The 60-kilometre (two-day) cycleway runs from Pureora (off State Highway 30) southwards toward Ongarue and Taumarunui (State Highway 4).
The cycleway follows the formation of the historic Ellis and Burnand Ongarue Tramway (1922-1958) for over half its length as well as old logging roads and new sections of track through Pureora Forest Park. The route will include the restored Ongarue Spiral, a triumph of bush engineering, and a new 85 m long, 30 m high suspension bridge over the Mangatukutuku Stream.
The new trail will run almost the length of the Hauhungaroa Range on the western side
Plans for the trail include rebuilding the Ongarue Spira, replica steam train, modern facilities, services, accommodation and recreating old cookhouses.
Construction of the original bush tramway began in 1922 by Ellis and Burnand after building their mill at Ongarue in 1914. In 1955 the tramway was closed due to flood damage, followed by the mill closure in 1966.
The cycleway incorporates the Ongarue Tramway, including the Ongarue Spiral and remnants of the historic logging industry including the most complete historic timber mill and village in New Zealand (Eadan's mill). It will traverse the western side of the Hauhungaroa Range through Pureora Forest Park. It will have a gentle grade, smooth surface and halfway access point, making it appealing to beginners and intermediate-level cyclists.
Steam locomotives (Climax 1650 & E 111) on the Ellis & Burnand tramway at Ongarue.
On this extensive tramway, the Climax worked between the mill and the Wiaone camp siding while the E 111 (right) worked from there to the bush loading points.
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