Gear up for a great ride in Rotorua

Whether you have your own bike, have no bike, keen try mountain biking or e-biking, in Rotorua it’s easy-as to enjoy time on two wheels.

The vibrant mountain biking culture of Rotorua is evident by the dozen or so bike shops around town, the numerous restaurants, cafés and even hotels that cater to riders (and even their four-legged trail buddies), and the 200-plus kilometres of world-class mountain bike trails that continue to evolve year after year.

Have bike, need bike-friendly accommodation?

From backpackers and motels to B&Bs and  the five-star Pullman Rotorua, many accommodation providers cater to the mountain bikers who come to ride our dirt gold. Here are just a few located within the city – and just a 10-minute or less bike ride to Whakarewarewa Forest.

Rock Solid Backpackers, located in the city centre, offers secure bike storage (and luggage storage too).

Aura Accommodation is in the city centre too, and offers secure bike storage and cleaning station, trail maps and a short ride to the forest.

If one of your best trail mates is furry with four legs, book the Pampered Pet Package at JetPark Hotel Rotorua for a pet-friendly room. Jet Park has a bike wash and storage options, too.

Distinction Rotorua boasts a purpose-built individual locker bike storage system that features wall brackets with chains and padlocks and surveillance camera. This bike storage system is the first of its kind at a Rotorua hotel and is complimentary for guests.

You’ll also find a large map of the forest that details the mounatin bike trail network, as well as a complimentary bike wash area, ideal for international guests needing to clean bikes in order to clear customs at the airport before heading home.

The Rydges Rotorua provides free secure bike lock-up and a bike wash onsite.

The city’s only five-star hotel, Pullman Rotorua, is located in the city centre and provides secure storage for your bikes.

Rest assured, if you need your bike serviced or repaired while you’re here, there are plenty of bike shops in town to get you sorted and rolling again.

Need a bike?

There are a few Rotorua companies who’ve been in the bike hire business for decades. With the latest gear and professional expertise, their trail knowledge, and their riding experience, they’re your go-to for renting mountain bikes or electric mountain bikes by the hour or day.
Guides are available, too, perfect if you’d like to leave the navigation to someone else and learn a bit about Rotorua’s trails and history while you ride.
Mountain Bike Rotorua has two main locations: one at the Waipa mountain biking hub off State Highway 5, and one at Te Pūtake o Tawa carpark on Tarawera Road. Booking bikes can be easily done online.
Planet Bike is located in Whakarewarewa Forest, a bit further down the road from the Waipa mountain bike hub. Contact them directly to reserve your bikes.
Electric Bike Rotorua offers e-cruisers and e-mountain bikes for rent, perfect for eco-touring around town at your own pace, or experiencing the amazing mountain biking trails.
We highly recommend reserving bikes in advance.

Where to bike

In 2019 the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) renewed Rotorua’s four-year status as being one of the world’s best mountain biking destinations with their most prestigious gold-level Ride Centre™ status. Only five other locations worldwide have earned this top award, and only one of those is in New Zealand, in Nelson.

This world-renowned network of mountain bike trails in Whakarewarewa Forest consists of expertly built trails crafted to suit everyone, from absolute beginners through to extreme downhill competitors, and for any age and fitness level. There’s even a kids’ loop, and we highly recommend it for anyone, regardless of age, as it’s fantastic for working out any pre-ride wobbles.

Whakarewarewa Forest is also the home to New Zealand’s newest Cycle Trail Great Ride, Whakarewarewa Forest Loop. The 33km trail takes riders through some of the iconic features that Rotorua mountain biking is renowned for: fun trails, Māori culture, towering California redwood trees, geothermal activity and stunning views.
Being mostly a Grade 2 track, with a couple of Grade 3 sections mixed in, the Forest Loop was designed to be accessible for people of almost all ages and fitness levels, as long as you're confident riders.

For a list of mountain bike trails that are well suited for beginners and families, check out this story.

Skyline Rotorua is home to New Zealand’s first all-season Gondola-assisted MTB Bike Park (pictured above), 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.

Don't forget to refuel

All this riding is bound to work up a mean appetite and thirst that require attention STAT. We put together a guide to some of Rotorua’s best bike-friendly spots are for appeasing hungry, parched cyclists.

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