The Camelbak Ruapehu Express will be back in Tongariro National Park on 22 February 2020. This event gives mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers a great opportunity to see the best of the region while enjoying some healthy competition in their chosen field.
Sporting events in Tongariro National Park are always some of the most challenging in the country and The Camelbak Ruapehu Express is no exception. With the region’s unpredictable, volcanic terrain, this event is a true test of endurance and dedication.
There are several different categories for participants to choose from when entering this event. Whether you’re an avid competitor or you simply want to experience the remarkable trails within this event, each person can take on the Camelbak Ruapehu Express however they wish.
Camelbak Ruapehu Express categories
The mountain biking category is divided into three different sections based on distance. The 25km, 60km and 80km all have a different starting point, but they all finish in Ohakune township.
Express 25 course
This is the perfect opportunity for novice riders to take on something a little more challenging. Fun and achievable, this trail begins at the Kariori Forest and traverses through the Rangataua Native Forest before finishing in Ohakune.
With plenty of fast descents and undulating tracks, this is a good place to start for riders who want to challenge themselves further in years to come.
Express 60 course
The 60km track is the most popular of the mountain biking options. Starting at Tukino Ski Field Road, riders enjoy a 36km downhill ride at first, traversing though dessert-like army trails and onto the back road of Karioi Forest. Once through the forest, Express 60 riders will join up with Express 25 riders to make their way through the Rangataua Native Forest before finishing up in Ohakune.
If you consider yourself to be an advanced rider but you haven’t attempted this event before, the Express 60 is a great option for you.
Express 80 course
The epic Express 80 is the most challenging but most impressive course in the mountain biking category. Riders in the Express 80 have a competitive streak and a desire to challenge their riding abilities. This trail allows riders to discover a vast amount of Tongariro’s riding terrain as they enjoy a thrilling descent from the top of Tukino Ski Field down to the baron army trails where they join the Express 60 riders. Riders will then make their way through the Karioi Forest, Rangataua Native Forest before finishing alongside riders at Ohakune Township.
For even the most advanced mountain bikers, this course won’t come easy. Each participant will need to prepare well for this event.
If you’re looking at doing the Express 80, start training now!
Old Coach Road Trail Run/Walk
The Old Coach Road is a historical landmark in Tongariro National Park with a long history dating back to the days of early New Zealand settlers. This feat of construction is eerily apparent as you pass through the area and see what’s left of the railway today. With overgrown native bush lining the tracks, runners and walkers will be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the Old Coach Road.
There are two categories that runners and walkers can enter, including a 16km option and a 21km option. While this is a competitive event, participants are welcome to go at their own pace.
The run/walk begins at Horopito and finishes alongside the mountain bikers at Ohakune Township. Participants need to prepare themselves for a mix of terrain, including cobbled tracks, slippery downhill trails, undulating farmland and forest.
Running the Ohakune Old Coach Road is a trail running experience like no other. With views of Tongariro National Park’s incredible landscape, running through this historical piece of land will stay in your memory forever.
In recent years, the Camelbak Ruapehu Express has left competitors wanting more. Many people enter over consecutive years to challenge themselves once again and to enjoy their time in Tongariro National Park the best way they know how.
Sporting events in Tongariro National Park are always something special and we know that this year’s Camelbak Ruapehu Express will be one to remember. If you’re thinking about entering this event, you’d better get cracking as spaces are filling fast.
At the end of the challenge, head back to The Park Hotel for a soak in one of our outdoor hot tubs and a bite to eat at our on-site Spiral Restaurant and Bar. As we’re located in the heart of Tongariro National Park, the starting and finishing points of the Camelbak Ruapehu Express are within convenient distances from our accommodation.
We love hearing stories from our guests who come to the region to take part in events like the Camelbak Ruapehu Express. If you’re entering this amazing event in 2020, call us today to book your stay at The Park Hotel.