3 days/3 nights
This trail is easier to do in a south /northerly direction going with the flow of the river. There are five sections which make up the trail, these are predominately gravel with some on-road segments so high vision clothing is recommended. The trail is mostly undulating with some steeper climbs. A good degree of fitness and mountain bike experience is advisable.
DAY ONE. 35.1kms
- Whakamaru Section - 23.5 kms, 2-3 hours, Grade 3, Intermediate.
- Maraetai Section - 12.5kms 1.5 hours, Grade 3 Intermediate.
You are collected along with your bikes from your Mangakino accommodation and taken to the beginning of the trail at the southern end at Atiamuri. From here you cycle the 23 kms along the banks of Lake Whakamaru to Whakamaru Village where you will have the opportunity of visiting one of the village café/eateries for a well-earned break. From Whakamaru Village it is a short 12.1 kms back to Mangakino where you finish for the day. Have a shower, relax and later, enjoy one of the eateries in this small town.
DAY TWO – 40KMS
- Waipapa Section - 19km, 2-3hrs, Grade 4, Advanced.
- Arapuni Section - 16km of this section, 2 hrs, Grade 4 Advanced - Waipapa Dam to Jim Barnett Reserve.
After breakfast you head off along the trail heading towards Waipapa Dam, a distance of 19 kms. This is a more remote part of the trail and very scenic. You’ll stop for a well-earned break and refreshments at Waipapa Dam. From here you head towards Waotu, the highest point on the trail and cycle the short distance to Jim Barnett Reserve where Blue Tui will be waiting to take you to your accommodation (your luggage has been transferred to your new accommodation). Relax and enjoy the peace and beauty of Maungatautari Mountain which is on your doorstep. A refreshing shower, a hearty dinner and a comfortable bed await.
DAY THREE – 26.5km
- Arapuni Section - 20km of this section, 2 hrs, Grade 4 Advanced - Jim Barnett Reserve to Arapuni Village.
- Karapiro Section - 11.5km, 1 hr, Grade 3, Intermediate.
After a beautiful breakfast you are taken back to Jim Barnett Reserve to complete the trail cycling on back country roads and mostly downhill to Jones landing. You can either carry on along the road to Arapuni Village, or take the shorter 2.5kms from Jones Landing to Arapuni Dam (this small section is graded Advanced due to bluff faces with the lake below, care is needed). Check out the Arapuni Swing Bridge and then head into the village for a coffee and another well-earned break. From Arapuni it is a short 11.5 kms to Pokaiwhenua Bridge carpark and the end of the trail.
From Pokaiwhenua we head back to Mangakino to collect your cars.