10 Great Rotorua Mountain Bike Rides

10 Great Rotorua Mountain Bike Rides

This is just a taste of the epic mountain biking to be discovered here in Rotorua. With Grades 1 (flat, smooth trails suitable for any rider) to Grade 5 (technically challenging - for the hardcore MTBiker) this really is mountain bike heaven! Find out more about the trails below in the DOC brochure 10 Great Rotorua Rides or visit www.riderotorua.com for everything you need to know about riding the some of the world's best trails.

1 Western Okataina Trail

This dual use track through the Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve can be ridden in either direction. Catch your breath as you enjoy amazing views of Rotorua’s lakes followed by an exhilarating downhill to the Outdoor Education Centre. We recommend entering this trail from the car park at Millar Road, Lake Ōkareka.

2 Hot X Buns

It’s a demanding trip up Direct Road to get to the track start but it’s worth it for the complex downhill ride. Rated grade 4, this track is relatively steep with some sharp edges. Catch a shuttle from Waipa Mill car park to get close to the action.

3 The Dipper

Starting off Pohaturoa Rd near the intersection of Nursery Road, this is an iconic Whakarewarewa Forest trail accessed from the Waipa Mill car park. Mostly flat with some good berms, this is a great introduction to riding for first timers and families. Built in 1994, the track was remodelled in 2011 by the Rotorua Mountain Biking Club.

4 Skyline Gravity Bike Park

Rotorua is now home to New Zealand’s first year-round gondola-assisted bike lift providing access to world-class downhill mountain biking. From a height of 532 m, visitors can access 6 different trails varying from grades 2 – 5. The Skyline Gravity Park can be accessed from Skyline Rotorua on Fairy Springs Road. Fees apply.

5 Tokorangi

Opened in 2012, this trail was built by the Rotorua Mountain Biking Club with permission from Ngāti Whakaue. The trail starts on the Tokorangi ridge and flows from a logged area into lush native bush. Enjoy a fast and flowing track. Make your way to the Waipa Mill car park or the Redwoods i-site & Visitor Centre for maps of the Whakarewarewa MTB trail network.

6 Tuhoto Ariki Trail

Specifically designed as a dual use track through native bush for both riders and walkers to enjoy. Named after a respected Tuhourangi tohunga (priest) who predicted the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886, this trail starts from the highest point in the Whakarewarewa forest at 765 m. Catch a shuttle from the Waipa Mill car park (fee applies) or make your way to the summit by riding Moerangi Road and turning into Tawa Road.

7 Hatupatu

Recommended for MTB experts, this track descends a total of 160 m and is graded 5 due to its off-camber benching and roots. This is a challenging ride for lovers of technical trails. Hatupatu was a famous warrior who hunted in this area made famous through Māori legends. Access Hatupatu from the Tuhoto Ariki trail. Full map of Whakarewarewa Forest trails available from the Waipa Mill car park and the Redwoods i-site & Visitor Centre 

8 Split ENZ

Split Enz is just one of the tracks that connect to form an epic MTB loop. Linking Tuhoto Ariki to Pondy New, this grade 3 track was first opened in 2007. This track can be ridden after finishing either Tuhoto Ariki or Hatupatu. Follow Moerangi Road southward for 1.5 km and find the entrance on the right.

9 Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop

The Rainbow Mountain MTB loop is formed by a series of short tracks which join to form a circuit. Te Tihi o Ruru/ Summit Track is a challenging uphill ride that will take you 743 m up Maungakakaramea with stunning 360° views at the summit. From here enjoy the exhilarating downhill Te Ranga MTB track to Kerosene Creek for a naturally warm swim. To get there, ride Te Ara Ahi from the CBD or park your car in the Rainbow Mountain car park on SH5.

10 Te ara ahi

Part of the National Cycle Trail, Te Ara Ahi (thermal by bike) takes riders from Rotorua CBD through a unique geothermal field with bubbling mud pools and spectacular geysers. A range of tourism ventures are accessed on the way plus the fantastic Rainbow Mountain MTB loop. The trail starts from the CBD, at the arches opposite the Princes Gate Hotel  and ends at Waikite Hot Pools.