“Navigate steep hills, stream crossings, wetlands & fallen trees in the Kaimanawa Forest backcountry.”
— Megan W
Day Trip Option:
For those seeking a day trip, a route is available which involves being shuttled in and dropped off at Clements Mill Road, walking your bike up to the summit of Mt Te Iringa, and then riding back down the trail on a highly technical descent. The best place to turn around and head down at is the old hut site where there still remains a clearing.
Overnight Option/The Full Track:
If you wish to ride the entire trail, youll need to stay the night, so pack a lightweight overnight kit to stay in the Oamaru hut, which sleeps 12. Alternatively you can set up tents and camp. There is no formal campsite at or near the hut.
The full trail begins from the Te Iringa campsite with a 500m ride before the climb begins. There are big steps and fallen trees to hurdle, so expect to be pushing or carrying your bike at times as you ascend Mt Te Iringa. You can enjoy a well deserved break at the top to recharge the batteries before beginning the descent down the singletrack through historical native forest to the valley floor. Its a dynamic ride through boggy sections, and across the suspension bridge over the Kaipo River.
Most of the boggy sections are after the swing bridge with the trail following the river towards the hut. The remainder of the track is more gradual as you approach Oamaru Hut, your destination for the night. With its beautiful views of the headwaters of the Mohaka River, you can settle in for the night with a good feed and tipple or two.
On the return trip, expect to be pushing the bike again to navigate fallen logs and bogs before reaching the swing bridge. From there the climb back up Te Iringa is about 50% rideable for expert riders. Then enjoy the well deserved reward of a 30 minute, non-stop downhill ride to the bottom. For expert mountain bike riders seeking the ultimate in backcountry mountain bike riding, the Te Iringa trail is definitely one to cross off your bucket list.