Tree Trunk Gorge Road

The Tree Trunk Gorge & the Desert Road Loop of the Kaimanawa Forest Park is one of the most enjoyable.

Tree Trunk Gorge / Desert Road Loop
Time: 2 to 4 hours
Tree Trunk Gorge Road turns off State Highway 1, 23 km south of Turangi  towards Kaimanawa Forest Park, access to the Tongariro River and the Tree Trunk Gorge Track.

This enjoyable route is generally fairly well graded and can be ridden in either direction but is described here from the Tree Trunk Gorge Road end. The first downhill can be slippery and at the bottom of the descent is a small river which can become impassable after rain but is generally rideable.

Carry on along the track to the Urchin Camping Area, then follow the Pillars of Hercules to Urchin Camping Area Track (18) to reach the Pillars of Hercules suspension bridge. Cross to the 4WD road and follow this up and out to State Highway 1 (about 25 to 40 minutes). From here it is a 2.5 km cycle up the highway and 4.5 km down Tree Trunk Gorge Road to the starting point.

NB: River levels can rise rapidly in Kaimanawa Forest Park during and after heavy rain and knowledge of proper river crossing techniques is required when the river is high. Waipakihi normal flow is 8 - 10 cumecs, high is 13 and over. For the latest updates please call the Flow Phone: +64 7 386 8113 or search ‘River Flow’ on


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