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 Mountain 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)
To make this ride a little easier and more enjoyable we take on the Waikato River Trails cycling it in two different directions. Day one we cycle in a northerly direction taking advantage of the predominant downhill profile to Arapuni and then on to Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park. Days 2 and 3 we ride in a southerly direction finishing at Atiamuri just off SH1.
3-4 hrs - After breakfast you will be collected from your accommodation and taken along with your bikes to Waotu, the highest point on the trail. From here you cycle in a northerly direction to Jones Landing (15.4kms) where we have a refreshment stop. Then you carry on to Arapuni Dam (2.5kms) and not far beyond Arapuni Village (2.1kms), stopping at the village to cross the 152 metre long swing bridge from where you can view the Arapuni Power Station which was built between 1920 and 1929.
Back on your bikes to cycle the 11.5kms to Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park, crossing the Huihuitaha wetlands via a series of boardwalks and then it's back to your accommodation for some relaxation, perhaps a nice soak in the spa, a good yarn and a hearty meal. As a fair section of this is on back country roads mostly downhill, it is advisable to wear hi vis clothing. Total of 31.5kms
PLEASE NOTE: Jones Landing to Arapuni Dam 2.5kms- This part of the trail is fairly steep and is for more experienced riders only, it is advisable that you walk the steeper parts or alternatively take the road option
4-6 hrs - After breakfast you will be taken back to Waotu South Rd with bikes and a packed lunch and riding in a southerly direction you rejoin the trail by following a series of switchbacks to the river below into native bush and old logging tracks completing 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 one of the local eateries.
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 (12kms - 1.5-2hrs Easy) coming out onto the road at Whakamaru Dam you can choose to turn right and go around the corner for a coffee break at That Dam Cafe in the small settlement of Whakamaru or carry on with the trail by turning left and crossing the Dam.
You are now on the final section 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.