Frequently Asked Questions

What level of accommodation do you offer?

We can sleep over 40 people at the lodge.

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

The tariff includes dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch. There is fresh linen on the beds, towels provided and you have access to all of our facilities including the bar.

Are there facilities so we can prepare our own meals?

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

Dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch is included in the cost of accommodation.

Do I need to bring my own bike and helmet?

No, if you wish you can hire an E bike or standard hard tail mountain bike. Helmets provided at no extra charge. This option is provided as part of our service addons and can be selected from our booking page. This service is provided in conjunction with our trail partner, Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire.

What is the best way to arrange a Timber Trail adventure?

Go to our booking page and follow the prompts. You can select the nights, guest numbers, bed configuration and then, if you choose, a shuttle and luggage transfer and possibly a bike. These services are provided in conjunction with our trail partner, Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire.

Is any other special clothing or gear necessary?

The Timber Trail is 80km in length and winds it's way through a mixture of Forest Park and private land. Mobile coverage is patchy. You need to be prepared for adverse weather and emergencies. Check out our recommended gear list.

How do we arrange for our luggage to be transported if we are not driving to the lodge?

If you have booked a shuttle with us, then the luggage transfer is included. The shuttle option includes a 15kg luggage transfer per guest to the lodge and back to the shuttle depot.

If you are arranging your own transport then we suggest you contact our trail partner, Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire to arrange a luggage transfer. 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.

Why do you recommend parking at Ongarue, the end of the trail, and getting a shuttle from there?

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.
  • How do we arrange shuttles?

    We offer 2 shuttle packages, both can be booked at the same time as you make your Timber Trail Lodge room booking. We offer these packages in conjunction with our trail partner, Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire.

    If you are not staying with us you can book shuttles directly through Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire.

    How hard is the Timber Trail? How fit do I need to be?

    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.

    Is there someone I can talk to about the lodge, or the Timber Trail?

    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.

    When is the best time of the year to ride the Timber Trail?

    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.

    What will I see along the trail?

    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.

    Can I walk the Timber Trail?

    Yes, it is open to walkers. There is a basic Department of Conservation hut at approx. 20km in from the start of the trail at Pureora. The Timber Trail Lodge is another 20km on. There is also a campsite at #10 Camp, 20km south of the Lodge. If aiming to walk the trail we suggest you refer to the Department of Conservation website.

    The Te Araroa Walkway follows the trail and their website has many suggestions for those wishing to walk instead of bike.

    What if I get a puncture or a mechanical breakdown?

    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.

    What if I decide I don’t want to bike any further part way through my journey?

    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.

    Can I stay longer at the lodge?

    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.

    How far is the lodge from the trail?

    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!

    I’m looking for somewhere to take a group of people for a few days. Can you help?

    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.

    I’m not a bike rider, can I still come and stay?

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

    Can we arrive and stay without making a prior booking?

    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.

    What are your payment and cancellation terms?

    Please refer to our full Terms of Service.

    What activities are there to do around the lodge?

    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.

    Are you licensed for serving alcohol?

    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.

    Do you take casual diners?

    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.

    Do you have any extra provisions in case I need something?

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

    Do you have wifi?

    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!

    Where should we drive to?

    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.

    Can I charge my E-Bike?

    We welcome E-bikes, and have set up charging points for recharging batteries. Be sure to bring your own connection cable.
    You can also hire E bikes at the same time as you book your accommodation. We offer both E bikes and standard mountain bikes in conjunction with our trail partner, Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire.

    What are road conditions like driving to the lodge?

    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.

    How long does it take to drive to the lodge?

    The Lodge is at the end of a 15 kilometre narrow winding gravel road. We encourage guests to consider booking one of our shuttle packages.

    Directions and approximate travel times can be found here.

    Please drive carefully on our rural roads.

    Is there mobile phone reception on the trail?

    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.

    What if there are medical issues in our group?

    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.

    How do I rent a bike to use on the trail?

    You can hire bikes at the same time as you book your accommodation. We offer both E bikes and standard mountain bikes in conjunction with our trail partner, Timber Trail Shuttles and Bike Hire.

    Do you offer group discounts?

    The Timber Trail Lodge is a great place to bring a group, or even exclusively hire the lodge. Talk to us about your requirements and we can provide a quote.
    Please contact us directly to discuss your requirements.

    Can I book a room for one person?

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

    Do you offer child rates?

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