Timber Trail. Bikers riding on the trail
Timber Trail Bridge

The Timber Trail

The Pureora Timber Trail is part of Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail. It is one of 22 Great Rides that make up the network through New Zealand.

The Timber Trail is widely regarded as being the best two-day mountain bike ride in New Zealand, and runs mostly through Pureora Forest Park, from Pureora village in the north, to Ongarue in the south. The trail mainly follows old logging tramways and tracks and is a grade 2-3 trail, making it suitable for moderately experienced and capable riders. Its remoteness, stunning scenery, awe inspiring swing-bridges, prolific birdlife and historic logging tramways also create epic appeal for the most hard core mountain bikers.

It is already very popular with people of all ages; families, couples, and groups of friends sharing an adventure. It has also become a popular walking and running route, for both one day and multi day walks or runs.

Pureora is home to the Rereahu people, whose descendants came to Aotearoa on the Tainui waka. During European times Pureora had a significant logging industry. Dozens of timber mills provided a living to hundreds of people living in and around what was then an extensive forest of huge podocarp trees, including kahikitea, rimu, totara and matai.


Timber Trail Lodge Balcony

It's Not Just About The Bike!

The lodge is sited in the natural and historic Pureora Forest Park, with surrounding land managed by the Department of Conservation (DoC). The awe-inspiring forest landscapes include towering canopies of trees from the native podocarp family, nationally important wetlands and shrublands, and historic remnants of the logging industry including machinery and mill workers houses from the 1940s.

The Pureora Forest Park is a great place for bird watching, with an abundant birdlife and many protected species.

The lodge is the ideal place to base yourself for a relaxing day listening to the birds, taking time out to read, or meet up with friends. There are lots of DoC walking and tramping tracks through the forest, or you may decide to travel further afield to some of the other attractions within an easy drive of the lodge, including:

If you are not a biker, but your friends are, then come and hang out at the lodge while they ride the Pureora Timber Trail. Or you may decide to ride just one stage of the trail, and relax with us for a day. If you are that way inclined, we normally suggest riding the second, southern section of the trail as it’s a bit easier than the first part.

Timber Trail Arial View

Nearby attractions include:

  • Pa Harakeke at Pureora offers various trail-related services but also have a visitors centre and guided tours through the forest or learning about the cultural customs of the local people
  • The old Endean timber mill on Ongarue Stream Road, just 15 minutes from the lodge. This was a working mill until the 1990s when it was abandoned. The old buildings, vehicles and machinery still remain, and provide a fascinating glimpse of the area’s history.
  • Forgotten World Adventures – take a ride on a Railbike, or a Railcart into the Forgotten World. Or a jetboat ride on the Whanganui River to the Bridge to Nowhere
  • The Tongariro Crossing – one of New Zealand’s classic Great Walks
  • Waitomo Caves – have a subterranean adventure and see the amazing glowworms
  • Try your hand at trout fishing on local streams including the Waione and Ongarue, or go further afield to the upper Whanganui or Whakapapa, or visit the Tongariro National Trout Centre in Turangi

For more information about local attractions within easy reach of Timber Trail Lodge see Visit Ruapehu, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and Destination Great Lake Taupo

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