Full day

Bridge to Nowhere/Mangapura Track

NOTE 12/12/2014:

Both the Mangapurua and Kaiwhakauka tracks are open again after the recent storm damage.
Work still remains to be done at Battleship Bluff but the track is now passable at this location. Full completion of this work is expected within the next week. Please take care passing the Battleship Bluff section of the track. 

(Forms part of the Mountains to Sea Cycleway)
Distance: 38kms
Time: 4-7hrs cycling + 1hr jet boat transfer
Start Point: Mangapurua Road, Whanganui National Park
Difficulty: Moderate

The Bridge to Nowhere trail is gaining a reputation as one of the best day rides in New Zealand, combining interesting riding terrain with historical sites and topping it all off with a jet boat transfer down the river.

Through the forest, over the rolling hills, along the sheer face of Battleship Bluff and across the majestic Whanganui River, the Bridge to Nowhere trail offers a fascinating glimpse into post-war life in the central North Island. The variety it offers makes it a great experience for riders of all levels, although some experience is recommended.

In 1917 the Mangapura Valley was opened by the government to encourage settlement by returning World War I soldiers and their families. Up to 35 families lived in the valley at the height of its occupation. Built originally as a means of linking the valley settlements with the riverboat transport service, the bridge was in use for a mere 6 years before the valley was abandoned in 1942.

Follow in the footsteps of the post-war pioneers and visit the settlement plots that still bear the names of the families that occupied them. Then take a walk over the bridge and trade the steam boats for a high powered jet vessel for your return journey.
This ride is best enjoyed as part of an organised tour that will arrange transport to the start point, collect you at the finish and arrange your jet boat experience. These elements are difficult to co-ordinate on your own.

 

The 42 Traverse
Distance: 46kms
Time: 4-7hrs
Start Point: Kapoors Road, Tongariro Forest Park (SH47), 35mins’ drive from Ohakune – Transport available
Difficulty: Hard – not suitable for inexperienced riders

This is a first-class challenging track that takes its name from the forest through which it travels, previously known as State Forest 42. The forest is part of the Tongariro National Park and the trail is a fantastic mix of surfaces, gradients and scenery that will keep even the most experienced MTB rider interested.

Also known as the Tongariro Forest Crossing, the 42 Traverse is a journey into the sub-alpine forest in one of the most remote regions of the North Island. The trail begins with a gentle downhill gravel track for the first 6km before the deep valleys kick in. Descending a total of 570m into the heart of the forest your ride takes you to the depths of the valleys where three rivers divide your ride. It is here that you may need to carry your bike if the waters are high, so if you’re not a fan of getting wet then this is probably not the track for you!

Sweeping mountain vistas, the spectacular Canyon Valley and acres of forest await you and the terrain switches frequently between gravel, mud, rock and sand. Around 60% of the route follows old logging trails and it is not uncommon to meet 4WD vehicles, horses and trail bikes along the way.
The track is physically demanding with plenty of steep uphill sections and challenging descents. The beauty of this track is its remoteness but that also comes with a warning. There is no easy way out of the forest and, should you have an accident, it can be a long time before someone else comes your way. There is also little cell phone coverage in this region. ALWAYS carry emergency supplies including food, water, a full repair kit, a well-equipped first aid kit and an emergency blanket. You should also carry a map of the area (A Tongariro Forest Adventure Map or Raurimu NZMS 260, S19 are recommended) and a compass as, although the track is marked along the way, it is easy to take a wrong turn.

Warm, waterproof clothing is always recommended as the weather in the national park is known for its unpredictability. Eye protection is also a good idea as riders often encounter low hanging branches. There are sections of the track which require you to carry your bike so please ensure you are fit enough to do this before setting off. After heavy rain the trails may be closed and the rivers impassable. The mud can also be a problem and cause sticky gears so check current conditions at the local DOC office before setting off.
All in all this is a great track and if you are looking for something beyond your average MTB track then this is the route for you.
Transport to the trail head is easily arranged and at the end of the day you can call you return transport from the historic village of Owhango. There’s even a nice pub in which you can have a well-earned drink whilst you wait for it to arrive! It’s the perfect end to a great day out.

Mountains to Sea Cycleway -  NGA ARA TUHONO RUAPEHU

New Zealand Cycleway trail network

Distance: 317kms (approx.)
Time: 4-5 days
Start Point: Turoa ski field car park on day one
Difficulty: Moderate

The ultimate cycling experience in the region is the Mountains to Sea cycleway that begins high on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu and finishes at the coast in Whanganui. Part of the National Cycle Trail, this route includes the Ohakune Mountain Road, Ohakune Old Coach Road and the Bridge to Nowhere trail amongst others.

Guided tours are available taking 4-5 days to complete the full route and staying in local accommodation along the way. Most include a Whanganui River jet boat experience as part of the package with some offering an optional canoe journey to give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the spirit of the sacred river.
If you are serious about your cycling then this is a must!

Click here for further information.