This advanced mountain bike track climbs for 16 km to the top of the Ruahine Range and offers great views on a clear day to the coast on both sides of the North Island.


Track overview

11 km to A-Frame Hut, further 6 km to road-end

Walking and tramping

3 - 5 hours

Mountain biking

Advanced: Grade 4

Other activities

  • Four wheel driving

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit for recreational hunting or management purposes only

About this track



Park at the bottom of Takapari Rd and ride up a moderate gravel-road climb through farmland before you reach a gate at the entry to Ruahine Forest Park.

Takapari Rd includes an 11 km climb up to A-Frame Hut and a further 6 km to the road-end. The road steepens and becomes rougher as you climb through shrubland. It then undulates along the ridge. Be prepared for extreme weather conditions. Wind chill factor is high when riding back down. This track is open to vehicles but the track is not maintained beyond A-Frame Hut. There are great views to both coasts on a clear day.

Getting there

From Ashhurst, drive up Pohangina Rd and then turn right onto Pohangina Valley East Road. Go past Totara Reserve and Pohangina Scenic Reserve on your left until you reach Takapari Road on your right.

Four wheel driving

This road is one of the only 4-wheel drive tracks on public land in the Manawatu. It is a well-maintained “shiny” 4WD road to the A-Frame Hut, but becomes rougher after this.

Nature and conservation

There are fantastic views from the tops; on a clear day you can see all the way to the coast. The forest changes from podocarp species, to pahautea, to leatherwood (tupare). The dominant vegetation in the area is dense leatherwood; it is part of the largest unbroken expanse of leatherwood forest in New Zealand.

History and culture

This is the only all-access public road which goes right up to the tops in the Ruahine Forest Park. The road was constructed by the New Zealand Forest Service in the early 1970s to allow access for planting Pinus contorta as erosion control.A-Frame Hut (also known as Traverse Hut) was built to accommodate forest service workers during that time. A nearby airstrip was also developed to cater for aerial seeding of vegetation to help control erosion.

Know before you go

Responsible mountain biking

  • Mountain biking has dangers, proceed at your own risk and ride within your ability. 
  • Wear an approved cycle helmet and protective clothing. 
  • Stay on the designated mountain bike track or roads - do not take short cuts.
  • Take out what you bring in - do not litter. 
  • Beware of vehicles when using the roads. Standard NZ road rules apply - keep to the left and give way when appropriate. 
  • Do not build new tracks or modify existing tracks.


Te Papaioea / Palmerston North Office
Phone:   +64 6 350 9700
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   28 North Street
Palmerston North 4410
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11010
Manawatu Mail Centre
Palmerston North 4442
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