Cycle Trail Tour
Are you looking for manageable cycle trail rides, with amazing scenery and a relaxed pace? Our Cycle Trail Tour is designed to sample the shorter or easier sections of our great variety of cycle trails in the Central North Island.
$1,200 per person
Ride the best sections of the Central North Island Cycle Trails. This is the best way to experience the trail while keeping rides short and sweet.
Scheduled or custom dates
Click on a date to book a tour, or click Request More Info to tell us when you would prefer to ride the trail.
Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.
The Cycle Trail Tour includes only the easier section of the Timber Trail from Piropiro to Ongarue.
About the Tour
We will take you on a tour of the Central North Island, sampling our Great Rides, amazing scenery, and intriguing natural and cultural history, all from the saddle of a bike. The tour showcases a world famous Tongariro River, the Tongariro National Park, a historic Old Coach Road, ancient trees & timber tramway on the Timber Trail, and the remote shores of Lake Taupo that are inaccessible by road.
Our Cycle Trail Tour is designed for riders who may not have the cycling experience or time to complete the full length of the big multi-day trails. This tour is for those who want to experience the easier sections of the Cycle Trails, and take it at a relaxed pace.
Using the popular tourist town of Taupo at the base and start finish point, you will be shuttled to and from trails in the most iconic places in the Central North Island. The rides have been custom picked by our expert guides to make up a collection of rides for people who want shorter, less challenging rides that what we offer in our other tours. The tour is designed with a leisurely pace in mind and provides the opportunity for you to experience stunning places without the intense challenge of the doing the full length of the cycle trails (for example: not the full 85km of the Timber Trail). Time will also be allowed for you to enjoy restaurants and cafes throughout the tour.
The rides range from 15km to 45km in length (the longest day is 45km on the Timber Trail, while the other 3 rides range from 15-20km). Clients must expect to be on their bikes from 2 – 6 hours per day (with an average of 3hrs). Travel/shuttle time per day ranges from 15min to 2.5hrs.
These are the inclusions of the base package. Also see the optional extras below and don’t hesitate to ask us about further customisation.
Round trip transport from Taupo
All necessary transport for the four day of riding is included. We will pick you up from your accommodation Taupo on Day 1 and drop you off at Taupo accommodation on Day 3 & 4 so you don’t need a car during the tour.
Some rides are point to point and require us transfer your baggage.
4 guided rides
Our experienced guide will ride with you and provide historical and geographical interpretation along the way, as well as some bike skills coaching if desired. A guide is also critical to safety management throughout the tour.
2 nights of accommodation
We include the accommodation in Ohakune and on the Timber Trail. Remote lodge accommodation is used at the Timber Trail. The accommodation necessary in Taupo (Night 3) is not included in the tour price. Ask us for recommendations, or add it as an optional extra.
1x dinner, 1x breakfast, 1x packed lunch (for the Timber Trail). In the other areas you will be able to buy meals and restaurants and cafes, or do a little cooking using the kitchenette at your accommodation.
Hard tail (front suspension only) $200 for four days
High-end full suspension mountain bikes $400 for four days
E-bikes (electric mountain bikes) are available in hard tail and full suspension models. Contact us for more details
Our bikes are high quality and are serviced between every use. They come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request.
Extra nights of accommodation
We can include the accommodation in Taupo for the night 3 and the night(s) before and/or after the the ride. A 15% booking fee applies. Ask us for options.
We can pick up your group from Taupo, Rotorua, or Auckland airports. Contact us for pricing.
Day 1 pick up approx. 9am, drop off approx. 4pm on Day 4. Exact times may vary.
Day 1: Tongariro River Trail • 15km • Grade 2
You will be picked up from your Taupo accommodation in the morning and shuttle around out stunning lakeshore to the town of Turangi (at the South end of Lake Taupo). The ride starts just near Turangi town centre, our guide will set you up on your bike (if you have hired one) and provide a briefing about the ride. This 15km loop ride if packed with beauty as ride a nicely gravelled trail that is mostly easy single track. The trail follows the banks of the Tongariro River, which is a world famous trout fishing destination. There are amazing views of the river and surrounding hills as you ride through native bush. We continue on the Ohakune for the night.
Day 2: Ohakune Old Coach Road • 17km • Grade 2
After breakfast, you will be shuttled 15mins out to Horopito to begin our ride for the day. Todays ride along the revived Ohakune Old Coach Road tells of 2 stories that are intertwined, the building of the Coach Road and construction of the final link in the North Island Main Trunk Railway. There are interesting historical sites along the way including 3 viaducts. The trail is a very mixed surface and is little more technically challenging that Day 1. After lunch we drive to a very special place near the centre of the North Island: The Timber Trail Lodge located in the heart of the Pureora Forest. After a brief introduction to the area, some time to settle into your rooms you will enjoy a delicious dinner provided by the lodge.
Day 3: Timber Trail • 42km • Grade 2
Wake up to birdsong and mist rising off the forest. Today you will ride the epic Timber Trail. We set off around 8:30 as it is a long ride. Along the trail you will see some of NZ oldest native trees. There are amazing suspension bridges that provide breathtaking views of valleys and streams, and the trail is packed with interesting timber industry history it follows the route of an old logging tramway. There is more descending than climbing on day two. Your baggage will be transferred from the lodge while you are riding. Once you reach the end of the trail, you will be shuttled two hours back to your accommodation in Taupo.
Day 4: Great Lake Trail • 20km • Grade 3 (optional day*)
Tread Routes will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation around 9am. It is a 25min drive to the start of the Great Lake Trail. Our guide will provide a little bike skills coaching to help through this more technically challenging ride. The ride starts in a rural setting before descending to the remote Kawakawa Bay halfway through the ride. Enjoy the beach, and even a swim if the weather is warm. After climbing out of Kawakawa Bay the Great Lake Trail then descends to the little holiday village of Kinloch. Enjoy the beach at Kinloch, have lunch or a swim before being shuttled just 20min back to your accommodation in Taupo.
* Because Day 4 is on Grade 3 trail, it may challenge some riders. If you think it may be too technically challenging we can organise for you to do another easier ride closer to Taupo town.
This package includes two nights of accommodation. There is one more night that is required which you can book yourself (or ask us to include).
The first included night is after the first day of riding, you will stay in comfortable modern chalet style accommodation in the mountain town of Ohakune. While in Ohakune you can make the most of the local cafes and restaurants, or you can organise meals yourself in the kitchenette at your accommodation.
On night 2 of the tour (after the second day of riding) you will be staying at the new Timber Trail Lodge. It is located in a very special place known as the Pureora Forest Park. The Timber Trail Lodge is modern, professional, and is designed with socialising in mind, the large lounge and dining areas have a fire place and comfy seating. The deck has amazing views of native bush and is a great place to bask in the sun and admire the bush clad hillsides. You will have a double/twin room with an ensuite bathroom.
The third and final night of the tour is back in Taupo and is not included in the base package price. We allow you to book this yourself because we know that cyclists come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their tastes and budgets for accommodation. We can. recommend some Taupo accommodation options. If you prefer to have this included, just let us know. We can also include Taupo accommodation for the night before the tour and the night after. If you would like us to include the Taupo accommodation in your package a 15% booking fee applies.
A low to moderate fitness level is required for this tour
The shortest day is 15km and the longest day is either 42km. You should expect to be on your bike for around 2-3hrs per day on Days 1, 2, & 4, and up to 6hrs on Day 3 when we ride the Timber Trail. (this includes a little stopped/rest time on the trail).
Although this tour is designed specifically to include the easier sections of the best cycle trails in the region, there is still many parts that people will find challenging. Put simply the Central North Island does not have a lot of really easy rides, this tour combines the easier sections of what we do have.
You will need to start with at least a little off-road cycling experience to safely complete this tour
Three of the four days on this tour are on Grade 2 trails, and one day is on a Grade 3 trail. If you are not sure what each trail Grade is like, please visit our Trail Grades page, and feel free to ask us. If you have no off-road cycling experience (Ie: you only ever ride on paved roads and pathways) you may still find this tour too hard.
The group size for this tour can be anywhere from 4 to 10 people
Singles or couples may join other groups to share in transport if applicable to make up the minimum numbers. The minimum of 4 people is due to the length of the shuttle journeys and associated time and running costs. Ask us whether we have others going on the dates you are interested in.
This tour is fully guided, so the guide will informally structure the rides so the group can catch up with each other at key places, and allow everyone to make the most of the knowledge the guide can provide. However we realise that not everyone wants to ride with others all the time. If you want to explore some of the trail yourself you are not expected to stay with the guided group. We want you to have the best possible experience and enjoy “at your own pace” riding as much as possible. You may simply like to catch up with the other riders and the end or share some tales from the trail over a meal. Cycling is an independent sport, but is also a social activity, and we aim to make it’s fun for everyone.
Why is the Taupo accommodation not included?
We allow you to book this yourself because we know that cyclists come in all shapes an sizes, and so do their budgets.
Can the Taupo accommodation be included?
Yes. We can book it for you at one of our preferred providers, but it will subject to a booking fee that is the equivalent of 15% of the Taupo accommodation price.
Can you recommend any accommodation providers in Taupo?
Yes. The Taupo Millennium Hotel, Beech Tree Suites Motel, and Huka Falls Resort are all great options. Taupo also has a great many holiday houses for rent that may suit your group. Check out www.bookabach.co.nz or www.holidayhouses.co.nz
What if I only want to ride 3 of the 4 days?
No problem. Just let us know when you book and we will discuss details. In that case, most people would skip the day on Great Lake Trail because it is the most technically challenging
Which day/trail is harder? The Timber Trail or the Great Lake Trail?
It depends on you point of view and what type of rider you are. The Great Lake Trail is entirely made up of Grade 3 singletrack so it is a little more technical than the Timber Trail, while the Timber Trail has mandatory distance of 42 km so it’s longer and therefore requires more physical fitness.
Can I hire a bike from you?
Yes. We have hard tail and full suspension models available and will help you choose the right bike for the tour. We can also supply E-bikes. All our bikes are high quality and very well maintained.
I see this is a fully guided tour, what if I want to ride on my own?
However we realise that not everyone wants to ride with others all the time. If you want to explore some of the trail yourself you are not expected to stay with the guided group. We want you to have the best possible experience and enjoy “at your own pace” riding as much as possible. You may simply like to catch up with the other riders and the end or share some tales from the trail over a meal. Cycling is an independent sport, but is also a social activity, and we aim to make it’s fun for everyone.
What do I do with my car while I am on the tour?
You should make arrangements with your Taupo accommodation provider to leave it there. If that is not possible contact us for an alternative.