Easily accessible from National Park Village - the ride takes you on a very special public road through a rural heart. Spot wildlife and hunting trophies along the way.
A short and easy half day ride - or the connection to Oio Road to Whakahoro and the Kaiwhakauka beyond.
- Epic views of the surrounding volcanoes to the west and east
- Mount Hauhungatahi – Tongariro National Parks' fourth and oldest volcano
- Thrilling downhill through farmland on an official public road with no cars to be seen
- Entry-level backcountry ride
- Awesome horseshoe monument at Kaitieke
History & Background
Formed in 1896 to allow access to Retaruke and Kaitieke Valleys and later superseded as settlements developed to the North.
The trail was likely used by early European settlers for horse coach traffic coming up from the Whanganui River at Wades Landing. The trail was re-imagined as a walking and cycling track from 2002 by a National Park village community group and subsequent support from the John Key job summit in 2009. Today it is a superb day ride and a great section of the Mountains to Sea – Ngā Ara Tūhono full route.
The Pou at the National Park Village Park and Ride indicates the start of your journey. Following the Fishers Track marked signs towards the right and then left and over the railway line. It is then straight up a short steady climb up the Fishers/Kurua gravel road. The first section of the trail takes you through Erua forest.
Ecologically and geographically important, it is home to a significant fault line which contributes to the ranges and wetlands. The area is also home to unique and rare orchids, populations of Kiwi and regenerating bush.
Take time at the top to enjoy the views before blasting down the “Public Road” single track through the bush encompassing line and rural landscapes. On a clear day, view all the North Island mountains, from Taranaki in the west to Ruapehu, Ngaruahoe and Tongariro to the east.
Look out for the old stream fed horse trough carved out of the natural stone along the side of the track.
At the bottom, take a right turn onto Kaitieke Road and follow the gently descending (but undulating) gravel road until you get to the monument. This unique sculpture was created entirely from old horseshoes to celebrate Horse of the Year. This is the pick up point for day rider shuttles.
M2SNZ Route Notes:
Generally ridden from National Park to Kaitieke. Pre-arrange a shuttle pick- up or head West up Oio Rd to Whakahoro, or the return loop (experienced riders via Raurimu).
Need to Know
This trail forms part of the Mountains to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono Adventure route, which connects with the Kaiwhakauka Track at the village of Whakahoro, and then with the Mangapurua Track , near the Mangapurua Trig.
This grade 2 (easy) trail will suit riders of most ability including beginner mountain bikers. A good level of fitness and a love of climbs are required to complete the loop back to National Park village.
This trail mainly follows a wide and smooth gravel surface with around 5km of fun, scenic dirt track. It’s also 95% downhill making it an achievable adventure for beginner riders with only moderate fitness. Some sections, especially at the western end can become slippery on the wet.
A mountain bike is the best suited to the terrain. E-bikes are also permitted.
The trail is well signposted, although a map will help you time your ride and identify the mountains.
The trail can generally be ridden all year round. However, it is on the fringe of mountainous Tongariro National Park; the weather can change quickly and it can get cold at any time of the year and be blanketed in snow during winter. Riders should always check the forecast in advance, and take warm, wet-weather gear in all but the finest conditions.
There is no food and water on the trail, so riders should carry their own supplies. Stock up in National Park or Ohakune before setting off.
There is limited cellphone reception.
Shuttle transport is readily available but must be booked in advance.
Public toilets are available at the Park and Ride at National Park Village.