MOUNTAINS TO SEA
Starting on the barren flanks the country's largest volcano, the trail rapidly descends to penetrate through the lush rainforests of two national parks to reach the middle of nowhere before cruising downriver to a wild coastline.
Trail surface varies from tarmac and gravel roads, cobbled pack track, and narrow and exposed single-track. This is a journey often experienced in trail sections as day trips or sometimes combined into a multi-day journey that starts high up in the mountains and finishes at the Tasman Sea.
Mountains to Sea is an 'A to B' trip between the slopes of Mt Ruapehu and the city of Whanganui in the central North Island. The trail is divided into several sections (plus a 32km boat trip) that can be undertaken as separate day trips or a multi-day adventure.
The trail is generally ridden in the direction from the mountain to the sea, with the need to pre-book the boat/kayak trip in advance for the middle section, as there is no cellular coverage in the middle of nowhere. Contact details are listed on the 'Outfitters' page of this app.
The trail is suitable for capable intermediate to advanced riders with the Mangapurua Track being the toughest section - check the official website for the trail status of section. The majority of the trail has a good surface with packed gravel or formed roads. The trail width varies from narrow single track to a more generous width but not sufficient for two abreast. A good portion of the trail is on public roads.
The Mangapurua Track has exposed parts with steep drop-offs and a few fords. Think twice about riding this section of trail during or recently after rain, as it can be very muddy and papa clays are incredibly slippery.
Toilets are scattered along the trail and the only services located in Ohakune and Whanganui along with cafés, supermarkets and information centres.
The majority of the accommodation is provided at the two main towns, with a smattering of B&B's and farmstays in more rural parts. The trail is generally well signposted with a horseshoe symbol or Department of Conservation signs.
Please refer to the official trail website and Facebook links for the most recent safety updates, conditions and trail details.