The Pureora Timber Trail passes through the Pureora Forest Park, where you will pass through four ecological areas showcasing remnants of the great forests that once dominated this remote area. The trail traverses Mount Pureora then runs along the western side of the Hauhungaroa Range before dropping down to Ongarue.
It is within easy reach of of Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua and Taupo, and caters for all levels of cyclists. Cyclists will ride through forest terrain, passing 800-year-old trees, a bush tramway and historic timber-milling sites.
The trail follows an old tramline (Ongarue Tramway) for 70kms through the forest. The trail will include the Ongarue Spiral, a clever bit of engineering that allowed the tramline to traverse some steep country. The trail will also use tunnels and original cuttings used for the tramline.
There are many suspension bridges to cross too, high above the rivers and landscape. There is a 90m long one which crosses the Mangatukutuku River. There will be another 90m bridge across a tributary of the Ongarure River, with a 110m bridge nearby across another tributary of the Ongarure River. But the longest bridge will be across the Maramataha River Gorge, and this will be 120m long and 45m above the river level. Spectacular!
About 35km of the trail is on old Tramline formations, while approximatly 10km is on old logging roads, including the most complete historic timber mill and village in New Zealand (Eadan’s mill). The best part is that another 35km is completely new trail. The first 9km of this has been built and now can be ridden.
Throughout the journey the rich history of the logging industry will be recounted and you will learn all about how life was in those days.
Winter is not a good period to ride the trail with cold weather and rain making it very hard.
The trail may be started and accessed from either end ;
North: Pureora Village is located 45 minutes east of Te Kuiti along State Highway 30. Turn off State Highway 30 at Maraeroa Road. Continue on to just past the Harakeke Centre and turn left onto Barryville Road. It is 2 km to the start of the trail.
South: Turn off State Highway 4 onto Ongarue-Waimiha Road. Turn right and cross the river at Tuhua Road. Turn left onto Ngakonui-Ongarue Road and continue 7 km to the trail start.