Cycling & Mountain Biking

Rotorua is a world-famous mountain biking haven and home to Crankworx

There’s a very good reason Rotorua was chosen as the first Crankworx home outside its Canadian birthplace: there’s dirt gold on these hills. 

The annual mountain biking festival and world competition first came to Rotorua in 2015 and lured the best of the best riders to compete for world titles in a variety of downhill and trick events on Mt Ngongotahā. The week-long Crankworx Rotorua, to be held 1-7 November 2020, is an incredible festival for competitors and spectators alike. 

At the opposite end of town, another world-renowned network of mountain bike trails awaits. Whakarewarewa Forest, aka “the Redwoods Forest”, contains nearly 200 kilometres of expertly built trails crafted to suit everyone, from absolute beginners (there’s even a kids’ loop, great for working out any pre-ride wobbles) through to extreme downhill competitors, and for any age and fitness level.

We don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but 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. 

If you’re lacking gear but want to see what all the fuss is about, Rotorua is home to more than our fair share of quality bike shops, making it easy to hire what you need and get first-hand trail advice. Give it a whirl.

Other well-beaten tracks

Skyline Rotorua is home to New Zealand’s first all-season Gondola-assisted mountain bike lift park, allowing you to access world-class downhill mountain biking. The site of Crankworx Rotorua and UCI World MTB events, Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park’s 8.5-kilometre network has a variety of trails ranging from Grade 3 to 5. 

Other top destinations for mountain bikers are Rainbow Mountain, Moerangi Track, Western Okataina Walkway, the Timber Trail and Whirinaki Forest Trails. All are excellent trails in individual ways, so it might be tough to pick and choose. Have a look at the RideNZ site for helpful information to help you to pare down your list – if you must.


Lest you think we favour only bikes with dual suspension and luggy, dirt-loving tyres, we can reassure you there are other two-wheeled options you can use to see the sights. 

Cruiser bikes and e-bikes are popular ways to cruise the streets in comfort and style, all offering entertaining, informative guided tours of Rotorua. 

If you’re a cycling enthusiast and looking to give the legs and lungs a solid workout, riding Te Ara Ahi Thermal by Bike is a great option and it takes you past geothermal areas, beautiful lakes and forests, and significant historical and cultural sites.

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Adventurers Travel Company

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Adventurers is a specialist travel agency, creating custom adventures in Rotorua and throughout New Zealand. We are unique in what we do. We use our own knowledge of mountain biking, cycling and hiking to organise or help you organise, an exceptional holiday doing what you love outdoors.

Lake Tikitapu - Blue Lake

Cycling & Mountain Biking, East

Lake Tikitapu, affectionately known as Blue Lake, is a local favourite and well known to regular visitors to Rotorua.

$35 NZD
Happy Ewe Cycle Tours

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Happy Ewe Cycle Tours provides a guided bicycle adventure around central Rotorua. You'll ride at your own leisurely pace to 27 key historical, geothermal and cultural sights.

$376 NZD
HeliBike Rotorua

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Helicopter travel with adventure activities in New Zealand bush.

Hemo Gorge Trail - Te Ara Ahi

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Hemo Gorge Trail is two-way, Grade 2, shared trail that takes cyclists and walkers off SH5 for access to the Waipa Mountain Biking car park. It is part of the Te Ara Ahi cycleway that continues to Rainbow Mountain. The trail is 1.5km from the Te Puia carpark to the Waipa car park (actual trail length to Waipa trailhead: 1.5km).

$25 NZD
Te Ara Ahi Bike Transport - Thermal Land Shuttle

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Based on our local knowledge and know-how, we provide transport services and tours for you (and your bikes) around Rotorua and the wider North Island.

Planet Bike Mountain Biking

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Planet Bike offers freedom bike hire, mountain bike tours for first timers to expert, bike fixes, Bike Bitz'n spares, trail information & maps, as well as 'Coffee 2 go'. Planet Bike are principal sponsors of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club.

$34 NZD
Skyline Mountain Bike Park

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Skyline Rotorua is home to New Zealand's first year-round Gondola assisted bike lift, accessing world-class downhill mountain biking.

Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Explore an amazing geothermal area where threatened bird populations make their home.

$299 NZD
New Zealand Mountain Biking - Whirinaki Forest

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Come with us and ride through some of New Zealand's best ancient native forest on meandering mountain bike trails. This full day trip includes guide and transport, food, and bike hire. We can take it nice and easy close to the road, or we can go all out and fly deep into the heart of the Whirinaki!

$35 NZD
Freestyle Airbag - Velocity Valley

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Now you can have a crack at your first bike backflip without a care in the world thanks to Velocity Valley's Freestyle Airbag.

Mountain Bike Rotorua

Cycling & Mountain Biking, Central

Mountain Bike Rotorua is your gateway to Whakarewarewa Forest, the stunning jewel in the crown of the adventure destination that is Rotorua. Located in the forest itself, the friendly team here at the MBR base has everything you need to get biking.