Mountains to Sea Trail

from 3-4 days

Planning on riding the Mountains to Sea Trail? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip.

The Mountains to Sea Trail follows an epic route from the base of Mt Ruapehu through two of New Zealand's iconic national parks - Tongariro and Whanganui - all the way to the coast. The beauty of it is that you will descend around 1,600 vertical metres! This ride can be accessed as individual day trips or a full cross-country experience, taking in the outstanding landscapes and natural beauty of New Zealand. It is predominantly intermediate riding.

Highlights of the trail include the crossing of the 294 metre high Hapuawhenua Viaduct and the iconic Bridge to Nowhere. Cyclists will also take a jet boat ride down the Whanganui River to Pipiriki where they can then cycle along the sleepy Whanganui River Road.

The trail is described below in four sections.

Turoa Ski Field to Mangapurua Track (74 km)

If you can get a lift to the top on a clear day, the 16 km Ohakune Mountain Road is a great way to begin your ride. A consistent downhill from Turoa to Ohakune, the road drops around 1,000 metres in altitude, transitioning from volcanic, alpine terrain to lush mountain forest.

From Ohakune, the trail follows the Old Coach Road to Horopito, between what used to be the railheads of the main trunk railway line before the line was finally completed in 1909. This Grade 2 section of the trail is excellent for beginners and families and offers spectacular scenery as it skirts the base of Mount Ruapehu. The Hapuawhenua Viaduct is one of the highlights of this section - a rare, curved lattice viaduct with 13 concrete piers and 4 steel towers that was built in 1908 and is listed with the Historic Places Trust.

From Horopito the trail follows a mix of gravel and sealed rural roads for 44 km to the beginning of the Mangapurua Track, passing tharough Ruatiti Domain where picnic and camping facilities are available.

National Park Village to Mangapurua Trig (68 km)

This alternative starting route from National Park offers a more challenging but equally scenic ride down Fishers Track and up the Kaiwhakauka Track to join the main trail at Mangapurua Trig. Fishers Track starts at the National Park Railway Station and descends through native bush and farmland into the Retaruke Valley, then along gravel roads to the War Memorial Monument at the junction of Upper Retaruke and Oio Road. This section of trail is a Grade 2 ride, mostly downhill and offers spectacular views of the mountains.

From here, continue along Oio Road to Whakahoro and the start of the Kaiwhakauka Track. Here you will find Blue Duck Station which offers refreshemnts and entertainment for a growing number of tourists. A more challenging section lies ahead - the Grade 4 Kaiwhakauka Track, which may require some walking, especially after periods of wet weather. The track takes you through farmland and native bush, as it climbs up to connect with the Mangapurua Track (and also the main route from Ohakune).

Mangapurua Track to Pipiriki (38 km)

The main trail continues off Ruatiti Road along the Mangapurua Track, beginning with a climb up to Mangapurua Trig. The two starting sections of the Mountains to Sea Trail - from National Park Village and Ohakune - meet and become one at the junction of the Kaiwhakauka and Mangapurua Tracks.

From the trig, an excellent downhill ride follows, dropping down into the Mangapurua Valley. The track follows historic roads that were once built to service two valleys settled (and subsequently abandoned) by soldiers returning from WWI. You will pass the remnants of these old original settlements and ride along sheer bluff faces to the iconic 'Bridge to Nowhere'. This large concrete bridge, built in 1936, is now standing in the bush in the middle of...nowhere. 

From the Bridge to Nowhere, it's only 3 km to the Mangapurua Landing, the end of 38 km of riding at its best. Hop aboard a jet boat which will take you down the mighty Whanganui River to Pipiriki. This jet boat journey is 32 km and must be booked in advance.

Pipiriki to Whanganui (87 km)

After an hour of jet boating though the gorges and rapids of the Whanganui River the biking restarts in Pipiriki, following the Whanganui River Road all the way to Upokongaro. There is plenty of cultural heritage along this route, as it passed through the small riverside settlements. It is Grade 2, on-road riding, but the pace of life here ensures the traffic is generally slow and safe.

For those continuing into Whanganui, there is a short section of riding along the shoulder of State Highway 4, before connecting with a dedicated cycle path that will take you through the city and to the end of the trail at the North Mole in Castlecliff.

The Mountain to Sea Trail travels some of the best parts of the North Island and offers a fantastic array of cycling for intermediate cyclists.

Raetihi Holiday Park
Stay with us at the Raetihi Holiday Park. We are ideally located for a trip to the Whanganui National Park, a bike ride on the Old Coach Road trail, or a hike in the Tongaririo National Park.
The Flying Fox
If you only have time to visit just one place on the Whanganui River, New Zealand, this is that place.
Anndion Lodge
Kia ora, let us welcome you to the Anndion Lodge in Wanganui.
daKune Lodge
Arrive as Strangers - Leave as Friends!
After a hectic day exploring the wonders of the Tongariro National Park or the Wanganui river, enjoy a BBQ on the deck or relax in front of the open log fire. Soothe your aches and pains in the Spa or Sauna and forget the rest of the world as you...
Raetihi International Airport
The Raetihi International Airport* is a cosy nice place to park up if you are cycle touring NZ. We are a days ride from Wanganui (Whanganui), and if you are travelling North to South we are the perfect stopping place before tackling the Historic Whanganui River Road, or the Parapara...
Rocky Mountain Chalets
Stay in Rocky Mountain Chalets at the foot hills of the beautiful Mount Ruapehu
Looking for Ohakune Accommodation before mountain biking the Mountains to Sea Trail? Try Ohakunes newest most luxurious and affordable chalet accommodation.
Ranfurly Cottage
Phone Number:
Lahar Lodge
Lahar Lodge provides the finest in log cabin accommodation with the Mountain to Sea Cycleway trail right at the doorstep.
Phone Number: 06 3854136
The Peaks Motor Inn
Ohakune's premier motor inn, The Peaks is close to many great bike trails including The Old Coach Road, 42nd Traverse and many local forest trails. You can also bike the mountain road to Turoa ski field.
Phone Number: 06 385 9144
Woodturners Villa
Bike Friendly Luxury Accommodation
Come and enjoy this unique Ohakune property on the banks of the Mangateitei Stream that hosts unlimited views of Mt Ruapehu.
Phone Number: 06 385 8048
Ruapehu Country Lodge
Situated less than five minutes drive from Ohakune Township and 15 minutes from Tongariro National Park, on the edge of the Waimarino Golf Course, is the purpose built and stylishly decorated, 4+ Star (Qualmark rated), Ruapehu Country Lodge.
Phone Number: 06 385 9594 or 021 484 147
Station Lodge
Station Lodge and the Mountain Bike Station, located at the beginning of the Old Coach Road.
Phone Number: (06) 3858 797
Powderhorn Chateau
Hotel accommodation
Stay in Ohakune, at the Powderhorn, and enjoy the ambience of a traditional European ski chalet with the comfort of a boutique hotel. Located at the bottom of the mountain road close to the Old Coach Road we provide an ideal base for cyclists and walkers.
Phone Number: 06 385 8888
Tamara Lodge
Our elegant lodge enjoys an outstanding location on the banks of the majestic Whanganui River
Relax and unwind in the comfortable surroundings of our friendly Lodge. The Tamara Backpackers Lodge takes pride in  offering a superior standard within the backpacker category of accommodation. This means we can offer a viable budget alternative to those guests who may not normally consider backpacker accommodation for their needs.
Phone Number: +64-6-347 6300
Uncle Bill's Cottage
Welcome Home.
Uncle Bill’s Cottage is a gorgeous country house on a sheep and beef farm – set in perfect privacy overlooking a beautiful trout-filled river; it’s a world away from the city and neighbours. You could be sitting here on the deck after a hard day’s ride, relaxing with a cold...
Phone Number: 06 385 4236
The Hobbit Motorlodge
Pure Alpine Magic
The Hobbit Motorlodge is the perfect Ohakune accommodation base from which to explore the fantastic Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks. The Hobbit Motorlodge offers year round quality self contained and serviced accommodation for all budgets, including a 36 bed backpackers lodge.
Phone Number: +64 6 385 8248
Snowy Waters Lodge
Good old fashioned, classic kiwi lodge
Ride the Bridge to Nowhere from the doorstep of Snowy Waters Lodge. Bike hire available, transport arranged, secure bike storage, wash down area, spa pools, BBQ and a fabulous outdoor entertainment area. Comfy beds, a good feed and and a peaceful nights sleep are a must before your Ruapehu mountain...
Phone Number: +64 21 287 6699
Penguins B&B
The Penguins B&B Offers comfortable and relaxed accommodation in central Ohakune on the golden mile
We are a bed and Breakfast Located in Ohakune. We have 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms. All our guests are have there own private wing of the house. We provide a cooked breakfast or continental breakfast . Our website is
Phone Number: 06 3859411
LKNZ Lodge
LKNZ lodge is located in the township of Ohakune, with restaurants and bars, supermarket, and shops all within a 2 minute walk. Situated right on the doorstep of the Tongariro National Park LKNZ provides quality accommodation to suit all budgets, from kitchenette en-suite rooms, flash packer rooms to budget dorm...
Phone Number: 06 385 9196
Bridge to Nowhere Lodge & Tours
Bridge to Nowhere can provide you with a complete Whanganui National Park experience.
Bike Hire
Phone Number:
TCB Ski and Board
TCB Ski and Board have a great selection of suspension and standard mountain bikes for hire.
Phone Number: + 64 6 3858 433
Ohakune Bike and Hike Tours
Ohakune Bike and Hike is an ‘all inclusive’ local company with local knowledge that offers bikers and hikers a FREE itinerary and booking service (just like a travel agency). We will organise your trip from; bike hire and accommodation through to your transport needs, and because we are locals we...
Phone Number: 06 385 9598 or 021 2522369
Mountain Bike Station
The Mountain Bike Station offers high quality bike rentals and guided tours for free and independent travellers as well as Schools and Corporate groups. Our professional, friendly and knowledgeable staff are always happy to advise on the best places to ride in the area.
Phone Number: (06) 3858 797
Cycle Sport
Phone Number: 063488029

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