Trail Grades and Safety

Our trails have been graded according to the trail grade standards set out by NZ Cycle Trails. You can read them here.

We recommend riders are fit and well prepared and we encourage you to know your limits and choose a trail that's suitable for all the riders in your group. Also be aware that there are areas on the trails where there is no cellphone reception. You may want to carry a Personal Locator Beacon in these areas. Check network coverage here.

We recommend you check the weather before starting the trail.  Check it here.


Tapawera to Murchison Heartland Ride

Ride Length
95 km
Riding Time
1-2 days
5: Expert

From Tapawera, the route follows Tadmor Valley Road to Glenhope. The first 24km (Tapawera to Tui) is sealed. The final 15km (Tui to Glenhope) is gravel. At Glenhope, there is a historic railway station which has been restored by DOC (39km from Tapawera). Turn right onto State Highway 6 and follow the highway for 7km to reach Kawatiri Junction where there is a DOC campsite, toilet facilities and a walk to a historic railway tunnel. Kawatiri is near the mid-point of this heartland ride (46km from Tapawera, 50km from Murchison).

From Kawatiri Junction, the route continues along SH6 for a further 6km before turning left onto Gowan Valley Road to Lake Rotoroa. There are several accommodation options at Lake Rotoroa including a lodge, B&B and DOC campsite with toilet and water supply (64km from Tapawera, 32km from Murchison). From Lake Rotoroa follow the Braeburn Track (a gravel road) which climbs 210m in elevation from the lake to a high point of 660m. After descending the Braeburn Saddle turn left onto Tutaki Valley Road, then turn right onto Mangles Valley Road which returns to SH6. Turn left and follow SH6 for the final 4km into Murchison. From Rotoroa to Murchison the route is 14km gravel, 18km sealed road. This is considered a grade-5 (expert) cycle touring route due to the short sections on the high-traffic State Highway 6 (this may be downgraded to grade 4/advanced once road traffic levels have been evaluated further).

Tapawera has a cafe, takeaway, hotel serving food, and a Four Square supermarket for food and supplies.

Murchison has cafes, takeaways, a hotel with a restaurant and a Four Square supermarket for food and supplies.

There are water supplies at Tapawera, Kawatiri, Lake Rotoroa and Murchison. The water supplies at the Kawatiri (stream) and Lake Rotoroa (tap) DOC campsites should be boiled or treated.

There are no shops between Tapawera and Murchison so riders should have sufficient food for the whole day.

Tapawera to Murchison Heartland Ride Profile Map
Tapawera to Murchison Heartland Ride Profile Map
Tapawera to Murchison Heartland Ride Profile Map 2
Tapawera to Murchison Heartland Ride Profile Map 2