TWO WAIKATO RIVER TRAIL SECTIONS AND ONE TIMBER TRAIL SECTION – THIS HAS BEEN SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO INCORPORATE THE EASIER SECTIONS OF THE TWO TRAILS. ENJOY THE CYCLE TRAILS AND VISIT PLACES OF INTEREST ALONG THE WAY
Start your adventure by staying at the charming Out in the Styx Guesthouse Pukeatua village on the foothills of Maungatautari Moutain where dinner, a comfortable bed and breakfast await. Visit Sanctuary Moutain Maungatautari, which is surrounded by the world’s longest pest proof fence. In the southern enclosure, (right on Out in the Styx doorstep) there are 5kms of well-formed tracks in magnificent ancient forest and from October through to March night walks are available which allows you to discover the bush by night and experience the call of the kiwi.(night bookings essential)
DAY ONE – WAIKATO RIVER TRAIL
Karapiro section and Whakamaru Section
After breakfast you will be collected from Out in the Styx Guesthouse and shuttled along with your bikes to cycle the Karapiro Section.
Karipiro section - 11.5kms, 1-2 hours, Grade 2, Easy - Starting from Arapuni village take the time to view the 152 metre long swing bridge that crosses the Waikato River to the Arapuni Powerhouse on the opposite bank.
Then take the tree clad trail descending to the river below and cycle the 500m long boardwalk over the Huihuitaha wetlands following the majestic Waikato River to Little Waipa Reserve. From here you ride for appox 5kms alongside a picturesque country road to the Pokaiwhenua Bridge and carpark where your shuttle will be waiting. We can either take some time out and visit the vibrant little town of Tirau or relax at a quiet country café before embarking on the next Waikato River Trail section.
Whakamaru Section - 23.5 kms, 2-3 hours, Grade 3, Intermediate - This section of the trail is fairly easy riding and meanders so close to the river at times that you can hear the water lapping. The views of pine studded rocky outcrops against a pristine lake are stunning and the peace fulfilling. The surface of the trail alternates between pumice and clay (pumice can be a bit skiddy).
Blue Tui will be waiting at the half way point with refreshments to help you on your way. In due course you pass through a picturesque camping reserve and on to Whakamaru Dam, cross this and beyond is the tiny settlement of Whakamaru which hosts The Dam café, and a small superette.
From here we travel to our Timber Trail accommodation. This is the end of your Waikato River Trail experience, the following day you will sample the serenity of beautiful heartland bush studded with information boards and relics of earlier times.
Day Two – Timber trail
Piropiro to Ongarue
45kms, 4-5 hours, Grade 2, Easy - After breakfast we leave for Piropiro Flats which is the halfway point of the Timber Trail and where you begin your Timber Trail adventure. After crossing the Maramataha swing bridge (a testament to fine engineering and labour) you then cycle along the old tramways bush locomotives used to take the native timber to be processed at the Ellis and Bernand mill. This operated from 1911 until its closure in 1966. Discover the old viaduct and the impressive spiral and visit the No’s 10 and 11 camps where the early loggers used to live while working in the bush.
After a long descent you enter farmland and on to Bennett Rd carpark, your shuttle will be waiting for you and take you back to the starting point at Out in the Styx, Pukeatua to collect your vehicle and where we bid you farewell.
E-bikes (power assisted) are obtainable for your pleasure at an extra cost.