King Country: Ongarue, Turangi, & Raglan

This active weekend can be split into three distinct areas:

Timber Trail
Timber Trail

1. An ambitious bike ride on the timber trail. Paul Goulding, owner of Epic Cycle Adventures, met us at the parking lot near the trail head with mountain bikes. The lot was full so we expected a crowded trail, but we saw fewer than 10 people while biking. Paul was accommodating and the bikes were in great shape. After we started Paul went in search of a couple other clients he was worried about. Great service!

The ride is 25 kilometers return to the suspension bridge through the Pureora Forest. It is possible to bike the entire 85K, but this last section seemed a good starting point for a beginner like me. The trail follows old railroad tracks with historical information posted along the way. I was tense so it took me awhile to get over my nerves during the uphill, outbound ride. The suspension bridge was the turnaround point so we stopped for a picnic lunch. By the time we were headed back I had relaxed and was happily cruising downhill!

2. Allen’s fishing hideaway. For months Allen has been escaping for quiet weekends in Turangi. He enjoys getting out of the city to fly fish. Usually he goes on his own, but since we were in the area I tagged along. Turangi is a small village, not much there. Fortunately the fish were biting that night. Allen caught 5 trout in an hour!

3. Testing the waters at Raglan. Raglan is a small surfing community on the east coast. We did some coastal walks and saw people digging for shellfish at low tide. Next time we will bring a bucket and join them! The town has a inviting vibe that immediately made us comfortable. We had a delicious dinner at the Shack. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great for surfing or watching the surfers so we made an early getaway on Monday morning.

Dates: 25-27 October 2014, Labour Day Weekend
Travel with: Allen
Weather: Saturday was perfect, then wind and rain the rest of the weekend
Accommodation: extreme backpackers in Turangi, Raglan backpackers in Raglan; private rooms at both; both good value


  • biking the timber trail (!!);
  • fishing was great until Sunday when it got windy;
  • mass at St. Joseph’s church (Catholic), a very simple church in Turangi.


  • yumm fish & chips (turangi);
  • Cadillac cafe – okay (turangi);
  • new world (turangi);
  • the shack was amazing! (raglan)

Transportation: hired a car from auckland city.