trip
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3
moderate
Activities
  • 5 days cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 3 nights hotel/motel
  • 1 night lodge
Meals
  • 3 Dinners
  • 3 Lunches
  • 4 Breakfasts

SPECIAL OFFER

5 Days$2090USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: TWG

Trip highlights


  • Follow the trails along the mighty Waikato River
  • Cycle the iconic Timber Trail through majestic native forest
  • Stay in the comfort of the Timber Trail lodge in the heart of the Pureora Forest
  • Travel by water taxi on Lake Taupo between the Western and Northern Trails
  • Visit the magnificent Huka Falls
  • Take a relaxing soak in the Wairakei Terraces and thermal pools

Experience the best riding the Central North Island has to offer on our fully supported & guided trip on the Waikato River Trail, Timber Trail & Great Lake Trail.

After a transfer from Auckland, the adventure begins on the mighty Waikato River Trail, passing through forest & farmland along NZ’s longest river.

The adventure continues in the Pureora Forest where we ride the 87km Timber Trail. We’ll discover mighty swing bridges, timber milling sites, the Ongarue Spiral bush tramway & experience 2 nights in the purpose-built lodge in the middle of the forest.

Next, we head to the shores of Lake Taupo, taking in the volcanic landscapes as we ride the Western Trail before taking a water taxi to explore the picturesque Northern Trails before returning to Auckland.

Our support vehicle means we have the ability to visit the best trailside highlights, including a visit to Huka Falls, Spa Thermal Park and the Wairakei Thermal Pools.


Today we begin our adventure with a short tour briefing in Auckland before driving to the start of the Waikato River Trail near Atiamuri. We stop for refreshments along the way, and picnic by the River before jumping on our bikes to ride 2 sections of the Trail. This southernmost section of the trail offers views of the expansive Lake Whakamaru. Almost directly across the lake at Atiamuri is the stunning Pohuturoa rock, a magnificent historically significant feature, lifted by volcanic forces and weathered by the elements. The next 12km section has great views along Lake Maraetai and includes the 70m long Mangakino stream suspension bridge. This section is also where the Waikato River Trails Trust has recently planted several thousand native trees along the edge of the Lake. After our ride, we head to the Timber Trail Lodge in the heart of the Pureora Forest and our home for the next 2 nights. We check into our accommodation and unwind in anticipation for the next day's adventure. Cycling Distance: Waikato River Trail - 36.5km

Meals:  D

After breakfast this morning it’s a 50 min drive to the start of the Timber Trail on the edge of the Pureora Forest. The trail follows old logging roads and tramlines linked with well-constructed unsealed tracks and a series of thrilling suspension bridges. We get the hard work out of the way this morning, climbing for 14km with stunning views until we reach the highest point of the ride. From here it’s mostly downhill for the rest of the day, winding down the side of Mt Pureora and across the flanks of the Hauhungaroa Ranges with a couple of amazing suspension bridges to cross along the way. We finish the day at Piropiro Flats right by our outstanding accommodation and hospitality at the Timber Trail Lodge. Cycling Distance: Timber Trail - 40km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we head back into the native forest and cross over a tumbling gorge on one of the highest and longest swing bridges in the country, keeping a lookout for New Zealand’s native pigeon, the beautiful Kereru. Today’s climbing consists of 2 much shorter uphills compared with yesterday’s ascent, with the 2nd one finishing at the Ongarue Tramway terminus. From there it’s mostly downhill all the way to the end following the old tramway. We pass remnants of the region’s logging history, more swing bridges and the fascinating Ongarue Spiral and its rather spooky, old tunnel. The trail continues downhill to Ongarue. We then load the bikes and head to Lake Taupo where we are rewarded by breath-taking lake and mountain views from our comfortable accommodation. Cycling Distance: Timber Trail - 47km

Meals:  B,L

Today we head to the Great Lake Trail, following flowing rivers, and the edges of the glistening Lake Taupo. A 40 minute drive takes us to the start of the 30km remote, westernmost trail at Waihaha. We ride alongside the Waihaha River high above a pretty gorge cloaked in native bush. The trail has been purpose built with flowing corners, fun downhills and some short switchback climbs upto spectacular views. Rocky outcrops command great views over the volcanic landscape, with the spectacular Tieke Falls a highlight. The final part of the ride drops you down past the sacred Kotukutuku Falls to the remote, tranquil Waihora Bay, a great spot for a refreshing dip before a water taxi takes you across the Lake to Kinloch on the most northerly bay of the Lake. Our 13km afternoon ride starts from Kinloch climbing steadily through native bush onto a headland before a fast, flowing descent to pretty Whakaipo Bay. A short van transfer from there to our accommodation in Taupo, where you’ll have time to explore the township before our final team dinner! Cycling Distance: Great Lake Trail - 43km

Meals:  B,L,D

A short transfer back over to the Great Lake Northern Trails for the start of our final ride of the trip, a delightful 20km trail to Kinloch, via the beautiful Kawakawa Bay. From the car park, the trail winds virtually downhill for 9km all the way to the lake on fun, flowing, easy singletrack, passing through wetlands full of native birds and regenerating native bush and over boardwalk and ravines. From Kawakawa Bay it’s a 3km-climb via switchbacks to get out of the Bay but you’re rewarded at the top with magnificent sweeping views across Lake Taupo. From there it’s downhill again with a long, flowing descent towards Kinloch. Time for a coffee and snack in Kinloch before we head for a well-earned soak in the waters and clays of Wairakei Terraces, highly valued by Maori for their healing powers and therapeutic benefits. Our final excursion is a visit to nearby Huka Falls, the largest falls on the Waikato River and the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand! Time for a short walk to marvel at this 220,000-litres-per-second waterfall before our 4 hour drive back to Auckland. Cycling Distance: Great Lake Trail - 20km

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 evening meals
  • 2 nights motel accommodation with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis
  • 2 nights at the Timber Trail Lodge
  • Professional qualified guide/driver
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Water Taxi on Lake Taupo
  • Entry to Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Hot Pools
  • Water and snacks while cycling
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. We provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience with one guide always with you on the trail. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$2090USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Bike RentalUSD$130
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)USD$380
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureUSD$480
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Timber Trail, Waikato and Great Lake Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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