Following quiet country roads with some gravel sections, this quiet route traverses picturesque farmland and passes a couple of scenic reserves. Around halfway along, riders can also detour to the town of Owhango where there are accommodation and access to another classic MTB track, the 42 Traverse.
Starting at Taumarunui’s historic railway station, head south on Hikaia Street for two blocks then on to Moreno Terrace to cross the Whanganui River. Turn right and follow Hikumutu Road.
Remain on Hikumutu Road as it transitions to a narrow gravel road and climbs 300 metres. On reaching a T-intersection, turn left on Kawautuhi Road to reach Owhango, 1km away, or take a right to continue towards to Oio Road. This section is particularly enjoyable, being scenic and largely downhill with very little traffic.
The connector ends at the Oio Road junction, from where it’s a further 21km to reach Blue Duck Station at Whakahoro, the start of the gnarly Kaiwhakauka Track.
A helpful source of information about this ride, and other Heartland Rides, is Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails by the Kennett Brothers.
Source: The New Zealand Cycle Trail