Old Coach Road - Mountain Bike
Ben had already done the Old Coach Road many times before, and finally after 6 months of living in the area it was my turn to give it a go.
The kids where away at their grandparents place and the sun was shining so there was no excuse not to get out.
Normally I would drop Ben off at the start at Horopito and then meet him with the car at the Powderkeg.
This time we parked in Ohakune and then caught the shuttle back to the start.
This can be caught from TCB, leaving at 10am, 12noon and 2pm.
We caught the noon shuttle and it cost us $15 per adult. You don't need to prebook with them, just arrive 15mins before the shuttle is meant to leave.
The track starts by going through farm land before reaching the edge of the Tongariro National Park. Then it's a mixture of bush, old railway trails and roads.
There is plenty to see along the way with great information signs regarding the history of the area and the native flora and fauna.
You get to see the old railway bridges and also where the new train travels.
Now the path can be very very bumpy in places, particularly on some of the downhills.
And for some reason I didn't put my padded shorts on. Not that I think they would have made much of a difference.
My bike isn't really set up for super bumpy tracks, as it only has front suspension. Ben's is newer than mine (a recent purchase when we sold our house) so he can race down the hills.
I may have slipped off at one stage and bruised my buttock on the bar. Ouch!
If you are hiring bikes for your ride from in Ohakune, then I recommend making sure it has rear suspension as well as front.
You can go as slow or fast as you like along the track. Make it a day trip and pack some lunch - or see how fast you can race the downhills (which is what Ben has done previously).
It's not a one way track, so be cautious of bikes coming the other way when stopping on corners and stick to the left.
It took us about 2.5hrs - we stopped and took photos, enjoyed the sounds of the birds and waterfalls, plus filled the knowledge bank reading the information boards.
I use to laugh at people with e-bikes. But when we got to the end and saw another local who had just finished the track and she had a e-bike, I was a little jealous.
But maybe I just need to get out and on my bike more to get my fitness levels back up.