42 Traverse

The 42 Traverse follows an old logging road through some of the most remote and rugged land in New Zealand.

The 42 Traverse is a remote and rugged adventure ride through what used to be known as State Forest 42. It is best ridden during summer, but when the mountains have snow on them you get some stunning views. The unmaintained 4WD trail can have some decent ruts and washouts on it so take your time. It can be challenging in wet weather so make sure you’ve got appropriate tyres and all the spare gear for adventure riding.

Although the 46km long trail with an overall descent of 520 meters sounds easy, it is usually rather rutted making it enjoyable for experienced riders, however it is not technical and would be achievable by most intermediate riders as well. It is easily completed as a day trip from any of the nearby towns such as Taupō, Turangi, Ohakune, Raetihi or National Park.

You can expect to be riding for between 4 and 6 hours. The track can get very muddy (sticky gear muddy) and also has a few river crossings. It would pay not to ride the 42 Traverse at the end of winter after some rains where snow melt and heavy rain might make the rivers impassable - and a long uphill grind back to the road start!

The 42 Traverse covers an extremely remote sub-alpine part of New Zealand where the weather can change fast. There are very few alternative ways out once you reach the Tongariro Forest, so pick your days if you are inexperienced to this type of riding in New Zealand and carry all the essential food, clothes, and bike repair equipment.

Distance 40-50km
Grade 3
Time required 4-7hrs
Phone coverage Limited
Toilets No
Shuttle Yes, pickup and return available. Book shuttle services prior to departure.

Once you're done riding the 42 Traverse, commemorate your incredible ride by taking a picture at the new & iconic 42 Traverse Wall. Located in Owhango, right where the trail ends, the 42 Traverse Wall was created by local community in 2021 to honor the village of Owhango & those who ride the 42 Traverse.

Physical address:

42 Owhango Road
Owhango 3990

Made from the Post Office's old roofing iron, chimney stacks, as well as old bikes and skis, the Wall is the perfect unique selfie spot to remember your 42 Traverse adventure!

Physical address:
Corner of Kapoors Road & State Highway 47
Tongariro Forest Park
Visit website