ONGARUE VILLAGE - THE OLD WAY NZ USED TO LIVE
Updated: Oct 5, 2019
The Timber Trail Centre is located in the beautiful and peaceful village of Ongarue. This pace is slow and the community live the way NZ’ers did in the old days. It also has a long and proud history and in the days before the Cycleway forest was protected it had a population of 3,500 population serviced one of the largest timber milling companies in southern hemisphere. Today our little village has about 40 residents. The town’s history has been extensively chronicled in a moving 500 page book, entitled “Ongarue: a Place of the Heart”, copies of which can be found at the Timber Trail Centre.
Key assets of the village include: ● a camp site with toilets and picnic table ● a primary school and a swimming pool ● a Bowling Club Social Centre ● a Rugby Club (currently under renovation) ● two facilities where meals can be purchased ● a Maori Marae (community meeting centre) ● a Catholic Church (currently not used) ● a century-old saleyard which auctions up to 15,000 sheep over two days every year ● a magnificant 75 metre swimming hole, with beach and plenty of trout ... ● and NZ’s smallest jail, with room for only two prisoners!
The only accommodation available in Ongarue is the Timber Trail Centre and Flashpackers (across the road). Remi Rensen, who runs the latter also offers rooms, cycle hire/transport, beverages and food.
Ongarue is also the official end point of the magnificent Timber Trail Cycleway (see earlier blog), and has lots of other adventures and attractions nearby for those who aren’t cyclists:
● NZ’s largest Alpaca Farm, with tourists visiting from all around the world.
● Epic Cycles has recently established its base just outside the village and set up a luxury “glamping site” for cyclists in the middle of the forest
● Forgotten World Adventures, which operates from a base near us and offers half day to three day adventures on railway carts all the way to Mt Taranaki, helicopter rides and the longest jet-boat ride in the Southern Hemisphere down the great Whanganui River. This innovative company has recently been voted NZ’s top tourist operator of the year in its category.
● Close by is a beautiful short walk through native forest to the undiscovered by spectacular Omaru Falls.
For those who stay in Ongarue, it’s a perfect base for many other adventures in the region too:
● the beautiful Lavender Farm & Café
● the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves
● spectacular kayaking down the Whanganui River
● unrivalled trout fishing at Lake Taupo, NZ’s largest.
● the Mt Ruapehu ski-fields – largest in the southern hemisphere
● and “the Crossing” - a great day walk past live volcanoes, and rated NZ’s second most popular tourist attraction.
For more details on these and other adventures that await you from your base in Ongarue, see our other blog on Things to See & Do.
NZ is a very beautiful country and a lot of that beauty is to be found near us. So while your with us, don't just do the Cycleway - why not explore our beautiful region as well?