“A stunning, 1000m descent down Mt Ruapehu starting 1.6 kms above sea level at Turoa Ski Field.”
— Peter Blakeman
The Ohakune Mountain Road is an alpine road that is often closed in the winter due to snow, ice and strong winds. Even in summer, temperatures can be low, and winds can be strong. Always check conditions first and dress accordingly. TCB can advise on all local track conditions.
This stunning route starts at an altitude of 1,620 meters at Turoa Ski Field car park, on the western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano! It is worth spending some time at the Turoa base area to take in the amazing views to be had from this altitude. On a clear day, you can see as far as the South Island. The entire mountain road is now sealed.
As you start your descent down Mt Ruapehu, the stunning views continue for several kilometers until you enter into the forest. Just below the hairpin turn there is a spot that was used in "The Lord Of The Rings" where Gollum chases a trout up the river. There is a small car park and also a very short walk to a waterfall.
Further down the mountain is an excellent walking track to the Waitonga Falls. It is a beautiful 1.5 hr return walk to the tallest waterfall in the Tongariro National Park. This track is walking only, so take a bike lock with you.
The mountain road starts to flatten out after this and winds through magnificent native forest until you reach Ohakune.
Unless you are keen enough to ride up the mountain first, you'll either need someone to drop you off at the top, or catch local transport from Ohakune. Dempsey Buses have regular shuttles that run from TCB every day at 11am and 1pm for $15.
TCB are the only bike shop in the district, and they can advise you on all local track conditions. They also sell, hire and fix bikes, 7 days a week.