Undisputedly the mountain biking capital of New Zealand, Rotorua has more kilometres of mountain biking trails than any other city in the country.
The vibrant cycling culture of Rotorua is evident by the 20-plus bike shops around town, the numerous restaurants and cafés that cater to riders (check out our story here on bike-friendly eateries) and even their four-legged trail buddies, and the ever-increasing number of world-class mountain bike trails being built year after year.
Discover our city’s hidden gems
We think seeing the city and all it has to offer from your bike has got to be the best way to see it all. On foot is great, too, but by bike you can see even more in less time. Do it on your own along the 23.7km of shared walking-cycling CyWay, or with a guide to show you the most ’gram-worthy spots.
To see the city, Happy Ewe Cycle Tours is a great go-to. Owner-operator Roger was born and raised in Rotorua and knows all the hidden gems that most people miss. Happy Ewe’s three-hour tours are mostly off road (and mostly flat) and include nearly 30 sites around town, with plenty of history, and stops along the way to capture the scenery. The tour is suitable for all ages, includes bike hire, and child seats and tandem trailers for children are available.
Daily tours with MDA Experiences include a scenic ride around the central business district, taking in areas of significance and learning the geographical and cultural history of the inner city.
Go further for longerElectric bikes are all the rage these days, not just for commuting, but for sightseeing and even mountain biking.
Hire an e-bike – both commuters and trail versions are available – so you can explore further for longer. And they sure make a hard slog up a hill a heck of a lot easier!
Companies like Electric Bike Rotorua, The Volcano Rock Electric Bike Factory and others make it easy to find your perfect mount to enjoy during your visit.
Ride the famous forest or NZ’s only Gravity ParkHeading to Rotorua for mountain biking is an obvious choice when you’re looking for, well, choices.
With nearly 200km of purpose-built trails in Whakarewarewa Forest, there are trails for everyone, from beginner to seasoned experts, cruisey to extreme downhill, not-so-fit to pro athlete. There’s even a kid’s loop that’s not only great for the littlies but also a perfect warm-up for newbies.
Riding is always free and the trails are always open. Seriously, there’s no excuse not to try it!
Skyline Rotorua is home to New Zealand’s first all-season Gondola-assisted MTB bike park, allowing you to access 11 world-class downhill mountain biking trails on Mt Ngongotahā at intermediate, advanced and expert-only levels. You can buy one, 15 or 40 Gondola trips up the mountain, to ride as much or as little as you can fit into your day, and bikes can be hired from Skyline if you didn’t bring your own.
A spectacular event for bike loversPhoto by Kike Abelleira
This year, for the first time ever, Crankworx Rotorua becomes the final stop of the Crankworx World Tour. That means we’ll not only see the best of the best compete for overall Crankworx titles, but we’ll get to witness the King and Queen of Crankworx crowned at the final event of the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) season.
If you haven’t experienced the Crankworx festival, start planning your visit now because this is one epic, energy-filled, trick-fuelled, bike-centric event you don’t want to miss.