The Mountains To Sea trail stretches 233km 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.
2017/18 Scheduled Tours:
Green = Available, Yellow = limited availability/space, Red = Full
November 8 - 12, 2017
December 5 - 9, 2017
January 15 - 19, 2018
February 13 - 17, 2018
March 6 - 10, 2018
April 4 - 8, 2018
Ride in two National Parks: The Tongariro National Park and the Whanganui National Park. This trail is a hugely varied ride with a mixture of trail types and terrain. It includes a variety of interesting Maori and European history, as well as two unique river experiences by boat. Qualified mountain bike guide for the Mangapurua Track (Bridge To Nowhere Track) on day 3. This is a 5 day adventure with round trip transport from Taupo. Ride from the mountains to the sea! Please note that 45% of this cycle trail is on sealed roads, 22% is off road trail, 15% is gravel road, 18% is by boat on the Whanganui river.
Tour description / Itinerary:
Total Distance: 233km • Grade 2-3
Day 1: 33km • Grade 2
Tread Routes will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation(not included) in the morning. If you choose to spend the night before the tour in Ohakune (or other locations) you can be picked up on the way. Any hire bikes booked will already be loaded on the shuttle. It is a 2.5hr shuttle to the start of the trail at Turoa Ski Field where our driver will set up the bikes and provide a briefing about the trail. The fully guided ride starts at 1700m above sea level on the rocky slopes of Mt Ruapehu, in the Tongariro National Park (a dual World Heritage Site). After an exhilarating descent on sealed road down to Ohakune Village, the ride then takes to a historic coach road which has been developed for cycling and includes historic viaducts. Night 1 accommodation is at a small Motel/hotel in the mountain town of Ohakune.
Day 2: 43km • Grade 2
After breakfast you will be collected from you accommodation in Ohakune for a short shuttle to Horopito where you continue the ride. The trail enters a more rural setting as riders follow some little used gravel roads into remote farming countryside. The route takes you passed picturesque rivers and through rugged valleys. Comfortable cottage accommodation and hearty country food awaits riders for the evening. The accommodation is directly en-route, and baggage is transferred daily.
Day 3: 39km (+33km in jet boat) • Grade 3+
The Mangapurua Track (Aka: Bridge To Nowhere Trail) is the hardest, most hazardous, and most remote section of the Mountains To Sea Trail as it follows forgotten valleys in the Whanganui National Park. The special guided ride on day 3 will begin aroung 9am. The Mangapurua Track is full of pioneering history, amazing views, big bluffs, rough single track, and ends at the infamous Bridge To Nowhere. From here the essential and unique river experience begins as riders board a jet boat for a 45min ride downstream to the village of Pipiriki for the night. Comfortable cottage accommodation and hearty country food awaits riders for the evening. The accommodation is directly en-route, there are no extra shuttles required.
Day 4: 47km • Grade 2
The fourth day of the tour is on the Whanganui River Road (which is a sealed road) making for a faster, easier riding surface. This historic road is packed full of features, including a historic church, a flour mill, and old settlement sites that embody a mix of Maori and European history. There are sweeping views of the Whanganui River as the road follows the steep bush clad river banks and iconic kiwi farmland before reaching the cottage accommodation for the night, which includes dinner and breakfast.
Day 5: 38km • Grade 2
After riding the last section of the Whanganui River Road, you can board a vintage paddle boat that will take them down the river for 11km to the Whanganui CBD.
The ride then follows some urban cycleways and roads through Whanganui city before reaching the black sand beaches of the Tasman Sea at the Whanganui River mouth. You will then be shuttled 3.5hrs back to Taupo. (Clients can be dropped off in Ohakune, National Park, or Turangi on request).
Activity duration: 7am pick up day on day one, 7pm drop off on day three
Prerequisites: Moderate to high fitness level, at least some mountain biking experience
Group size: 4 to 8 (couples may join other open groups if applicable).