4 Day Central Stunner


Join us on an epic 4-day adventure taking on two of NZ’s iconic cycle trails! Come and see what the central North Island has to offer, from the mighty Waikato River to ancient forests and thrilling suspension bridges – this package is well suited to those wanting to get off the beaten track. Suitable for intermediate riders, or for those with a moderate to high fitness level.

Trails: Waikato River Trail and Timber Trail 

Duration

4 Days

Ages

8+

Tour Price

Self-guided from $1200 pp
(Minimum of 2 people required)

Activity Grade

Intermediate
(Grade 3)


Begin your ride at Atiamuri, the southernmost point of the Waikato River Trail. This 26km section is almost always in sight of the scenic and expansive Lake Whakamaru. 
Watching over you just after the Atiamuri Dam is the stunning half-million-year-old Pohaturoa volcanic plug, a magnificent historically significant feature. 
The Waipapa section combines high quality custom-built trails through native bush, along with long flowing forestry trails. 

The Timber Trail is 82km of premium mountain biking through the Pureora Forest.
Discover everything the Timber Trail has to offer and ride the full 82km over 2 days.

Arapuni village is a favourite spot for coffee and lunch, a cafe located only 400 metres from the historic Arapuni swing-bridge. This amazing structure soars over the top of a working power station built in the 1920s and is an absolute must. 
The Karāpiro section goes through native bush with short climbs and downhills to a unique wetland, where you cycle on a 500m-long boardwalk, all alongside the edge of the Waikato River and Lake Karapiro. 
The final few kilometres of trail follows open farmland and pastures before finishing at the Pokaiwhenua Bridge carpark.

Day 1 - Atiamuri to Mangakino

38km, 5 to 6 hours

Meet at Riverside Adventures base (396 Horahora Road, Piarere) you can leave your car where you will be transported to begin your 4 day ride at Atiamuri, the southernmost point of the Waikato River Trail. 
This 26km section is almost always in sight of the scenic and expansive Lake Whakamaru. Watching over you just after the Atiamuri Dam is the stunning half-million-year-old Pohaturoa volcanic plug, a magnificent historically significant feature.
The trail then hugs the lake through pine forests and native bush, adjacent to farmland. Across the lake sheer bluffs rise from the water to provide an amazing backdrop. 
Once you arrive at Whakamaru Dam, it is only a short ride to The Dam Café in the village for a well-deserved break and some lunch. The trail is moderately technical with some short steep areas and corners to navigate and is graded level 3 INTERMEDIATE.
After lunch it is onto the second part of the ride through to the hydro village of Mangakino. This 12km section has great views along Lake Maraetai and just before the village is the 70m long Mangakino Stream suspension bridge. The Waikato River Trails Trust has recently planted several thousand native trees along the edge of the lake on this section of trail. Stay at one of our wonderful Bed and Breakfast options in Mangakino. We recommend the Citizens Club for a hearty meal after your first day of adventure. 

Day 2 - Pureora to Piropiro

40 km

The morning starts with a shuttle pick up from your accommodation in Mangakino and a short drive to the start of the Timber Trail. 

Starting on the bush fringe where a large sign indicates the beginning of your adventure. Take a moment by the two large pou, signifying the start of your epic journey.

An epic ride in the rainforest that passes over some of the longest suspension bridges in the country while exploring the rich timber milling heritage that comes complete with a timber tramline, and offers a true back-country escape away from civilisation.

Enjoy your night at the stunning, fit for purpose, Timber Trail Lodge.

Day 3 - Piropiro to Ongarue

45 km

Leaving Piropiro, the trail passes through regenerating forest while gently ascending and descending to the Maramataha Bridge at 44km.  The longest (141m) and highest 53m) on the trail this also ranks as the third longest suspension bridge in the New Zealand. 

This will complete your time on the stunning Timber Trail, our Riverside Adventure's shuttle will meet you at Bennett's carpark with your luggage and take you back to the village of Mangakino for another comfortable nights stay.  

Highlights include: 4 swing/suspension bridges, Ongarue Tunnel and Spiral 



Day 4 - Mangakino to Riverside Adventures Base via Arapuni

Mangakino to Waipapa Dam - 19km, 2 - 3 hours
Waipapa Dam to Arapuni (45min shuttle)
Arapuni to Riverside Adventures Base - 12kms, 1-1.5 hours


This morning you will bike from Mangakino to the Waipapa Dam. This section is for those looking for a little adventure as there are no alternative routes off the trail once you begin.
The Waipapa section combines high quality custom-built trails through native bush, along with long flowing forestry trails. There are some steep areas giving this section its ADVANCED grading. There are historic sites at the start of this section where construction of the Maraetai Dams took place, information panels are situated in the area to share some of the stories.
The Waipapa section is more remote than others but should not be missed. You also have the option of adding a 20km ride from Waipapa Dam to the Mangarewa Suspension bridge and return. 
The Arapuni section from Mangarewa Suspension Bridge to Waotu South Road is now permanently closed. There is now an on road section from Waipapa Dam to Arapuni Dam which is mostly sealed with a short section of unsealed road. The gradient includes some long steep climbs. 

We will transport you from the Waipapa Dam to the Arapuni Dam to start the final ride. The Karāpiro section is the most popular of the entire Waikato River Trail. Rhubarb Café ** in Arapuni village is a favourite spot for coffee and lunch, located only 400 metres from the historic Arapuni swing-bridge. This amazing structure soars over the top of a working power station built in the 1920s and is an absolute must-visit on the trail.
The Karāpiro section takes a route through native bush with short climbs and downhills then on to a unique wetland and over a 500m long continuous boardwalk, all alongside the edge of the Waikato River and Lake Karāpiro. The final few kilometres of trail follows next to open farmland and pastures before finishing at the Pokaiwhenua Bridge carpark.
There is a 300m section of road from the Pokaiwhenua Bridge back to our base and your vehicle.
Check into Lake Karapiro Vista B&B located approximately 1km away from our base which has stunning views over Lake Karapiro. 

Between 3-6pm (depending on time of year)  you will check in at our base for a Twilight Glowworm Kayak Tour. Allow 4 hours before heading back your accommodation for a well deserved sleep!   

** If either That Dam Cafe in Whakamaru or Rhubarb Cafe in Arapuni are closed we will provide a packed lunch 

Package inclusions:

  • 4 x nights accommodation (2x Mangakino, 1x Pureora Forest, 1x Piarere) 
  • 2 x breakfast (potentially 4 depending on accommodation)
  • 2 x lunches 
  • All shuttle transport 
  • Twilight Glowworm Kayak Tour with back rest 


Pricing

  • Self-guided from $1200 per person (based on two people) 

(Minimum of two people required)


Optional extras:

  • Bike hire
  • e-bike hire
  • Panniers & gel seats 
  • Additional accommodation (pre and post adventure)
  • Airport transfers