Our Tours

Timber Trail Tour

The Timber Trail is more than a bike ride. It is an adventure that will take you back in time and give you a sense of accomplishment.

$350 $295 per person

Spring Special 15% OFF

grade - easy grade - intermediate
Grade 2 - 3 Easy - Int

The Timber Trail is more than a bike ride. It is an adventure that will take you back in time and give you a sense of accomplishment.

It is the perfect weekend getaway to an all but forgotten land in the centre of the North Island. It includes single track in ancient native forest, huge suspension bridges, and fascinating history of the timber industry that once thrived.

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.

Oct 7-8 2017
Oct 21-22 2017
Oct 28-29 2017
Nov 4-5 2017
Nov 18-19 2017
Dec 2-3 2017
Dec 18-19 2017
Dec 29-30 2017
Jan 2-3 2018
Jan 5-6 2018
Jan 20-21 2018
Jan 27-28 2018
Feb 3-4 2018
Feb 24-25 2018
Mar 3-4 2018
Mar 17-18 2018
Mar 26-27 2018
Mar 31-1 2018
Apr 13-14 2018
Apr 24-25 2018
Apr 28-29 2018

Limited availability

Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.

grade - intermediate
Grade 3 Intermediate
15 km
grade - easy
Grade 2 Easy
70 km

This video was produced by Tourism New Zealand and helps to provide a little insight into the type of experience the Timber Trail can offer. However, it's important to note that the video does not provide an accurate representation of the physical and technical difficulty of the trail. Also, Black Fern Lodge and the Maori cultural experience illustrated is not included in every package. Other accommodation options are available around the trail.

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About the Tour

You will ride through some of the oldest forests in NZ, among huge 1800 year old trees, and experience bird life that that is reminiscent of early NZ. Huge suspension bridge will allow you glide across valleys, and you will be intrigued by stories from NZs pioneering native Timber Industry days as you ride the route of an old logging tramway.

The Timber Trail is an 85km grade 2-3 trail that is ridden over 2 days. You stay overnight on the trail in one of two conveniently located lodges. Our packages include all the necessities to make your adventure enjoyable, easy to plan, and easy to book.

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 accommodation

On Day 1 we will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation to shuttle you to the start of the trail (the Taupo accommodation is not included in the tour, we like to leave this open for your preferences).

Baggage transfers

We will take your bags to and from the accommodation on the Timber Trail – for the night in between riding days. Only ride with what you want for the day, you’ll find the rest of your baggage at your accommodation.

One night of accommodation on the Timber Trail

This is for the night in between the two riding days. The location varies according to date chosen. It will be either the rustic Black Fern Lodge or the modern Timber Trail Lodge.

Three meals

Day 1 dinner, day 2 breakfast and a packed lunch (on the Timber Trail).

Emergency Locator Beacon

We prioritise safety on our tours and make use of great technology.

Great service from guides who know the trail

We know that communication is important in planing a cycling adventure. We also know you need accurate information about the trail itself. We are riders and guides so know the trail and the logistics intimately. We can answer any of your questions.


Having a guide is a great way to maximise the enjoyment of the ride. Our guides will not only show riders the way, they will also brief riders on upcoming trail segments. A guide can explain some of the history and geography of the area. Our guides know the emergency access points and where the hazardous parts of the trail are. Contact us for details and pricing.

Bike Hire

Hard tail (front suspension only) $120 for two days

High-end full suspension mountain bikes $240 for two 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 extra accommodation in Taupo for the night(s) before and/or after the the ride. A 15% booking fee than applies. Ask us for options.

Airport transfers

We can pick up your group from Taupo, Rotorua, or Auckland airports. Contact us for pricing.

Throughout the 2 days on the Timber Trail you will ride through some of the oldest forests in NZ, and experience bird life, huge suspension bridge will allow you glide across valleys, and you will be intrigued by stories from NZs pioneering native Timber Industry days as you ride the route of an old logging tramway. The rich natural and cultural story provides a fascinating insight to the region that is best displayed and explained from the trail. Ask us about guided options for this tour.

Day 1: 40km (or 41km*) • Grade 2-3

Tread Routes will pick you up first thing in the morning for the 1hr shuttle journey to the start of the Timber Trail, where the driver will provide a briefing. You will start riding around 10am. The ride involves single track among huge native trees that up to 1800yrs old, there expansive views, and a lot of uphill riding during the first few hours. The ride ends at your accommodation for the night, which is one of two lodges in idyllic forest locations. Baggage will be transferred to the lodge while you are riding. Dinner is provided by the lodge, as well as breakfast and a packed lunch for the second day.

Day 2: 45km or (56km*) • Grade 2

The second days ride on the Timber Trail starts directly from the accommodation (no shuttles required in the morning). Today you will experience more fantastic native bush, amazing suspension bridges that have been built specifically for the trail, and interesting timber industry history as the trail follows the route of an old logging tramway. There is more descending than climbing on day two (but don’t be fooled, it is not all downhill). Your baggage will be picked up 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.

This package includes accommodation in one for two remote lodges out on (or near) the Timber Trail. The date you choose will determine which of the two lodges you will enjoy. For custom tours with a minimum of 4 people we will give you options of where to stay on your chosen date.

Black Fern Lodge is a small rustic lodge that is well suited to the Timber Trail theme. The buildings and property are decorated with relics from timber industry that have come out of the forest. The Lodge sits on the banks of the Ongarue River where they manage their own a Blue Duck Protection Project. To get to the lodge by bike you follow a 6km linking track off the Timber Trail from the 35km marker. Black Fern has two areas: “The Lodge” has double/twin rooms each with their own toilet & shower. “The  Forge” area has rooms with a mixture of singles and bunk beds. Rooms in the Lodge area are included as standard in our packages on the scheduled dates.

The new Timber Trail Lodge has been built specifically for the Timber Trail, and is right next to the trail at Piropiro. 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 after an amazing ride. There are double/twin and triple with ensuite or shared bathroom facilities. The ensuite rooms are included as standard in our packages on the scheduled dates.

A moderate to high fitness level is required for this tour.

The shortest day is 40km and the longest day is either 45km or 56km (depending on your date/accommodation location on the Timber Trail). You should expect to be on your bike for around 5-6hrs per day (this includes a little stopped/rest time on the trail).

You will need some off-road biking experience to safely complete this tour.

Most the Timber Trail is Grade 2, but 15km of it is Grade 3. If you are not sure what the trail grades mean, please visit our Trail Grades page. If you have no mountain biking or off-road cycling experience, this tour may not be the best choice, you should consider our Cycle Trail Tour.

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.

On self-guided tours you are not expected to ride with the other people booked on the tour. It is designed for “at your own pace” riding. You may simply like to catch up with the other riders and share some tales from the trail over a meal at your accommodation.

On fully guided exclusive tours (where you have a guide dedicated to your group), the guide will informally structure the ride so the group can stay together as much as possible. After all, cycling is a social activity, and we help to ensure it’s fun for everyone.

Do we need to take the shuttle from Taupo or can we meet you at the trail?

No, you don’t have to take the shuttle from Taupo. If you prefer to meet us at the trail, we will meet you at the start (Pureora Village) on Day 1 and you can leave your car there. At the end of Day 2 we will shuttle you back to your car.

Can Taupo accommodation in Taupo 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 1 of the 2 days?

No problem. Just let us know when you book and we will discuss details. If you are concerned about distance and fitness levels, it’s best for you to skip day 1, because that is the harder day. We will explain about transport to the lodge.

Which day is harder?

Although the first day is shorter, it is harder. The first day includes lots of singletrack and lots of climbing…. but the forest is amazing!

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.

Should I hire a guide?

It largely depends on your level of cycling experience and what you aim to get out of the ride. There are a lot of different elements packed into our guiding service: safety management, historical and geographical interpretation, riding skills tips, mechanical support, emergency management, and more. We know how to help you get the most out of the ride. Contact us for more info.

Why does this tour include different Timber Trail accommodation on different dates?

There are two great accommodation providers near the midpoint of the Timber Trail. Black Fern Lodge has existed for a long time, while the Timber Trail Lodge is brand new. They each have their own style and benefits, and we know that riders have different tastes so we have reserved dates a each one. Ask us more about each one.