The 42 Traverse

from 3 - 6 hours

Known as being the greatest mountain bike ride on the North Island, the 42 Traverse follows an old logging road and is filled with exhilarating downhills, some challenging uphills, and is known for having many rutted sections along the trail.

The 42 Traverse follows old logging road for much of it's duration through what was previously known as the State Forest 42 some of the most remote land in New Zealand.

The ride is easily completed as a day trip from any of the nearby towns such as Taupo, Ohakune, Raetihi, or National Park.

Although the 46 km long trail - suitable for quad bikes and with an overall descent of 520 meters - may sound easy it is usually rather rutted. However it is not technical and would be achievable by most intermediate riders. You can expect to be riding between 4 and 6 hours.  The track can get very muddy (sticky gear muddy) and also has a few river crossings.  It would pay not to ride the 42 Traverse at the end of winter after some rains where snow melt and heavy rain might make the rivers impassable - and a long uphill grind back to the road start!!

The 42 Traverse covers an extremely remote sub-alpine part of New Zealand where the weather can change fast. There are very few alternative ways out once you reach the Tongariro Forest so pick your days if you are inexperienced to this type of riding in New Zealand and carry all the essential food, clothes, and bike fix-it stuff.

The start of the 42 Traverse is at the junction of Kapoors Road and State Highway 47 which is 18 km north of National Park Village. About 6 kilometers up Kapoors Road is a car park and a DOC sign marking the start of the track. It's fairly well marked along the way with dark green posts in the area surrounding most major intersections.

The views of the volcanic plateau are phenomenal including Mountains Ngarahoe (Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies), Ruapehu and Tongariro (which gives it's name to the National Park itself). But we think probably the best part of the whole ride is the cold pint at the end of the trail at the experiential Owhango Pub.

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.
Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Chateau Tongariro Hotel Mt Ruapehu
The Chateau Tongariro Hotel sits within the 800 square kilometre Tongariro National Park – a dual listed World Heritage Area – which provides a stunning natural playground bursting with diverse landscapes for visitors to the Chateau Tongariro to discover.
Whakapapa Holiday Park
Come to Whakapapa Village to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tongariro National Park and stay right in the centre of it all. The North Island's best MTB tracks are only a stones throw away.
Trout Beck Fishing Lodge
Turangi and it’s surrounding countryside offers hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking or bush walks, white water rafting, kayaking, sight seeing and much more.
Skotel Alpine Resort
Cycle Friendly & Highest Hotel in New Zealand
Imagine yourself breathing in mountain air and enjoying the clear waters of the Tongariro National Park from your cycle friendly base at the Skotel Alpine Resort, the highest hotel in New Zealand.
Howard's Mountain Lodge
Walk the legendary Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Bike the popular 42 Traverse Forest track. Canoe the wilderness of the Whanganui River. Ski the slopes of Mt Ruapehu.
National Park Backpackers
Situated in the heart of National Park Village, National Park Backpackers is the ideal place to base yourself whilst taking in any of Ruapehu's fantastic cycle trails. We offer accommodation to suit all budgets and can provide a secure place to lock up your bikes.
Plateau Lodge
Tongariro biking trails are at our door step. You have wide choice of family pace biking or hard core tracks that wet the appetite.
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:
The Park Travellers' Lodge
The Park is the newest and largest accommodation facility in National Park Village and is located on the edge of the Tongariro National Park, just a short walk to local shops, restaurants and bars.
Phone Number: 0800 800 491
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
Twin Rivers Motel
Conveniently located within a two minute walk to the CBD, restaurants, cafes and directly opposite the RSA Club.
Phone Number: 07 895 8063
Oasis Motel & Holiday Park
Set on five acres and enclosed by a scenic reserve, Oasis Motel and Holiday Park has Lake Taupo and some of New Zealand’s top trout fishing spots just minutes away. With a range of accommodation options, we provide value accommodation options to suit your budget. (Contact Us).
Phone Number: 07-3868569
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
Alexander Spa Motel
Alexander Spa Motel is located in a quiet street off SH4, close to restaurants and cafes and close to the starting or finishing point of the Timber Trail. We have 16 warm modern units with bathroom and kitchenette facilities. Plenty of offstreet parking right outside your unit door.
Phone Number: 0800 NZByBike
Kelly's Motel
Phone Number:
Kiwi Mountain Bikes
Guided Mountain Bike Tours and bike hire in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
Kiwi Mountain Bikes offers guided mountain bike tours out of National Park Village.
Adrift Outdoors Ltd
We are based in National Park Village on the fringe of the Tongariro National Park and within easy reach of the remote Whanganui National Park.
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

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