Trip Advisor 2023

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail 3 Day Itinerary - Self Guided

Fast Facts

Start: Turoa Ski Field, MT RUAPEHU
Start time: 8am @ The Mountain Bike Station
Finish: Pipiriki with transfer back to Ohakune
Finish time: Approx 6pm (Ohakune)
Distance: 142 km (includes jet boat ride)
Canoe: 8km – self guided – Grade 2 (Optional)
Duration: 2 days – 1 night
Riding distances per day: 38- 74km
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 12
Fitness level: Moderate to high level of fitness required
Grade: 2-3
Riding Season: November – April


Group of 2-6

$1250 pp (Ruatiti Hunting Lodge)

$459.00 pp (Backpackers - NO meals included)

Group size of 7 or more

$1150 pp (Ruatiti Hunting Lodge)

$409.00 pp (Backpackers - NO meals included)

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail 3 Day Itinerary - Self Guided

Support Level by the Mountain Bike Station

  • Logistics support
  • Daily luggage transfer
  • Transport to the start of the trail from Ohakune and return transfer to Ohakune on the final day.
  • Jet Boat transfer from Mangapurua Landing to Pipiriki (Compulsory)
  • 2 hour self guided canoe experience on the Whanganui River
  • Wairua river boat
  • Accommodation: 1 night – Ruatiti Hunting Lodge or Ruatiti Backpackers
  • Meals: 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, 1 packed lunch (only in Lodge)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary (breakfast/lunch day1)
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet) Click here for our rental rates
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • If a rider prefers their own room (if available), a single room supplement of approx $50pp per night is payable subject to availability on the night(s)

Day 1

Riding Distance: 74km
Ohakune Mountain Road - Grade 2: 17km

Descending 1000m in just 17km, the Ohakune Mountain Road is a fantastic downhill stretch with stunning views over the Ruapehu district and out over the Whanganui National Park. The road begins at Turoa car park, 1620m above sea level, and winds down amidst the barren volcanic fields, past the sites of previous lahars and finally into the lush forest of the lower slopes.​

Ohakune Old Coach Road - Grade 2:15km

Step back in time and explore some of New Zealand’s oldest railway history. You are transported out to Horopito from where you will cycle the 15km stretch of the historic Ohakune Old Coach Road between what were formerly the railheads of the main trunk railway line before the line was completed in 1909. It offers a fantastic ride through some spectacular scenery, and link trails to Hapuawhenua and Taonui viaducts, with interactive signboards along the trail giving you insight into era and hardships of the times.

Horopito to Ruatiti Valley - Grade 2: 42km

The road from Horopito to Ruatiti Valley is a journey through the heartland of the North Island. After the initial 15km descent from Middle Road near Horopito to Ruatiti Domain into the valley below, the road meanders through some of the most remote farmland in New Zealand (the track is partly gravel, partly sealed road). This is a real chance to experience a true New Zealand farming community with rolling countryside giving way to splendid views of Mount Ruapehu.
This, coupled with the serenity of the Manganui O Te Ao River, makes it a pleasant day’s cycle that ends deep in the Ruatiti Valley


Ruatiti Hunting Lodge or Backpackers

Mountain Road

Photo Supplied by: Bennett & Slater

Day 2

Riding distance: 38km + Jet boat transfer +2 hour canoe (optional)

Mangapurua / Bridge to Nowhere Trail - Grade 3: 38km

Through the forest, over the rolling hills, along the sheer bluff face and across the majestic river, the Mangapurua / Bridge to Nowhere trail offers a fascinating glimpse into post-war life in the central North Island.

Quickly gaining a reputation as one of New Zealand’s best day rides, the variety it offers makes it a great experience for riders of all levels.

Stand on the bridge and take in the same views that the pioneers did, then trade the steam boats for a high powered jet vessel for your journey to your nights accommodation.

If you would like to enjoy the Whanganui River a little longer, you can take a self guided canoe trip (optional). From the Mangapurua Landing you will be jet boated to Ngaporo campsite from where you will canoe approx. two hours downstream to the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge.

We can also offer the option of a second night of accommodation at Bridge to Nowhere Lodge and a half day of canoeing to Pipiriki on the majestic Whanganui River if you would like to extend your Central Plateau adventure.
Please contact us for details.

Bridge to Nowhere