Watch out for bikers on all roads around Taupo and Turangi this weekend. NZ’s biggest bike race around Lake Taupo – the 41st Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge – attracts about 15,000 visitors on Saturday 25 November. Meanwhile TRM have their own off-road event…
This report is to tell you about their wonderful scenic 3-4 hour bike ride back to Turangi – a trail that not many know about – for mountain bikers it is a good test with heaps of variety around every corner – it has a little bit of everything linking up several other interesting tracks.
It leads from Tree Trunk Gorge (about 5 km east of the Desert Road – SH1) north along the eastern side of the upper Tongariro River on a DOC track to the Pillars of Hercules swing bridge (image on right)
Then a feature of the ride is through some spectacular mature bush enclosed unsealed roads past remote DOC camping grounds where tramping tracks (Umukarikari and Urchins Tracks) lead into the Kaimanawas, eventually emerging from the bush onto the Poutu Dam and then on a peculiar route linking several other tracks which offer so much variety they are beyond our descriptions, eventually linking back to TRM via the Tongariro River trail. Whew!
If this appeals then contact TRM for our ‘exclusive’ map of the route.
We have not measured the length but at a guess it would be about 40km and it takes about 4-5 hours depending on how much time bikers spend drooling over the scenery.