We recently got an enquiry from a visitor planning to stay at the Blue Lake Holiday Park, and looking to do a 3-4 hour ride.
We pointed him at The Forest Loop - that is a simple solution - but then we banged this loop out for him. I realised I had never actually done this exact lap, so i went and did it. If you want a decent 30 kilometres of flowy trail with no real awkward bits, here you go!
Starting at the carpark called Putake-O-Tawa o Tarawera Road, head out through the gate at far end from entrance, take slightly right turning road to Te Pou Korupu Return trail. You will find on left about 50m along road.
Follow to end, which is start of Apumoana, a gentle climbing trail.
At top, turn left into Te Poaka - this is awesome, watch your speed. Not tech, amazing trail.
At end you are in a big crossroads, always riders hanging out. You can get water.
Find Be Rude Not To at eastern side of crossroad clearing.
Follow to end, cross the road into Mad If You Don’t.
At end, head straight across grassy area and follow trail along stream - may not be signposted but it is easy to find.
Lovely little trail along stream, also used by walkers, dogs etc - Pay attention.
At end its a bit confusing but near the trail exit is a trail map sign board at a crossroads - you want to take the road heading south called Reservoir Rd - you only go about 50m to the entrance to Yellow Brick Rd trail. Follow that to end. Turn left up the road you will find, and follow to Pondy Elevator.
Take that to top, turn rat and left again onto Moerangi Rd, a long climb.
At the top, take Time Warp on left, which gets you to Split Enz. An amazingly long downhill gets you to Roller Coaster, and eventually the end of Reservoir Rd. Turn right up Hill Rd and there you will see the bus stop for the Shuttle Bus service. If you are as tired as I would be by this point, you can jump a bus to the top of the forest, and take Eagle vs Shark back to Putake O Tawa carpark. If you are ridiculously fit you can ride up Hill Rd, staying left all the way will get you eventually to Frontal Lobotomy and Eagle vs Shark.