Your route

The Heritage start to the Ohakune Old Coach Road and Mountains to Sea Cycleway is at the  Ohakune Heritage  Railway Station, in the Junction apres alpine zone of Ohakune. This is where the horse drawn coaches began their coach trip from  back in 1906.

 
Your pathway heads north along railway embankment then up and over the GHD Junction Flyover, clearing the Ohakune Mountain Road and the burbling Mangawhero River. Continue down Old Station Road past an alpine scoria quarry, then right into Marshalls Road passing an Atihau Whanganui dairy farm, wetlands and ancient forest. Forest of this age is unusual in the central plateau as most was buried by the great Taupo eruption which created Lake Taupo, centuries ago. This forest only escaped that eruption by being sheltered in the lee of Mt Ruapehu.
Cross the Hapuawhenua Stream on Dodges Crossing, moving upwards on the Heritage Stage 1.
 
You will walk or cycle past a number of fascinating pieces of New Zealand’s North Island main trunk rail heritage structures.
There are many highlights on the track, including crossing the impressive span of the restored Hapuawhenua rail viaduct and groping cautiously through the darkness of the Hapuawhenua tunnel.
 
Look out for the “Chinaman” quarry on the upper level going down into the Taonui Riverway under the derelict Taonui viaduct structure.
Along the entire route you can visit the interpretation panels which give heritage, flora and fauna information to enrich your trip.
 
Biking The Ohakune Old Coach Road:
The Grade 2 bike ride from Ohakune junction to Horopito is roughly 15 km and lends itself well to all levels of cyclists with a medium level of fitness including families. It combines the gentle undulating terrain of the Coach road with new trails through stunning native bush.
At the Horopito end of the Ohakune Old Coach Road, the Mountain to Sea Cycleway continues onwards west, crossing Highway 4 to the left and turning down Middle Road.
 
Alternatives to your route
Another option is to start at the Turoa ski field carpark, a fast ride down the Ohakune Mountain Road adding an extra 17 km, to the Junction heritage rail station. Then regroup and proceed on the Ohakune Old Coach Road journey.
For an easier version of the Ohakune Old Coach Road you can travel to Horopito by car or arrange for a shuttle (for either walkers or bikers) to drop you there. The route will then be mostly downhill, ending at the Ohakune Junction après alpine zone.
For fitter cyclists a return trip from Ohakune is feasible, taking  3-4 hrs by bike.
 
And if you have a few more days available, don’t forget the rest of The Mountain to Sea Cycleway “Nga Ara Tuhono”  which traverses two iconic national parks with outstanding scenery and ends in Whanganui. It covers over 245 km over 3-6 nights and follows a diverse mixture of mountain roads, historic roadways, farm tracks and city streets.
 
 
Future Plans:
A future addition to the Ohakune Old Coach Road will be the Junction to Hapuawhenua Loop. Current negotiations between Ruapehu District Council, Bike NZ and Kiwirail are underway to complete this safe return trail from the old Hapuawhenua heritage viaduct crossing under the rail line then returning to the Junction après alpine zone. Once funding is assured, this will be an exciting few hours circuit for visitors and locals looking for a quick fix trip.