Winter is a good time to ride the Tongariro River Trail.
I know you imagine I might be slightly biased so TRM have relied on the independent “tripadvisor” opinion of other riders.
A lot of good work has gone into making this more accessible. You can either go from the trail head at the car park by the river bridge or from the trout centre, where the trail passes by. Either way it’s a nice peddle out.
Started from the main road bridge and did the full loop via the Trout Centre. Good little climb to start with and you are rewarded with an awesome view. Well maintained walking/biking track and a pleasure to ride. Well worth the ride.
The parts of the trail were experienced were well maintained and offered pocket views to the river and high level hills. The river is the highlight with fast flowing areas and quiet pools, suspension bridges aid in switching sides.
the walk was recommended by the hosts at our lodge, so we decided to give it a go, the river side views are excellent and there are also some good views from the high points close to the highway. The river and bridges were good subjects for a drone mounted camera.
It would be great if there were more views of the river itself – much of it is glimpses only, though the shorter walk nearer the town has some lovely viewpoints.
Worthwhile work appears to have been done in some parts of this walk to rid it of bramble and scrub – the parts with more native trees are lovely.
We did the full trail expecting to have river views for a large part of the walk and were very disappointed. There are long stretches where you can hear the river but cannot see it as there is forest or bush in the way.
The forest walk is lovely bit there is not enough variety to sustain a 3.5 hour walk (luckily we finished quicker than that)
There is also a long stretch running parallel to the highway so all you can hear is traffic. There are definitely parts of the walk that are nice but I would not recommend the whole walk.*
(Note TRM bikes are free for guests!)
I have seen the signs off the main road many times on my way from Auckland to Wellington but have never stopped. We did this time and was pleasantly surprised.
We have done the 1 hour walk and the three hour walk along this beautiful trail. It is great in any weather, but can get a bit muddy if there has been lots of rain, but still doable. Not really suitable for strollers.