Timber Trail and Great Lake Trail
In the central plateau, traverse ancient forest, suspension bridges and historic tramways.
The Great Lake Trail winds around New Zealand’s iconic Lake Taupo. This all-seasons trail features lush forest, waterfalls, beaches, a volcanic gorge and ever-changing views from elevated lookouts.
The stunning Great Lake Trail follows the shores of beautiful Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, from Waihaha to Whakaipo Bay. This trail was officially opened in April 2014 and provides 71km of all-weather riding through native forest with views across Lake Taupo to the majestic Tongariro National Park.
Riders have the option of riding the full trail over two days or choosing shorter options to suit fitness, experience and the time available. There are three sections of trail that can be ridden as standalone rides. A water taxi can ferry riders and bikes to four access points along the trail.
You'll also find relaxing bays and picnic spots to enjoy lunch or a snack. It's a great trail for families.
The 85km Timber Trail located in the Pureora Forest Park is home to 1,000 year-old trees and preserves the last remnants of extensive podocarp forests that once covered most of the Central Plateau. Only in 1946 was the forest opened for logging – one of the last native forests to do so. It’s home to many historical attractions such as the former mill village housing, old logging machinery from the 40’s and 50’s and the Ongarue Tramway and Spiral.
This Grade 2-3 trail features over 30 bridges and passes through podocarp forests of native rimu, totara and kahikatea as well as open vegetation, making use of historic bulldozer and haul roads.