42 Traverse Other Tracks

Other Tracks

Owhango Loop (3.5 – 5hrs)

Bikers outside Owhango HotelAn exploration of some of the lesser used, and consequently, more remote tracks in the Tongariro Forest Park.  At 35km this loop does require a decent map or set of instructions as there are myriad of tracks to negotiate.

The loop begins at the end of the 42nd Traverse but it is highly recommended you make contact with the locals at the Owhango Hotel or Forest Lodge before embarking on this track.

Expect very slippery conditions during the winter months, (and very sticky conditions even during summer), through the next 5-8km section of track before exiting at the Ten Man Hut

From this point the track is lightly gravelled in most places and well used by quad bikes.  A gradual climb of 10km will see you exit on the 42 Traverse with approximately one hours riding left before you hit Owhango again. 

A mixture of metal road, gravel tracks and plenty of mud.  Recommended!

Pukehinau Loop (2-3.5hrs)

This is an excellent 30km loop track negating the need for a drop off or one which can be incorporated into the Traverse as an add-on. The Loop can be ridden in either direction beginning either at Kapoors Rd or John MacDonald Rd. However, for first timers it is recommended to start from John MacDonalds Rd for navigational purposes. Watch for logging trucks for the initial four kilometres as the area is currently being milled and basically just follow your nose along the forest road.

There are plenty of off-roads to check out including the Taurewa Loop if you have a decent map. Keep left at Danahars Road and start winding down through the bush till you reach the Okupata Caves. Remember to take your headlamp as these are certainly worth a look. Shortly after this the road peters out and you enter a kilometre section of single track that exits onto one of the offshoots of the Traverse. Turn right and climb gradually for 15-20 minutes up on to the main Traverse Track then turn left and ride approximately 12 kilometres out to the beginning of Kapoors Rd.

Opotiki Road Loop (3.5-5hrs)

If you want a decent look at the King Country landscape then this is the ride for you. Begin at the north bridge leaving Taumarunui and follow SH4 for 10 kilometres north before turning left onto Opotiki Rd. The top of the Opotiki is nine kilometres from the highway and after an easy start the road climbs tightly up through the Rangi Reserve affording, on a good day, sublime mountain views as well as delivering to the rider one of the best’ experiences of metal roads, (often described as a ‘goat track’), in the district.

Exiting the bush at the top the road drops down into the Otunui Valley and changes into Ararimu East Rd. Follow this undulating section though to Otunui past the school then take a left at Kururau Rd which climbs steadily up past farmland and forestry before reaching the summit where views of Taumarunui and the volcanic plateau in the background can be enjoyed.

After an excellent downhill off the summit a small climb over Hospital Hill will end your ride back in Taumarunui. The Opotiki Loop is often used by local mountain bikers as a decent training ride before the renowned Kururau Krusher event in February.

The Pines

The Pines could best be described as a mini ‘Woodhill’ as it offers 20kms of old logging tracks plus a few specifically built single tracks. Access is via the railway from National Park or 4kms south of National Park opposite the old Waikune prison where you follow narrow sealed road into an old mill clearing.

This is a great spot for family entertainment as all tracks eventually loop back to the mill clearing and the terrain is relatively flat. If the weather is too rough for the 42 Traverse or Fishers Track or you just want to have a play, you won’t be disappointed with the Pines as the trails are not unduly affected by rain.