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The Timber Trail
The 85 km long Timber Trail is a unique mountain bike ride across ancestral Maori lands, taking you deep into the ancient Pureora Forest Park in New Zealand's central North Island.
The Timber Trail showcases several beautiful species of native birds that you may not see anywhere else in New Zealand, and the bush they inhabit is stunning. Ride the historic Ellis and Burnand Tram and cross the longest suspension bridge on any cycle trail; a whopping 140 metres. This trail is a dream overnight mission for outdoor enthusiasts with a sense of adventure.
The track is a testing grade 3 trail and is most suited to spring, summer and autumn riding. It is made up of a mix of long and short ascents and descents, with short flat sections at the southern end.
For very fit cyclists, the trail can be ridden in a single day. For those looking for a paced experience, the trail can be split across two days with an overnight stop at the halfway point.
The Timber Trail can be ridden in either direction, but is typically ridden north to south, starting at Pureora and finishing in Ongarue.
As the trail is long, not a loop track, and has no cellphone coverage, it’s strongly recommended that you make all your transport and accommodation arrangements prior to the starting your ride.
From there, the trail winds through the Pikiariki Ecological Area before climbing Mount Pureora. It then traverses the mountain 940 metres above sea level, traveling over two large suspension bridges, before heading down to the half way point and camping ground at Piropiro.
You can camp overnight at the Piropiro Flats Campsite. Alternatively there are a number of B&Bs and farmstays in the area which shuttle operators can take you to. Make sure to arrange your accommodation and transport in advance.
The second half of the trail from Piropiro to Ongarue follows the historic Ellis and Burn Tramline crossing one of New Zealand’s highest and longest suspension bridges, the Maramataha Suspension Bridge, before ascending to the to Ongarue Spiral.
The final descent from the Ongarue Spiral offers a free flowing ride for the more experienced riders, before hitting the final flat section leading into Ongarue. From here the shuttle service can pick you up and return you to your car or accommodation.
The Timber Trail also offers shorter rides through Pureora Forest Park to suit day trippers, families and groups wanting to experience some of the spectacular scenery on offer. There is a short loop at Pureora, or you can ride to the 8km mark and back.
|Time Required||1-2 days|
|Satelite Locator||Strongly recommended|
|Toilets||At the beginning, middle and end|
Yes. Book shuttle services prior to departure.
Bike Deals & Packages
There are bike trails for every level in Great Lake Taupo.
Save the transport hassle. Get a shuttle to your favourite bike trails.
Unsure about the difficulty level of a trail? Find out what the gradings mean.