Plan Your Trip On the Timber Trail

Close up of fern at Pureora Timber Trail Lodge

Getting There

The Trail starts at Pureora village, 18 km east of Benneydale, off State Highway 39, right in the middle of the North Island. The Timber Trail Lodge is at Piropiro, the half way point of the trail, and accessed by road via Waimiha (click here for directions). Piropiro is an hour and a half drive from Taupo and Rotorua, an hour from Te Kuiti, and an hour and a half from National Park.

Most people choose to complete the trail over two days. Unless riders are using other accommodation we normally suggest you consider staying at the lodge the night before you start the ride, and shuttle with your bike to the start of the trail the next morning. This will enable you to have a relaxing night’s sleep and good breakfast before you get on the trail for an exciting day’s biking. Then, at the end of your first day you arrive back to the lodge where  a nice warm shower, a cool drink, dinner and bed are waiting for you.

The best option is to drive to Ongarue at the end of the trail and leave your car there. Then it’s there when you finish the ride. We will arrange the shuttle to pick you up at Ongarue and drop you at the lodge.

We offer all-inclusive packages so you don’t have to make all the other arrangements, or we can link you to other accommodation and transport operators so you can organise it yourself.

Approximate Drive Times - hours

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

Shuttle Transport

Our all-inclusive packages include shuttle services from Ongarue, at the end of the trail where we suggest you leave your vehicle, to the lodge the evening before you ride, and from the lodge to the beginning of the trail on the first morning.

Non-package accommodation will require you to make your own shuttle arrangements. There are a number of operators providing these services if you don’t have non riders who can drive for you.

Your Bike

You need to have a bike that is in good condition to ride the Timber Trail. While suspension makes the ride a lot more comfortable, it’s not essential. Parts of the trail can be slippery and muddy, and you should use a bike with suitable tyres (wide and knobbly). Your bike should be fitted properly so that it’s as comfortable and as efficient to ride as possible.

There are a number of operators offering bike hire if you don’t have a suitable bike.

For those with ebikes we have charging facilities at the lodge.

Clothing & Gear For The Ride

We suggest your gear list includes:

  • Comfortable riding clothing. A shirt of breathable fabric and padded shorts are a good idea
  • Extra warm clothing, either wool or polypropylene, including hat, gloves, long sleeved jumper and tights
  • A windproof rain jacket, suitable for riding in
  • Helmet
  • Cycling shoes or trainers
  • Adequate water (1-2 litres per person)
  • Food, including extra for emergencies
  • First aid kit (per group)
  • Emergency thermal blanket (per group)
  • Possibly a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Bike repair gear, including pump, spare tube, puncture repair kit, multitool.

What To Bring To The Lodge

If you are taking our all-inclusive package we provide all your meals and linen so you just need to bring your own personal items, and perhaps some extra snacks. If you are not taking the package, and making your own transport arrangements you’ll also need to bring food for lunches, or order from us, at an extra cost.

As we can’t offer a laundry service please bring enough clothing for your whole trip.

We suggest that you bring the following:

  • Clothing for in and around the lodge
  • Soft shoes for indoors
  • Shoes for outdoor walking
  • Book
  • Torch or headlamp (for bedtime reading or outside evening walks!)
  • Toiletries and medications
  • Extra snacks, and possibly lunches as above.

Please note: if you are using a shuttle company to transport luggage to the lodge, they normally charge per item, with a weight limit of about 5kg per item.


The Timber Trail passes through a remote wilderness area. Emergency access is difficult in some places. You need to be prepared for adverse weather and emergencies.

It’s really important that you take precautions and remember what to do in an emergency.

  • Carry a first aid kit, and be prepared to help injured riders
  • Carry extra food and plenty of water
  • Carry warm clothing in case of weather change or emergencies.
  • An emergency blanket is a good idea.
  • There is very little cell phone coverage on the trail. Normally someone will need to ride out along the trail to get medical assistance
  • Some people carry Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). These can be used to signal for assistance in the event of a serious emergency.
  • The trail is very well marked and easy to follow. You will not get lost if you stay on the trail.
  • Allow plenty of time to ride the trail. Most groups take 5-6 hours to ride the first stage from Pureora to Piropiro. The second leg usually takes slightly less time. Allow extra time for mishaps and breakdowns.

Please note our policy is to alert Police Search and Rescue if guests have not arrived by dark.

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.