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Official website, approved by DOC and Waitomo District Council

Why Ride Timber Trail?


There are so many reasons the Timber Trail is a truly Great Ride, including its rugged landscape, unique flora and fauna, and tranquil atmosphere, and fascinating stories from ancient times to today.

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Home to giant trees such as totara, rimu, kahikatea, miro and matai, some up to 1000 years old, the 78,000-hectare Pureora Forest Park contains one of the last remnants of podocarp forest in New Zealand, and one of the finest rainforests in the world. Logged for timber from 1946, the millers' saws were finally silenced in 1978 after a significant conservation battle that left us with rare insight into how Aotearoa's mighty forests used to be. 


Many of Pureora's streams, rivers, and deep gorges would be impossible to cross were it not for 35 amazing new bridges which are fun, photogenic and often thrilling all at once. The most impressive are the eight swing bridges, including the country's longest at 141m, and the highest which teeters 53m above the Maramataha River. Wow! 


This special place and its people have many stories tales to tell, starting with Kahu who searched for her lost son, and the timber-millers who were finally stopped by courageous conservationists. Insightful interpretation panels, located at intervals throughout the trail, offer deep insight into all this and more. They explain sights you may see as you ride, such as curious logging relics like the bush huts, the abandoned 'crawler tractor', mill buildings, and the peculiar Ongarue railway spiral. 



Bird Life


Pureora Forest Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, thanks to the intensive efforts to restore the forest over more than 20 years. This is your chance to see and hear many of New Zealand’s most iconic feathered friends, including the cheeky kākā (bush parrot), pītoitoi (North Island robin), kererū (pigeon), kākāriki (parakeet). Those with eagle eyes may even spot the particularly rare kārearea (New Zealand falcon), North Island kōkako, and the super-cute whio (blue duck) that bobs around fearlessly in fast-flowing water.

Moon overnight Why Ride


Savour twilight on the Timber Trail before night falls and thrills you with some of the best stargazing on the planet, then wake refreshed and energised to the tune of a glorious dawn chorus of New Zealand's rare birds. Stay at either at Piropiro Flats, the trail’s midway point where you’ll find the new Timber Trail Lodge, Black Fern Lodge,  the bush-fringed DOC campsite, or at the Pureora end where the local iwi (tribe) runs Pa Harakeke eco-cultural centre.

Why Ride leaves


Pull off the highway onto the bush-lined byways of a remote forest. Refocus on the bigger picture, where forest giants tower above mossy undergrowth, rivers tumble down rock-strewn gorges, and lookouts command views to faraway mountain ranges and a vast, blue lake. Switch off and tune into nature. Listen to the birds singing, the wind talking to the trees, water flowing and the whir of your wheels. Breathe deeply, relax your body, free your mind, and enjoy the moment.

why ride


The Timber Trail is just the beginning of the Pureora experience. In more remote parts,  stretching all the way between the towns of Otorohanga and Taumarunui, many other tramline trails await discovery. Best suited for advanced mountain bikers with a thirst for rugged adventures, trails such as White Pine Swamp, No.9 Tramway, T-Junction, Awatoitoi Trail, No.10 Branch and Top of the World involve river crossings, uphill pushes, and gnarly downhills riven with twisted, slippery roots. The new Timber Trail Lodge makes a great base for several days of riding.

Heli Timber Trail


Heli-biking the Timber Trail is just around the corner! Most likely a half-day trip from the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, with return heli-flights, a two-hour mountain bike ride, plus a Māori cultural performance and ginseng tour at Pa Harekeke. A two-night package would include return flights, a full Timber Trail ride, baggage transfer and overnight accommodation at Blackfern Lodge. Sound good to you? Watch this space!

Great Rides App Main Screen

Great Rides App


Specifically designed for New Zealand's Great Rides this app is used by mountain bikers, runners and walkers. It aims to provide location tracking to find amenities, attractions and local information while riding the trail. Once downloaded, the trail information is fully available offline.

Download for iPhone Download for Android
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