NZ’s longest single track all in native bush!
Moerangi Track. It’s remote, it’s all in the bush, there are amazing trees, beautiful rivers, a tough technical downhill, fun flowing downhills, good honest climbs, huts for lunch, a summit ….. need I say more to make you want to ride it?!
About 1.5hrs out of Rotorua, out in the remote North Island back country, you can find this ‘little’ gem of a mountain bike ride. It’s 36Km, aha pretty short you’d think, pretty easy, done in a few hours, no?… No!!
We rode well, and it took 5hrs!
And we loved it!!!!
Even if you are used to NZ bush (and we think we’ve seen quite a lot of it!), this bush is AMAZING!
We’ve done this twice now and we’re already planning our next trip!
If you have the time is cool to stay out in the middle of nowhere at the Whirinaki Lodge in Minginui. The lodge is basic but quirky and run by a really friendly guy called Gary. Keep and eye out for the albino stuffed possum! You can get a shuttle from these guys for $50 to the start of the track.
The Moerangi Track ride
The shuttle takes about 40mins down a windy gravel road and soon you really start to realise that you’re far away from civilization!
Starting the trail, you’ll wonder quite what you’re doing here when faced with lots of steps! But after these the ride starts proper and your eased into the first of the climbs in this pristine native bush. The climb is pretty steep in places and a little technical. We worked hard to stay on the bike and keep toughing out the climb!
The trail is single track and passes through many valleys, sometimes following the river, sometimes exposed. There are a couple of really cool fast downhills, one just before the second hut and one after it. This is a pretty special place; you feel far from civilisation and surrounded by endless trees.
We only met one guy on the trail. He was a hunter with his dog and his mountain bike!! He said that he was so pleased when DOC opened up this trail for MTB, because it meant he could get to his favourite hut much quicker, but it did mean he had to get the hang of downhill MTBing with his gun!
After this second hut the uphill is quite persistent! But there are a few short downhill breaks down to rivers. Crossing the bridges on the bike is a technical challenge in itself as the ramps in and out tend to have only handrail on one side.
The last section continues through more amazing bush, undulating through the best of the bush. There are some fascinating trees in here! And also some very steep short climbs! But then, just as you think it’s all coming to an end you get an extra cool downhill!!
The track then fllattens off and you get your first signs of civilization for a good few many hours with a carpark.
We rode the last 13Km back on the road to the Whirinaki Lodge start, it’s basically flat, so a great end to the ride!
Moerangi Track Overview:
If we were to describe this ride in 3 words it would be Challenging, Remote and Endlessly Green – ok that’s four but Endlessly green describes the scenery well!!
It has stunning native bush from start to finish. Beautiful river views and track. Challenging and technical uphills rewarded by epic flowing downhills and a long technical downhill.
The whole ride took us 5hr 30mins with a good lunch stop. Total ascent 977m Total descent ~ 760m.
We would recommend a few things.
Make sure you take the time to appreciate where you are, it’s easy when MTBing to ride on past the beautiful surroundings, but it’s worth stopping every now and then to take it in.
Take a PLB (personal locator beacon) and a good tool kit and first aid kit – just in case – this is real adventure riding! 🙂
Check out our video of Moerangi here
Contact Adventurers to include Moerangi Track adventure ride in your New Zealand holiday.