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Official website, approved by DOC and Waitomo District Council

FAQs & Advice

How difficult is the trail?

The Timber Trail’s predominantly wide and smooth surface classifies much of it as grade 2 (easy). Some decent climbs and trickier sections, however, push it to grade 3 (intermediate) and make it most suitable for reasonably fit, experienced cyclists with a ship-shape mountain bike, toolkit and basic mechanical skills.

What is the total cycling time?

Fit leisure cyclists take on average 5–7 hours to do each half of the Timber Trail. Hard-core riders can take less than half that to ride the whole trail, with New Zealand rider Hamish Lane holding the current record: blitzing the 84kms in a breath taking 3hrs 33mins during the NZO Trailblazer in 2015.

What kind of bike do I need?

A mountain bike with knobbly tyres and a minimum of front suspension is best. Local bike hire depots and cycle tour guides will provide the right bike for the terrain, as well as a helmet, spare tubes and any other necessary gear.

What should I take?

Although the trail is well signposted, riders should carry a map, cellphone (although coverage is patchy) and consider hiring a personal locator beacon (PLB).

Is there food and water on the trail?

There is no food other than what is provided at lodge accommodation, so riders should also take plenty with them. There are drinkable water supplies along the way for topping up.

What about toilets?

Yes, there are numerous toilets dotted at convenient points along the trail.


Can Kids come?

Yes, provided they have ability to ride themselves and are prepared for the long day. Younger kids can be towed in a kids trailer, and has been done before. Check with your accommodation provider if they allow kids under five. The Timber Trail is such an amazing adventure to be had for all of your family.


What’s the best time to ride?

The trail can be ridden all year around, with the best conditions from October to May.

What will the weather be like?

The trail passes through a mountain environment with a highpoint 980m above sea level, which makes for relatively unpredictable conditions. Pack warm clothing and wet weather gear regardless of the forecast.

What does it cost to ride the trail?

Thanks to community groups, local businesses, and funding from local and central government, it is free to ride the trial. You can support the maintenance and development of the trails by making a donation or buying Timber Trail merchandise.

Great Rides App Main Screen

Great Rides App


Specifically designed for New Zealand's Great Rides this app is used by mountain bikers, runners and walkers. It aims to provide location tracking to find amenities, attractions and local information while riding the trail. Once downloaded, the trail information is fully available offline.

Download for iPhone Download for Android
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