OHAKUNE

OLD COACH ROAD

                                                                                                                                                                                    

Distance:  15km one-way

Fitness:    Medium

Time:       2 – 3  hours,  one-way

Grade:     2   –  Easy                                                                                                                                                                     


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A Placid Experience.

Easy going trail for all ages, stream crossings are bridged and the trail is well formed.  Scenic bush and old structures reinforce the majestic nature of the place.  Fitness level can be average and the historic relevance contributes to the experience.

 

 

 





 

 

The RIDE:

 At Horopito the Old Coach Road starts at an Elevation of 750m, the Ohakune end is 625m but overall there is 200m change in elevation and the length one-way is 14.8km.  Heading off down Clydes access road it’s not long before you cross the boundary and into Tongariro National Park, entering the Native bush and straight down a zippy little hill to get things going.  There are some good climbs and downhill sections along the way and this makes for a fun trail.  The trail has had a lot of work to establish a complete package with Signage at important points, picnic areas and solid bridges.  A Grade 2 trail, it’s a smooth journey on mostly graveled path.  There are a couple of muddy sections and a portion of the trail with exposed roots making a challenging descent.  It can be completed as a one-way journey but is as much fun as a return journey and heading down what was previously a climb has a completely different element.

 

 

HISTORIC RELEVANCE:

 Between 1883 and 1887 John Rochfort was assigned the task to survey a route for the main trunk line through the central North Island.  This area of the southern King Country was isolated, part of which was still in the control of Maori and included the Central Plateau, a dramatically rugged place with rivers, gullies and elevated terrain.  To help pave the way, engineering feats like the Raurimu Spiral and the many Viaducts had to be devised.  Engineer’s solutions were designed and implemented to help close the gap between the railheads but it was still going to be another 20 years before they finally met to complete the main trunk line.  In 1904 a coach road was proposed and by its completion in 1906 the rail heads were at Raurimu and Ohakune.  Until the main trunk line’s completion on 9 November 1908, passengers were transported between the trains on horse drawn coaches.  This journey was on the “Matapuna Ohakune Old Coach Road”. 

  Quote from Wanganui Herald – 15 February 1908

 “About a dozen board our coach, and with five good horses – three in the lead – we are soon rattling along over a good service road which is metalled from quarries situated at convenient spots along the route.”

 

 

GETTING THERE:

 A shuttle takes us from National Park Village for about 20mins to the beginning of the trail at Horopito.  If riding one-way the shuttle pick up is Marshalls Rd, Ohakune.  The shuttle then returns to National Park Village approx. 35mins away.  If you’ve chosen to ride the return, then the shuttle pick-up is obviously back at Horopito.   

 

 

Package Includes:

 Professional Guide

 Shuttle Service