Friday, January 24, 2014

Pureora Timber Trail

A few years ago we did some riding in the Pureora Forest to the west of Lake Taupo. However, in the last couple of years there has been a lot of new trails built as part of the New Zealand cycle trail network. One of these new trails goes through the Pureora forest and is called the Timber Trail. It uses several old forestry roads and tramways and links them up, with a total distance of 84 km. You can do it in 2 days, with a lodge and campsite half way - but there was no room at the inn as the track has been pretty popular - so we had to ride it in one long day.... Fortunately the first 12 km are a gentle up hill and most of the rest of the ride it gently down hill. Nothing very technical - just a nice cruisy grade 2 ride. 
The start

The track goes through some old forest, some regenerating forest and some recently logged areas. They have also built some amazing long suspension bridges across some of the valleys. This is both spectacular and also saves you riding all the way down and then back up again... Thank you DOC.

One of the amazing suspension bridges

Aaron riding across the longest and highest bridge - 141 m across and 51 m high.

At the end of the track there is a feature called the Ongarue Spiral, where the old tramway goes over a bridge, through a tunnel and then under itself. A way for the train to go down something a little steeper.

The whole track took us 7 and a half hours... not too bad. Our bums were a little sore at the end of it, and we were tired. But it was a great ride - we will certainly do it again sometime.

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