11 km to A-Frame Hut, further 6 km to road-end
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.
There are great views of both coasts on a clear day.
This road is one of the only 4-wheel drive tracks on public land in the Manawatu.
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.
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.
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.
Auckland is at Level 3 and other regions at Level 2.