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The Great Rides and Cycle Trails of New Zealand

Tongariro River Trail

Regional Ride

Lake Taupo, North Island

This is a popular and well known trourist trail from Turangi heading south along the banks of the Tongariro River to Red Hut Bridge where bikers can cross over and return on the opposite side.

It includes heaps of scenic and tourist features, from riding through mature beech forests to manuka and fern groves, from urban homes along the Tongariro River to farmland, wide views over the Tongariro River, the trail is usually shared with anglers and walkers with several options available and additional loops for the enthusiasts.

From the road bridge over SH1 it extends about 9 km south via the Tongariro Trout centre which is a destination in itself. Several picnic spots and parks with toilets are located along the route. Contour is generally easy - it is all 'bikeable' by novices - being more of a tourist trail than a biking challenge.


The tracks were originally developed for anglers access by Tongariro prison labour back in the 1920's when a fishing camp was built for the Queen Mother to fish the Tongariro River in 1928 - hence the need for easy access tracks. After her visit the huts were moved down river to the site to form the Tongariro Trout Centre. Since then the river has been fished by many other notables and Royals such as the Queen and Prince Charles, etc. The Tongariro River gained international status in the 1920's when well known American author Zane Grey visited three times and included it in his book - The Anglers El Dorado. It is still regarded as one of the most beautiful trout fishing destinations in the world.

This TRT (Tongariro River Trail) extends along some of the most attractive parts of the Tongariro River with wide scenic views in all directions framed by the Tongariro National Park peaks in the distance. An additional new link to the loop trail opens in Labour Weekend to provide more direct access for bikers along SH1 to the Trout Centre.


  • Tongariro River trail
  • TRT4