Despite the Timber Trail being in the middle of nowhere, it is a scenic and easy road journey from many major towns and cities in the central North Island.
By road, the Timber Trail's start point at Pureora is a 1 to 2 hour drive from Taumarunui, National Park, Taupō, Rotorua and Hamilton, and just over three hours from Auckland.
The start of the trail (Pureora Village) is located on Barryville Rd, just 3km off SH30 in between Benneydale and Mangakino. There is very limited cell phone coverage on the roads around the Timber Trail, and zero coverage at the Pureora Village/start of the Timber Trail. However, at the highpoint of the Timber Trail there are two spots where you can pick up cell phone coverage. These spots are also marked viewing areas. Since cellular coverage is limited, it is very important to know in advance how to get to the Timber Trail with out the use of cellular devices. Be sure to have a detailed printed directions and a map on hand for your journey.
The nearest airports to Pureora are in Taupo (1 hour drive away) and Rotorua (1 hours 15 mins). Hamilton Airport is about 2 hours away.
Intercity buses run to various local towns including Taumaranui, Te Kuiti, National Park and Taupo, where local shuttles run services connecting to and from the Timber Trail.
It is recommended to use a shuttle service rather than spend hours sorting out your own car relocation. It is highly recommended to park your car at the southern end in Ongarue and be shuttled to the start of the Timber Trail where you can begin your riding adventure; this way you arrive at your car and don't have to wait to be picked up.
It is also best to spend the night before your ride near the Trail or on the Trail (with Timber Trail Lodge or Black Fern Lodge), this way you don't have to contend with a long drive on the morning of your ride; you'll want to be feeling fresh and energetic as it will be a big day without adding the stress of a long drive. You can choose from our many accommodation providers in the region and all of the shuttle service providers will arrange pick up and drop off at your accommodation.
Getting to the Timber Trail – Driving time from major centres:
Start of the trail
- Taupo to Pureora: 1 hour
- Hamilton to Pureora: 2 hours
- Auckland to Pureora: 3 hours 30min
End of the trail:
- Taumarunui to Ongarue: 25 minutes
- Taupo to Ongarue: 2 hours 10min
- Wellington to Ongarue: 5 hours
WARNING: Do not use SatNav (or similar GPS navigation devices) to find Pureora /start of the trail. It will most likely send you to the wrong place, sometimes 1 hour from where you need to be.