10 Great Rotorua Rides

Mountain bike trails around Rotorua

There's a trail for everyone! 

Discover some of the great bike trails that Rotorua has to offer, from beginner trails to expert tracks.  

Ride year-round through some of New Zealand's most incredible landscapes.

1. Western Ōkataina Walkway

19.1 km, Grade 3. This shared-use track through the Lake Ōkataina Scenic Reserve can be ridden in either direction. Catch your breath as you enjoy amazing views of Rotorua’s lakes followed by an exhilarating downhill to the Outdoor Education Centre. We recommend entering this trail from the car park at Millar Road, Lake Ōkareka.

2. Skyline Mountain Bike Park

6 trails in an 8.5 km trail network, Grades 2 – 5. Rotorua is home to New Zealand’s first year-round gondola-assisted bike lift providing access to world-class downhill mountain biking. From a height of 532m, visitors can access six different trails varying from Grades 2 to 5. The Skyline Mountain Bike Park can be accessed from Fairy Springs Road.

3. Hot X Buns

2.7 km, Grade 4. It’s a demanding trip up Direct Road to get to the track start but it’s worth it for the complex downhill ride. Rated Grade 4, this track is relatively steep with some sharp edges. Catch a shuttle from Waipa Mill car park to get close to the action.

4. Tokorangi

1.2 km, Grade 3. Opened in 2012, this trail was built by the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club with permission from Ngāti Whakaue. The trail starts on the Tokorangi ridge and flows from a logged area into lush native bush. Enjoy a fast and flowing track. Make your way to the Waipa car park for maps of the Whakarewarewa MTB trail network.

5. The Dipper

2.5 km, Grade 2. Starting off Pohaturoa Rd near the intersection of Nursery Road, this is an iconic Whakarewarewa trail accessed from the Waipa Mill car park. Mostly flat with some good berms, this is a great introduction to riding for first timers and families. Built in 1994, the track was remodelled in 2011 by the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club.

6. Tuhoto Ariki Trail

5 km, Grade 4. Specifically designed as a dual use track through native bush for both riders and walkers to enjoy. Named after a respected Tuhourangi tohunga (priest) who predicted the Tarawera eruption in 1886, this trail starts from the highest point in the Whakarewarewa Forest at 765m. Catch a shuttle from the Waipa car park (fee applies) or make your way to the summit by riding Moerangi Road and turning into Tawa Road.

7. Hatupatu

1 km, Grade 5. Recommended for MTB experts, this track descends a total of 160m and is a Grade 5 due to its off-camber benching and roots. This is a challenging ride for lovers of technical trails. Hatupatu was a famous warrior who hunted in this area made famous through Māori legends. Access Hatupatu from the Tuhoto Ariki trail. Full map of Whakarewarewa Forest trails available from the Waipa car park.

8. Split Enz

2.4 km, Grade 3. Split Enz is just one of the tracks that connect to form an epic MTB loop. Linking Tuhoto Ariki to Pondy New, this Grade 3 track was first opened in 2007. This track can be ridden after finishing either Tuhoto Ariki or Hatupatu. Follow Moerangi Road southward for 1.5km and find the entrance on the right.

9. Te Ara Ahi

48 km, Grade 3. Part of the National Cycle Trail, Te Ara Ahi (thermal by bike) takes riders from Rotorua CBD through a unique geothermal field with bubbling mud pools and spectacular geysers. A range of tourism ventures are accessed on the way plus the fantastic Rainbow Mountain MTB loop. The trail starts from the CBD, at the arches opposite the Prince's Gate Hotel and ends at Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

10. Rainbow Mountain Loop

7 km. The Rainbow Mountain loop is formed by a series of short tracks which join to form a circuit. Te Tihi o Ruru/Summit Track is a challenging uphill ride that will take you 743m up Maunga Kakaramea with stunning 360° views at the summit. From here enjoy the exhilarating downhill Te Ranga MTB track to Kerosene Creek. To get there, ride Te Ara Ahi from the CBD or park your car in the Rainbow Mountain car park on SH5.

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