Day 308 on the Road
Biking the Tree Trunk Gorge Track!
In the second part of our adventure-filled day we are tacking the Tree trunk Gorge Track, a mountain biking trail in Turangi. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then head on over to our epic YouTube Channel & Subscribe!
We are getting ready for a mountain biking trip through the forest on a track called the Tree Trunk Gorge.
Previously on New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year day 308, part 1 we started our morning with an epic white water rafting on the Tongariro River. it was raging rapids and awesome team bonding but we are not done today we are now starting our next adventure of the day which is mountain biking.
Next on our action packed itinerary today is mountain biking on the Tree Trunk Gorge Track but before we hit that track we take one last look at the Tongaririo River and Tree Trunk Gorge itself this is a section of the river that I’m glad we didn’t do white water rafting on just moments ago, but anyway after getting changed out of our white water rafting gear and into our dry clothes we are getting onto the Tree Trunk Gorge Track.
Our guide for this tour is called John he is from Tongaririo River Rafting yes the same company that we just did river rafting with. It’s pretty awesome that they have such a wealth of different activities that suits every single taste. Anyway, John knows his thing so well and is very familiar with this track as he bikes it very regularly almost every single week if it’s not with some customers it’s with his family.
We’re pretty happy that we have John with us today because we’re actually riding on a grade 4 advanced track and this is the first time Robin and I are tackling a mountain biking track like this in New Zealand so it’s up to John to show us the way and hope that we actually stay on our bikes.
However there are a few reasons to get off your bike on this track and one of those reasons are the stream crossings. there are actually several stream crossings to do on the Tree Trunk Gorge Track and the deepest one is this one right here where we need to put our bikes onto our shoulders to get across.
After crossing that deeper stream we come to a section of the track which has which has a pretty steep uphill section and that’s when we realise that this is definitely an advanced track. Only the super fit would even try to tackle this section of the track while still on their bikes.
but luckily you don’t actually don’t have to bike the sections you can’t do or at least that’s what Robin and I are telling ourselves so we decide to push the bikes over these really tough sections.
But what goes up must go down and as soon as we arrive on top of that ridge we are jumping back on our bike and start making our way downhill and that to be honest the most fun part of mountain biking we are going through this really lush really thick New Zealand forest and it’s absolutely stunning plus, we’re really lucky the weather is out at the moment and oh my God, all those shadows and lights are looking amazing in the forest.
And this forest is actually quite exceptional because this forest is one of the oldest types of forest in New Zealand, it’s a red beech forest and the reason why we can tell it’s a red beech forest is because there’s all those kind of golden leaves scattered along the track. It looks absolutely awesome.
This forest is part of the Kaimanawa Forest Park which is located about 23km south of Turangi and the town of Turangi is actually the town located at the south of Lake Taupo. Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake right in the centre of New Zealand’s North island and there is no way you’re gonna miss it when travelling around New Zealand. So you are sure to pass there is you are travelling down the North Island.
And there is many ways to explore this forest park. It’s actually amazing there is ton of different hiking tracks there is ton of different mountain biking tracks and the good thing is that cos there are so many walking and biking tracks there something for every single level so if you’re travelling by yourself and a professional mountain biker you’ll find some grade 4 like this one which are super hard or if you’re travelling with a family and have some small kids and you’ll find some grade almost zero so flat that you’re gonna be able to explore with them super safely.
And one of the nearby tracks that’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little easier is the Tongaririo River Trail. This is accessible from the town of Turangi itself and it goes about 15km in a loop on a bout grade 2 gradient meaning it’s super easy, super cruisy yet super fun.
As for us we’re having a blast on the Tree Trunk Gorge Track and we find a little stream where the water is so clear we can’t resist filling up our water bottles and while’ we’re hanging out by the stream, we are visited by a couple of the locals a little North Island robin and tomtit which are so cute and curious to come super close to us and check us out.
And speaking of birds while we’re on a section of the track where we’re going a little bit slower since it’s too bumpy to bike on at the moment, we see a lot more birds in the forest including the Kereru which is the New Zealand native wood pigeon, it’s super huge and we also hear a lot of bird calls from tui which have a lot of really awesome sounds when they’re calling to each other.
Once we get to another section of the track where it’s nice and smooth to get back on our bikes we are speeding off ahead right to the end of the tree trunk gorge track from there we are actually going onto another track where we can meet up with a bus that is parked for us at the end. Because this is a one way track so luckily the guys at the Tongariro River Rafting has organised some transport at the end so we don’t have to bike all the way back.
White water rafting and mountain biking is definitely the best way to experience the more adventurous side of Turangi but we are gonna be on the mountain bikes again tomorrow to explore more of the area and especially in Ruapehu.
Downhill sections, pushing sections, sections where you want to bike uphill but you can’t cos you don’t have the strength or the stamina to do so and that’s where Robin and John just overtake me and I’m left pushing my bike uphill in a shameful manner but what can I say…