Once in the city the Mountains To Sea Trail then follows paved cycle paths along the river bank to North Mole at the very tip of the river mouth at the Tasman Sea.
Scroll past the photos below for an in depth description of the Kaiwhakauka Track and The Mangapurura Track: