Start your adventure by staying at the charming Out in the Styx Guesthouse in Pukeatua village on the foothills of Maungatautari Moutain where dinner, a comfortable bed and breakfast await.
Visit Sanctuary Moutain Maungatautari, which is surrounded by the world’s longest pest proof fence. In the southern enclosure, (right on Out in the Styx doorstep) there are 5kms of well-formed tracks in magnificent ancient forest and from October through to March night walks are available which allows you to discover the bush by night and experience the call of the kiwi.(night bookings essential)
3-4 hrs - After breakfast you will be collected from your accommodation and taken along with your bikes to begin your Waikato River Trail adventure starting with the Karapiro section at Pokaiwhenua Bridge carpark (11.5 kms, 1-2 hrs, Easy).
Nearing Arapuni Village take the time to veer off and view the 152 metre long swing bridge that crosses the river to the Arapuni Powerhouse on the opposite banks. In the village there is a small café for your enjoyment.
Leaving the village heading south you are about to cycle part of the Arapuni section (23kms, 2-3 hrs – Advanced, see below no.1 or Intermediate see below no. 2) to the end of Waotu Sth Road.
The sign-posted trail leaves the road beside the toilets and car park and heads toward the river, along the tops of bluffs and down to the dam a couple of km’s from the village. Here you cross the road and ride the 2.5k track to Jones Landing.
This part of the trail is fairly steep and is for more experienced riders only, or you could chose to walk the steeper parts. This brings you to Jones landing reserve and out onto Lake Arapuni Rd. From Jones landing the trail follows 15kms of sealed roads following the blue markers to the end of Waotu Sth Rd
Alternatively you cycle along the road about 1.5km south of the village and turn left onto Darby Rd following the blue markers to the end of Waotu Sth Rd approx 23kms.
Blue Tui will meet you at Jone’s Landing with lunch before you start the 15km road section passing through Jim Barnett Reserve and on to the end at Waotu South Rd.
Once you have reached the end of the Waotu South Road you will be collected and taken back to Out in the Styx for your second nights’ accommodation where you can enjoy a soothing soak in the spa and another delightful meal.
4-6 hrs - After breakfast you will be taken back to the end of Waotu Sth Rd with bikes and a packed lunch. From here you rejoin the trail which takes you down to the river via a series of swithbacks into native bush you complete the Arapuni Section at Waipapa Dam.
Follow the road hugging close to the dam for a short distance you then leave the road and enter native bush, this is the Maraetai Section (12.1 kms,1-2 hrs, Intermediate) which takes you through to the small township of Mangakino. Your baggage will have been transferred to Lake Maraetai Lodge. Enjoy a meal out at either the local hotel or the Hui Hut café/restaurant.
4-5 hrs -
After breakfast we start the last leg of the trail from Mangakino to Atiamuri. Once you have completed the Maraetai section (this is the section between Mangakino and Whakamaru) coming out onto the road at Whakamaru Dam you can choose to turn right for a coffee break in the small settlement of Whakamaru or carry on by turning left and crossing the Dam.
Here you are faced with the last leg of your trek, the Whakamaru Section (23.5kms, 2-3 hrs, Intermediate). Blue Tui will be waiting approximately half way with lunch. Once you reach Atiamuri you will have completed your Waikato River Trail odyssey, we then pack up and head back to Out in the Styx Guesthouse and your vehicles.