Frequently Asked Questions

We can sleep over 40 people at the lodge.

We have 20 guest rooms, 11 of which have ensuite bathrooms. The other 9 rooms will have shared ablutions (showers and toilets).

The tariff includes dinner and breakfast, and linen on the beds. Lunches are extra (unless you’ve booked our all-inclusive package) and should be ordered ahead of time.

No, we don’t have facilities for self-catering.

Dinner and breakfast is included in the cost of accommodation.

If you are taking one of our all inclusive packages you will also get lunches supplied.

If you aren’t taking a package you can bring your own supplies for lunches, or arrange for us to provide those also, at an extra cost.

Most people bring their own gear, however there are a couple of very good outfitters who hire gear, including helmets.

You have a couple of choices:

Make all the arrangements yourself, including accommodation, transport, luggage transfer, food etc.

Or get us to take care of everything through our Ultimate Timber Trail Package.

You can make your booking online, so it doesn’t even require a phone call.

If you’d like to talk to us, just give us a call.

As Pureora Forest Park is a wilderness area you need to be prepared for adverse weather, and emergencies. See Plan Your Trip for details about what we suggest you bring.

If you are taking one of our all inclusive packages you won’t need to worry about luggage transfers.

If you are not taking a package you need to  makeyour own arrangements. Shuttle operators will transport your luggage from where they meet you before your ride to the lodge, and pick it up and return it to you at the end of the ride. They charge per item for this.

There are a number of reasons why we think it is a good idea to park at Ongarue, rather than driving to the lodge:

  • It saves you a 2 hour trip at the end of your ride. When you arrive at the end of the trail you can pack up and drive home, rather than driving back to the lodge, packing up and then driving out again.
  • You finish your ride where you parked so there is no pressure to get to Ongarue at a particular time to catch a shuttle back to the Lodge.
  • If there are multiple groups that need shuttling back to the Lodge after their ride, the shuttle will only leave once everyone has arrived. This may mean a long wait for slower groups.
  • The drive to the lodge is on a long, winding gravel road. Punctures are common.

The Timber Trail is normally ridden north to south. The beginning and end points are about 100km apart by road.

If you are not booking one of our all-inclusive packages you need to arrange shuttles, or contact one the commercial operators to arrange drop offs and pickups for your bikes, luggage and yourselves.

There are a number of shuttle operators servicing the Timber Trail.

The trail is mostly grade 2, which means its doable by most people of reasonable fitness. There are a few short slightly harder grade 3 sections which can be walked if you are not confident on them.

Each section of the trail is about 40km long and take most people 4 – 6 hours to ride at a leisurely pace, so you need to be fit enough to ride for that long.

Yes, you can call us on 0800 885 6343, during office hours, approximately 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

At other times if the phone isn’t answered please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as possible.

Most people ride it during the warmer season, from October through until May. It is busiest from January through April. It’s certainly possible to ride the trail from June through September, but the weather can be wetter and colder. As such, riders need to be appropriately prepared.

You are in for a treat as you travel along the trail.

The physical beauty is outstanding. The forest is beautiful, and the birdsong, particularly early in the morning and later in the day is enchanting. There’s fantastic history, particularly that of the Ngati Rereahu, who lived here before Europeans arrived, and from the logging days when timber was a big industry in the region.

There are interpretive signboards that explain all sorts of detail about the forest and its history.

Yes, it is open to walkers. There are also a number of other good walking trails in Pureora Forest Park. The Te Araroa Walkway follows the first 10 or so kilometres of the trail.

We have a bike servicing station at the lodge for our guests to use. It includes tools and a service stand, and a wash-down area. We also have a bike storage area. Some basic spares are also available at our provisions store.

If you suffer a puncture or other problems out on the trail you will need to take care of that yourself, so be sure to have a spare tube (that’s the correct size for your bike), a pump and tools to fix basic problems.

Once you leave the start of each section there are no alternative routes to get to the finish points. So you either need to continue to the finish or return to the start point.

If you are staying at Timber Trail Lodge and decide when you arrive after your first day of riding that you don’t want to continue on day two, you will be welcome to spend your second day at the lodge and meet up with your group once they have finished.

Yes you are welcome to stay an extra day, either before, during or after your ride, but you will need to book this ahead of time to be sure we have space available for you.

It’s right beside the trail!

As you come into Piropiro from the north the valley opens up and you get a glimpse of the lodge on the rise on the left side of the trail. A little further on you get to the access track that takes you about 150 metres to the lodge, a nice cool drink and a warm greeting.

Welcome to Timber Trail Lodge!

For sure! The lodge is perfect for an off-grid business retreat, a special family reunion or a great birthday party.

Get in touch and we can work out an arrangement to suit your needs.

Of course, you’d be most welcome. Hanging out at the lodge, and going for a walk, is very relaxing.

Normally no, as we need to plan and prepare for our visitors ahead of time. However if you arrive without a booking, and we have space available, we will try to fit you in.

100% of the cost is payable when you make a booking.

Within 24 hours of booking arrival date: 100% of booking is forfeited

Within 1 – 20 days of booking arrival date: booking able to be transferred to another booking within 6 months of booking date.

Prior to 21 days of booking arrival date: your payment is refunded in full.

Click here for our full Terms of Service.

There are bush walks from the lodge, with great bird watching opportunities.

There’s a stream to cool off in too.

At the lodge we’ve got lovely spaces for you to sit and read a book, play games, listen to music or whatever else takes your fancy.

We also have a vegetable garden you’ll be welcome to lend a hand in. We have an ongoing program of native tree planting, with a native plant nursery, and some very annoying weeds that need constant attention. You’ll be more than welcome to help out there!

Click here to find out more about what else there is to do close to the lodge.

Yes, we have a small and carefully chosen range of wines, beer, and other drinks including low alcoholic options and soft drinks. We also have delicious water!

Please note our license prohibits our guests from bringing their own alcohol.

Please also note we do not serve alcohol to people who are not lodge guests, or who have not made prior arrangement to dine with us.

Depending on how busy we are with our guests we can sometimes take casual diners for dinner. However please don’t be offended if we are unable to fit you in, as our priority is to our lodge guests.

Yes we have a small selection of bike spares, snacks and trail food and a few mementos that you might like to buy.

Yes we do but it is limited. It will be sufficient to check emails and update social media, but not for downloading movies!

And besides, we really encourage our guests to enjoy being off grid, and not online!

Guests are finding it preferable to drive to the trail end at Ongarue, leave their vehicle there where where is safe parking, and get shuttled to the lodge. It is possible to drive to the lodge but that means being shuttled back there after finishing the trail, adding a couple of hours to the day before driving home.

We welcome e-bikes, and have set up charging points for recharging batteries. Be sure to bring your own connection cable.

The last 15km of road to the lodge is unsealed, gravel road. Most of this is well maintained by Ruapehu District Council. The final few kilometres through DOC land is rougher and narrower but still fine for most vehicles including cars.

Please drive carefully on all roads.

The Lodge is at the end of a 15 kilometre winding gravel road which some peioplke find challenging. We encourage guests to consider driving to the trail end at Ongarue, leave their vehicle there, where there is safe parking, and get a shuttle to the lodge (or the start of the trail if they are not staying with us the night prior to starting the trail).

The following are approximate drive times.

Timber Trail Lodge at Piropiro Start of Trail at Pureora Village
Auckland to: 3.5hrs 3.0hrs
Taupo to: 1.5hrs 1.0hr
Te Kuiti to: 1.0hr .75hr
National Park to: 1.25hrs 1.75hrs

Please drive carefully on our rural roads.

There is no reliable coverage along the trail. In a couple of places (the side of Mt Pureora at about km 12) it is usually possible to get reception but this shouldn’t be relied on.

We have a reasonably comprehensive first aid kit at the lodge, and our staff are trained in first aid. We can also call emergency services if required.

We can help with that by putting you in touch with one of the operators who hire bikes, and arranging to have it ready for you when you arrive.

If you are travelling some distance or are delayed on your way to the lodge the night before you start riding we can either hold your dinner, or offer a light supper and a glass of wine when you arrive.

Please let us know if you are likely to be late.

Yes, we offer a discount of 10% for groups of 10 or more.

Yes of course, but there is an extra cost. You can check the cost on our bookings page.

No sorry, we don’t offer child rates. We do offer group discounts.

The lodge isn’t appropriate for young children as there are a number of hazards including an unprotected fire, an open kitchen and dense bush and waterways close by. As our living areas are communal, we also have to be sensitive to the peaceful ambiance our guests like to enjoy after a wild day on the trail. Our general policy is that children who are old enough to ride the trail are an appropriate age.

Book Now

Let Us Arrange It For You

Make it easy for yourself. Avoid the bother of finding and arranging shuttle transportation, booking enough accommodation, sorting out food and vehicle security. Let us do it for you, and know you’ll be looked after.

Check out our all-inclusive Timber Trail bike packages.