Why Ride Here?
In the heart of the North Island, Ruapehu and Whanganui’s two national parks and surrounding countryside are an incredible backdrop to bike rides as well as a wide variety of other sights and activities. The Mountains to Sea Cycle - Ngā Ara Tūhono are your paths to the perfect holiday. Here are just some of the reasons why!
See two spectacular national parks
The Mountains to Sea - Ngā Ara Tūhono trails take you through Tongariro and Whanganui national parks – home to UNESCO-listed volcanoes and strange lava fields, alpine gardens, ancient rainforests, waterfalls, streams and New Zealand’s longest navigable river. Cycling is an ideal pace to appreciate their unique beauty.
Explore the volcanic plateau & peaceful countryside
In between the national parks are diverse landscapes from the tussock-covered plateau surrounding Tongariro National Park, to the rolling farmland of the Whanganui region. As you travel through them you'll visit small towns and settlements offering insight into local life.
Hear our regions’ stories
The Ruapehu and Whanganui regions are rich in history. The Mountains to Sea passes many places where significant stories are retold – from Māori pa and marae (villages and meeting places), the beautiful church at Jerusalem (Hiruhārama), the abandoned Bridge to Nowhere, and the Old Coach Road’s tunnel and viaducts. As you'll soon discover, there’s way more to this journey than just riding a bike.
Rides for everyone
Our trails serve up a diverse range of terrain, so there really is something for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Family groups can get rolling on Ohakune’s Old Coach Road, while history buffs can bike back in time on the Whanganui River Road. Mad-keen mountain bikers, meanwhile, can crank things up on the classic Mangapurua Track. There are plenty of places to pedal a trike, e-bike, push a pram or wheelchair, too.
Try something new
Make the most of your visit by mixing in other must-do activities, such mountain biking the thrilling Fishers downhill track; hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; kayaking the Whanganui Journey; stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Otamangakau; taking a scenic flight over Ruapehu; or sightseeing on the Whanganui River by jet boat or the historic paddle-steamer, Waimarie.
Visit other local attractions
The Mountain to Sea - Nga Ara Tuhono cycle trails are close to many other major central North Island attractions, including the National Army Museum in Waiouru, Taupo’s geothermal resorts, Forgotten World Adventures rail-carting, and Whanganui’s art galleries. There are also hidden glow worm dells if you know who to ask!
Enjoy a fun, hassle-free holiday
We’re used to hosting visitors here, so let us do the hard work so you don’t have to. Our local operators run atmospheric accommodation, great cafes and pubs, helpful transport services and much more, so you can make the most of your adventures, then kick back and relax at the end of each day.
Ride all year round
Most of our trails are awesome to ride all year round, with each season offering a rich kaleidoscope of colours. Admire alpine gardens bursting into bud in spring, the intense bloom of summer, and the glorious autumn foliage of exotic trees. Winter is particularly special, with white snows blanketing the volcanic plateau and the bonus of snow sports at Mt Ruapehu’s ski resorts. (Our bike trails are a fantastic alternative to skiing when the weather doesn’t play ball high up the mountain.)
Whether you ride with friends, family, colleagues or even strangers you meet along the away, riding the Mountains to Sea's connected pathways will leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, and connected to the world around you.