App riding time: 2.5 – 3hrs one-way
Fitness level: Medium
Step back in time and explore some of New Zealand’s oldest railway history by bike. Mountain bike stage one of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail (Ruapehu – Whanganui Trails Nga Ara Tuhono cycleway.)
Horopito to Ohakune riders are transported out to Horopito, as it’s predominantly downhill riding back to Ohakune along the Ohakune Old Coach Road; don’t be fooled though, there are still uphill sections.
If you have an appreciation for vintage cars, before you start the ride you can wander through ‘Smash Palace’. Horopito Motors was the location for the garage scenes in the 1981 movie. With over 14 acres of vehicles, collected over 60 years and still collecting today, the collection includes rare Bedford, Austin, Singer and Chrysler models among others.
The Ohakune Old Coach Road trail starts just down the road from Smash Palace. The 15km stretch of trail follows 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 family bike ride through some spectacular scenery, and link trails to the Hapuawhenua and Taonui viaducts, with interactive signboards along the trail giving you insight into era and hardships of the times.