Mountains to Sea – National Park to Whakahoro
(Option 2, Part 1)
The alternative to starting the Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ohakune is to leave from National Park Village on the grade 2-3 Fishers Track, then joins Upper Retaruke Road and Oio Road. Given how much of a backroad this route is, the intersection of Oio Road and Upper Retaruke Road is a bit of a surprise, with its symbols of habitation. From there, Oio Road includes a spectacular section high above the Retaruke River, before terminating at Whakahoro on the Whanganui River. Whakahoro is the home of Blue Duck Station.
The distance is a total of 52km and there’s a good range of accommodation options at Whakahoro, both at Blue Duck Station and at a nearby DOC campground.
The Station also has a good cafe right next to the track, as well as some local horse riding, canoeing and hiking options if you have some extra time. If you walk down to the Retaruke River access, below the DOC campsite, there is a reasonable chance of spotting some whio (rare blue ducks).