The Kaiwhakauka Track is made up of remote, rough-and-ready backcountry singletrack and 4WD track, much of which is on papa clay – smooth, fast and flowing when dry, but super-slippery and sticky in the wet.
It's a Grade 4 (Advanced) trail best suited to experienced mountain bikers, rain or shine.
A good-quality, well-maintained mountain bike is essential. Decent bike mechanical skills are a must as it’s a long way from help.
Mountains to Sea markers line the trail at regular intervals and track junctions are clearly signposted.
The best time to ride the track is between November and April when the weather is most settled. However, heavy rain can occur at any time of year in Whanganui National Park and track conditions can change quickly. Riders should therefore be prepared for every eventuality.
Be sure to check the weather forecast, and pick a fine day to ride if at all possible. Check with the team at Blue Duck Station or our Trail Status page for any trail cautions/alerts.
This is a wilderness ride with no shops or services beyond Whakahoro. Riders should take plenty of food and water, although there are places to fill water bottles along the way.
There is no cellphone reception on the track. Riders should consider carrying a PLB (personal locator beacon) or spot tracker.
All shuttle and jet boat transport must be booked in advance.
There are toilets at the start of the track (Whakahoro), the middle (Mosley), and at Mangapurua Trig just beyond the intersection with the Mangapurua Track (on which there are more toilets at helpful intervals).