Trip Advisor 2023

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail 5 Day Itinerary - Self Guided

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Fast Facts

Start: Turoa Ski Field, MT RUAPEHU
Start time: 12pm @ The Mountain Bike Station
Finish: Castle Cliff Beach, Whanganui
Finish time: Approx 6pm (Ohakune)
Distance: 226 km (includes jet boat ride)
Canoe: 8km – self guided – Grade 2 (Optional)
Duration: 5 days – 4 nights
Riding distances per day: 32- 53km
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 12
Fitness level: Moderate level of fitness required
Grade: 2-3
Riding Season: November – April


Group size of 2 to 6

$1,699 per person

Group size of 7 or more

$1,599 per person

Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail 5 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, transport to Horopito and return transfer to Ohakune on the final day.
  • “LIVE” GPS Tracking with SOS Function
  • Jet Boat transfer from Mangapurua Landing to Pipiriki (Compulsory)
  • 2 hour self guided canoe experience on the Whanganui River
  • Wairua river boat
  • Accommodation: 4 nights – twin share (subject to availability)
  • Meals: 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts, 3 packed lunches
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • 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: 32km
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.


Miro Park or The Peaks or Rocky Mountain Chalets in Ohakune

Mountains to sea cycle trail

Day 2

Riding distance: 42km Horopito to Ruatiti Valley - Grade 2:

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

Mountain Bike Station

Day 3

Total distance: 38km + jet boat transfer

Mangapurua / Bridge to Nowhere Trail - Grade 3:

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, but trade the steam boats for a high powered jet vessel for your journey to your nights accommodation.


Bridge to Nowhere Lodge

Mountain Bike Station

Day 4

Total distance: 32km

Whanganui River National Park and the Whanganui River Road to Koriniti
- Grade 1: Plus optional canoeing (Grade 2 river)

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

​From here it’s back in the saddle for a meandering cycle through the stunning canyons, thick forest and rolling farmland that border the Whanganui (sealed road).


Flying Fox Lodge or Rivertime Lodge

Mountain Bike Station

Day 5

Total distance: 53km

Whanganui River Road to Castle Cliff Beach / North Mole. Grade 1: 53km

From Koriniti, continue the trail down the Whanganui River Road, discovering further natural and cultural riches of Maori and early European settlers. Engage with locals, absorb the serenity and history as you cycle alongside the Whanganui River, and over ‘Gentle Annie’ to Upokongaro.

From Upokongaro you can jump onboard the Historic Wairua river boat and cruise from Upokongaro to the Whanganui I-site. The Wairua was one of the vessels most used to carry settlers and supplies to the Mangapurua Landing, gateway to the famed Bridge to Nowhere settlement. From the I-site you get back in the saddle and continue the final stage of your journey along the cycle path to North Mole in Castlecliff.

Late afternoon transport back to Ohakune

Mountains to sea