Araheke MTB Park
The name “migratory path” refers to the tuna (eels) that use the Kaitoke river flowing from Lakes Pauri and Wiritoa through the MTB park to the sea. They are an important source of food for the local Maori.
The park has 10km of tracks in two separate areas – Wiritoa and Pauri – joined by a short section (300m) of road. The access turnoff is signposted on State Highway 3, 3km south of the Whanganui River motorway bridge, onto Kaitoke Rd. It is another 3km to Lake Wiritoa Reserve carpark. There are toilets and a swimming area.
Accommodation is available (camping and cabins) at the adjoining Lakelands Holiday Park. Please be aware that walkers and dogs also use the tracks.
Pauri is generally a much easier area to ride, suitable for novices and young kids.
Wiritoa – grade 2/3
The tracks are in a small block of pine trees, featuring a seasonal river with farm and lake views. The park entrance is across the road from the Lake Wiritoa Reserve entrance. The tracks are generally intermediate riding.
For an easy ride follow the white road marker poles which follows River Run then onto Eeyore gulley back to the start, missing out the more difficult loops. River Run followed by the last section of Tuna (Gorse Alley) across the bridge is also an easy ride.
An intermediate 3.9km trail is numbered in the best sequence for a ride covering all of the developed tracks.
- Li’l Ripper – (pink) – intermediate anti-clockwise loop. It has two short and long (more difficult) sections both ending along the riverside and back to the start. 470m
- River Run – (yellow) – easy track follows Kaitoke stream with one “long” fun loop. 590m
- Eeyore Gully – (green) intermediate undulating track with three optional harder loops. 1013m
- Longfin Loop – intermediate loop off Eeyore Gulley 280m
- Tuna Trail – (purple) intermediate track going anti-clockwise along park’s three borders
with two optional loops – see below.
- Ridge Loop – intermediate (sharp left at top of hill) but great roller coaster fun and
easier “short cut”. 425m
- Gorse Alley – starts just after bridge crossing – easy loop (280m)
- Tuna Trail continues along fence line and river to exit on Kaitoke road – easy 1615m
Pauri – grade 2/3
Continue riding along the road towards Lakelands entrance (where further parking is available). Ride 210m on the track alongside the fence to the right of the entrance until you arrive at the park area. Lakelands is private land and riders must stay on the track.
The MTB park is narrow and long and abuts both Lakes Wiritoa and Pauri and the wetland in-between. It is planted in pine trees and has two areas of native plantings. There are 5.8km of tracks which range from easy to intermediate, mostly suitable for young kids and families.
The tracks are numbered according to the best route, which crosses the length of the park twice in each direction. Trails are named and colour coded.
- Alcatraz (yellow) – intermediate – ride along the fence line finishing in native bush on Lake Rd which is a public right of way. 600m
- Katipo (red) – intermediate loop finishing back at Lake Rd. 690m
- Lakes View (purple) – turn right along road (70m) to reach loop with fabulous lake views and bush back to Lake Rd. Intermediate or easy shorter bush loop. 820m
- Dragon Wiggles (blue) – easy. Return along road (70m) then fun wiggles to:
- Dragon Ridge (blue) – intermediate. Moderate hills and great roller coaster back to entrance gate. 880m
- Pauri (pink) – easy along flats and Pauri Rd then up onto side of ridge going back onto Pauri Rd. Two optional loops – Flying Fox (harder) and Magic Carpet (easy) 1175m
- Jungle Jinx (green) – easy, joining up with Pauri Rd (easy) then onto:
- Jungle Juju (green) – easy. Long figure of 8 option along Juju Lake Side and return, then low ridge with great views, finishing ride back at start. 1615m
Five easy loops are separately identified with white road marker poles for kids and novices. Each consecutive loop is a longer ride, with the last two at the far end of the park. Pauri Rd (570m) goes from the entrance gate through to Lake Rd which comes off opposite the prison through a locked gate.
Loop 1: 250m
Follow Pauri (pink) and turn left by crocodile at white marker pole to complete short loop.
Loop 2: 550m
Follow Pauri (pink) and follow white marker pole at Pauri Rd junction to loop back to start along end of Dragon.
Loop 3: 950m
Follow Pauri (pink) to white marker pole along Pauri Rd and turn sharp left to follow Jungle Juju to start.
Follow Pauri Rd all the way to Lake Rd (570m) for loops 4 & 5,
Loop 4: Loop section 260m
Turn right onto Dragon Wiggles and enjoy practising those corners before exiting back onto Pauri Rd. (Total 1300m back at start)
Loop 5: Loop section 340m
Turn left and ride 70m to Lakes View. Follow trail and turn left at white pole just before hill to complete bush loop back to Lake Rd. (Total 1480m back at start)