“One of the North Island's premier tracks through one of the most remote areas in New Zealand.”
— Peter Blakeman
River/Creek · Views
The route is popular for a range of outdoor recreation activities: mountain biking, quad and trail biking, four wheel driving (summer only), horse riding, fishing, hunting and hiking. 4WD vehicles are not permitted in the winter - in 2016, from 15 March to 30 November. 4WD vehicles are not permitted off the 42 Traverse route.
The 42 Traverse follows an old logging road for much of its duration through what was previously known as State Forest 42. It travels through some of the most remote land in New Zealand.
Although the track is primarily a vehicle trail with an overall descent of 520 meters, it is usually rather rutted making it enjoyable for runners that prefer something different. However, it is not technical and would be achievable by most runners with good fitness.
Given the length of the trail, it is often completed as an out-and-back along portions of the trail or by shuttling a car to the end of the trail. Be prepared for a muddy trail after rainfall. There are also a few river crossings along the route.
The 42 Traverse covers an extremely remote sub-alpine part of New Zealand where the weather can change fast. There are very few alternative ways out once you reach the Tongariro Forest, so plan your run carefully. There is no mobile phone coverage for most of the track.
The start of the 42 Traverse is at the junction of Kapoors Road and State Hwy 47, which is 18 km north of National Park Village. It’s well-marked along the way with dark green posts near most intersections. The trail ends with a steep climb to the small town of Owhango, on State Hwy 4.
The views of the volcanic plateau are phenomenal including Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies), Mt Ruapehu, and Mt Tongariro.