Rotorua is one of the world’s best all-year mountain biking destinations and with so many people out riding the trails, we thought it might be helpful to share a few guidelines on how everyone can enjoy the forest together.
10: Read and understand the trail grades, as set out by Department of Conservation, so you know if you are ready to ride that trail. Don’t be over ambitious!
1: Pass slower riders with caution and kindness; remember, they were there first and have the right of way. When you're the faster rider and come up behind others on the trails, say hello and clearly call out, "On your right!" or "On your left!" if you’re going to pass them on the right or left. Also let them know how many more riders are behind you and likely to also pass them. Smile a lot. Say thanks.
2: If you need to stop on the trail for refreshments, to sort out your bike, or take a photo, move yourself and bike well off the trail and out of the way of others riding through. This is safer for everyone.
3: Say "Hi" or "Kia ora!" to walkers, runners and other forest users.
4: Remember that a lot of work has gone into creating these trails – mostly by volunteers and not-for-profit organisations – so please try to leave the trails and forest better than you found them.
5: Do not litter in the beautiful forest – take all rubbish out with you. The trails are part of our home and we love sharing them; we ask that they be treated with the respect they deserve.
6: Please respect the area, the land and the iwi owners. The forest is a commercial operation and we're lucky to have free access.
7: If you’re new to the forest it’s always good to learn the trails on the map, plan a route, and note where water supplies are. It's also a good idea to add the number for the First Response Unit to your phone: 0800 WHAKA 1 (0800 942 521).
8: Follow instructoins on signage. Do not ride the wrong way on a trail. Entrances and exit points are clearly marked, and when trails are marked as one way only, it's for safety reasons.
9: Do not ride closed trails. Ever.
In Whakarewarewa Forest, we are one community of riders, sharing the trails with each other. Our awesome trails cater to all levels of ability and experience. If everyone follows these simple guidelines, we can all enjoy the same space at our own speed.
The trails in Whakarewarewa Forest are maintained by Rotorua Trails Trust. If you enjoy your ride, please consider making a donation, so the trails can be kept in tip-top shape next time you visit.
If you're coming from out of town, please join the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club or make a koha to the First Response Unit. This rescue service is funded by the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and is a vital part of what makes it safe for all riders to experience the trails. Contribute a little or a lot, it’s always very much appreciated, and you never know, the next life they save could be yours.
Photographer: Graeme Murray