About Old Coach Road
What to Do
The Local Area
The cycle trail, which uses most of the historic Ohakune Coach Road between Ohakune Station and Horopito, was opened by New Zealand Prime Minister Mr John Key in July 2010.
This part of the Ruapehu to Whanganui “Nga Ara Tuhono” cycle trail, also called “Nga Haerenga,” is the first of the national cycleway ‘quick start’ projects to be launched.
Having a breather under the new Taonui Viaduct
The planned trail will go all the way from Ohakune to Horopito, then along Middle Road to Ruatiti. Then from Ruatiti through the Mangapurua Valley, across the “Bridge to Nowhere” and finish on the banks of the Whanganui River at the Mangapurua Landing.
From the landing it will be a jet boat ride to Pipiriki, then a long cycle ride down River Road to Wanganui.
The Department of Conservation plans to create campsites with toilets, and build boardwalks along this route.
Cycle Route to Horopito
The northern end of the coach road at Horopito, is of course, the home of Smash Palace, the famous auto wreckers yard with hundreds of vehicles waiting to be restored and loved again. A visit here will always be remembered.
The long ride along the Coach Road, which starts at Horopito, and goes past the Taonui viaduct and along the Skyline Section to the Hapuawhenua Viaducts, is now an easy interesting ride.
The cycle trail is a mixture of new narrow track and the wide cobbled Coach Road. There is a new grit surfaced track from the Haeremaere Stream bridge to and from the Taonui Viaduct, and up from the Taonui Stream back onto the coach road.
From the Ohakune end of the Skyline Section there is a new gritted track which leaves the Coach Road by the big logs which are more or less opposite the big red gate post, and continues through the bush to the Hapuawhenua Viaducts.
From the viaducts the new track passes the tunnel and leads back onto the Coach Road by the big red gatepost, and then winds down hill to the carpark on Marshall’s Road at the Ohakune end. A short ride is from Ohakune carpark on Marshall’s Road, up the coach road to the old gate post then along the new track to the tunnel, up and over the hill through the bush, and down to the Hapuawhenua viaducts. Return the same way.
Several tour operators have put together guided cycling and accommodation packages.
Visitors with limited time will be able to day-ride the Ohakune-Horopito Coach Road section, either uphill from Ohakune or mostly downhill from Horopito.