2023 UpdateThe Ruapehu Express event will not be held in 2024 and is on hold until further notice

MTB, RUN or WALK some of the coolest terrain on the planet!


The Ruapehu Express is an off road run, walk and mountain bike event that has been held in Ohakune since 2016. 

Runners, mountain bikers and their bikes are transported by buses and trucks to outlying locations to make their way back to home base to the Junction in Ohakune.  The event involves the collaboration of over 8 landowners and managers to create the epic cross country course enjoyed by around 1000 people each year.

 Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 and not being able to plan ahead, the Event Organisers, the Ohakune Events Charitable Trust, have decided that they cannot run the Ruapehu Express event in February 2021.

 The Events Trust and Event Manager Nick Reader would like to extend their sincere appreciation to all of the people who have made the event possible over the past five years.  The Trust will consider the situation with a possibility of reinstating the Ruapehu Express event in 2022.

 All enquiries to Nick Reader – 021 632721, nick@elementevents.co.nz


The 'Express' involves a Mountain bike event and a separate running/walking event in the foothills of Mt Ruapehu. Each event has a different course and start line, but share a finish in the mountain side township of Ohakune - very conveniently beside the Powderhorn bar and restaurant.  One of the key features of the MTB events are access to spectacular private land that can only be accessed once per year by doing the Ruapehu Express.

Yes it's a race for some, but you are welcome to just cruise if you want and take in the spectacular scenery...

The 60km and 80km Mountain Bike events are classic cross-country point to point rides mostly across private land with exclusive access for this event only! Mountain Bikers start on the Tukino Ski field Road and are treated to a huge variety of terrain and trails including leg 1: NZ Army tussock/desert landscape LAV tracks, leg 2: the myriad of trails in the Karioi pine forest which wraps around the Whangaehu and Wahianoa Rivers, leg 3: the beautiful native Rangataua forest, leg 4: a smattering of farm land and quick dash to Ohakune on the tar sealed roads.

There is also a shorter 25km MTB event for those wanting an easier challenge. Riders start mid way though the Karioi forest, then wind their way through the Rangataua native forest ending with a glide down to the finish line at Ohakune.

The views you will encounter along the way are literally straight out of a film set, especially the majestic Mount Ruapehu which flanks the right side of the course.

Runners and walkers have an equally scenic and stunning event (just slightly shorter), starting at Horopito and finishing in Ohakune. Runners and walkers take on the scenic & historic Old Coach Road plus extra special forest and farm trails to complete either a half marathon or the Old Coach Road 16km trail. Sights along the way include the Hapuawhenua viaduct and Mt Ruapehu. The Old Coach road was a connection that linked the unfinished Main trunk railway line in the past and has been brought back into life as a national cycle and walkway. Run or walk, race or cruise, it's up to you.

Here is an awesome video of this year's race produced by our photo/video guru Martyn Davies.


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