Southwest of Taupo, the 42 Traverse Route (aka Tongariro Forest Crossing) is a 42km route along old forest logging roads in the Tongariro Forest. You can expect to find downhills, uphills and river crossings. There are vistas across this volcanic terrain and views of the Canyon Valley.
Starting at Kapoors Road, Taurewa on Highway 47, the trail is around 41 kilometres long with an overall descent of 570 metres. The ground varies from gravel to mud. About two-thirds of the route is 4WD track.
To reach the trailhead from National Park village on SH4, head northeast on SH47 for 15.1km. Turn left heading west on dirt Kapoors Road for 6.1km (stay to the left) to official trailhead (limited parking). Note, many people start the 42 Traverse from SH47 and ride in the 6.1km.
To reach the trailhead from Turangi in the north, head southwest on SH47 to the intersection with SH46. Continue south in SH47 for 9.6km. Turn right heading west on dirt Kapoors Road for 6.1km (stay to the left) to official trailhead (limited parking). Note, many people start the 42 Traverse from SH47 and ride in the 6.1km.
The first couple kilometers from SH47 were freshly logged in 2009.
Note: The 42 Traverse is only open to 4WD vehicles during the summer starting December 1st.
Overall, 42 Traverse is the 1st most popular dirt bike trail of all 41 dirt biking rides in New Zealand.