Again, TRM ran out of fish bags, so SWMBO – She Who Must Be Obeyed not only manages the motel but does all the shopping as well – was shopping for another bundle to provide to fishy TRM inmates.
These are essential to bag the trout catch for freezing and convey our secret mission – to enhance CCD (Check Clean Dry) awareness. It is like an anti-Covid campaign that has lasted about 18 years so far. Our confidence in the effectiveness of these bags is proven by the lack of any Didymo infestation on the North Island.
But Her visit to DOC office introduced an entirely different matter… Bike trails!
TRM has promoted a “Big Day Out” bike trail for the last few years. It winds through the scenic foothills of the Kaimanawas up on the central plateau linking mainly downhill trails to end up back at TRM. It has been essential to “invent” this route as the local Tongariro River Trail only extends about 5-6 km south. Even as a loop trail it can be easily ridden in less than an hour and a half in cruise mode.
But that is nowhere near long enough for the new breed of bikers on e-bikes. Bikers are seeking more of a challenge. So TRM had to explore a new trail and lengthen it further south to link up with another DOC-managed trail heading north from Tree Trunk Gorge Road to the Pillars of Hercules. From there the directions get complicated with trails varying from bush tracks to Kaimanawa Road (AKA Access 10) to forestry access etc. crossing the Tongariro River on a dam and linking with the Poutu hydro canal under SH1 to eventually cross back over the Tongariro River at Red Hut and back to TRM. Heaps of scenic variety!
Depending on the temperatures and the weather and the chosen route it could be extended up to 50 km and take over four hours which was what most recreational bikers are looking for to justify the trip to Turangi. So far it has been an absolute winner except for one item missing – a decent map.
As illustrated in the photos, this track offers everything from wading through three shallow streams on the DOC managed trail to a speed whiz section along the Poutu Canal section with a most unexpected surprise for the lunch stop that cannot be mentioned on a public accessed Facebook report. We promise you, long after inmates have forgotten where they biked, they will always remember the kinky lunch stop.
During SWMBO’s visit to DOC’s Turangi office, they kindly offered SWMBO some help and donated several 1986 “Guide to Kaimanawa State Forest Park” maps – the version dated 1986! Perhaps they anticipated future bike trails back then? The map covers the area of the entire bike trail perfectly with a blow-up of the more complicated section from Tree Trunk Gorge to around the Pillars of Hercules bridge and linking with Kaimanawa Road plus extensive explanatory historical notes on the wider region. Just perfect.
So for any bikers looking for an exciting new challenge that you will not find on any other bike maps or publications, for those intending to knock off our secret (?) trail to discover the unique lunch stop, we can now offer comprehensive maps, and accommodation.
Thank you DOC.
What a wonderful part of the world. We have often suggested that if these tracks were in the South Island they would be featured and treasured as one of the Great Walks. In this Central Plateau region they are just another track waiting to be discovered by tourists…