WARNING: If you’ve been tuning in to Red Bull TV to watch the epic Crankworx mountain biking competitors ride, whip, and tackle jumps, tricks and flips while on two wheels, you may experience side effects.
One of those side effects will be the urge to get out your own bike and head to the mountain bike trails in Whakarewarewa Forest. And, after some time on the gold-level trails, the next side effect commonly experienced is a serious thirst and hunger.
Thankfully, Rotorua has a great selection of bike-friendly places to satisfy your après-mountain bike ride cravings near the trail network’s various entrances.
South side, Waipa carparkTrail Kitchen
Relative newcomer to the Waipa Mountain Bike Park is Trail Kitchen, a great place for a pre-ride Jungle Coffee and hearty breakfast (until 11am) if you need something to kick you into gear. Lunch on pizzas, gourmet burgers, sandwiches, pies, slices and more until 3pm. You can count on fast, friendly service, and dine inside or out with views of the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest.
Where: 9/33 Waipa State Mill Road, Waipa Mountain Bike Park
Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua
Also tucked along the edge of Whakarewarewa Forest and in the heart of mountain biking mecca, you’ll find an oasis for post-ride refreshments. Look for Secret Spot’s secret mountain bike entrance (to the right of the waterfall) where you can lock up the bikes. Then head inside to choose from Good George craft beers and ciders, premium sodas, and tea or coffee. Got the munchies? No worries, they’ve got all your French pastry and hearty pie requirements sorted.
Tired feet? A Secret Spot Shinny Dip, aka foot spa, is free with any beverage purchased. Better still, request a soak in your own cedar hot tub and enjoy tub-side service at the press of a button. Swim gear, towels and lockers are available to hire on site.
Where: 13/33 Waipa State Mill Road, Waipa Mountain Bike Park
East side, along Tarawera RoadGood Eastern Taphouse
Handily located a stone’s throw from Whakarewarewa Forest, you can roll down Longmile Road and be at the Good Eastern Taphouse, enjoying your first beer or cider within minutes. Hungry? Fill your belly with delicious food. (Side note: Their scrummy burgers deserve their own blog post!) Have no fear about bike parking, there’s a large, covered patio with plenty of space and, bonus, your trail dog is welcome here too.
Where: Corner of Te Ngae and Tarawera roads
Our newest eatery, Eastwood is the perfect spot for every mountain biker, both in terms of the handy-dandy location and the ambiance. Head left into the Scion complex at the bottom of Nursery Road, next to Dodzy’s Skill Park, and you’re sorted! Park up, there are heaps of spots. First, marvel at the gorgeous architecture, then take your pick: You can dine inside, or alfresco on the terrace.
The menu includes cooked breakfasts, wood-fired pizzas to die for, a loaded food cabinet, not to mention all the bevvies for your MTB crew. Your furry little trail companion is also most welcome.
Where: end of Longmile Road, on the Scion campus
BurgerFuel – Redwood Centre
You know what they say: Life is too short to eat bad burgers! Luckily, the BurgerFuel crew at the Redwood Centre is a well-oiled machine. With built-fresh gourmet burgers served up in a great atmosphere, here you can roll in on your bike and satisfy your post-ride cravings. There’s no alcohol license, admittedly, but word on the street is that their milkshakes are some of the best in town. There’s loads of space to park up your bike too, easy as!
Address: 5 Tarawera Road, Redwood Centre