The Ultimate Guide To Mountain Biking In Rotorua

The ultimate guide to mountain biking in rotorua

Rotorua is a first class destination for anyone with a passion for mountain biking. Even if you are a beginner, there is no better place to take your first ride than on one of Rotorua’s tracks. You will take in not only the amazing scenery and beauty of New Zealand but have a whole lot of fun along the way. 

There is a track to suit everyone, from adrenaline junkies to beginners which makes mountain biking in Rotorua a fantastic place to visit. And with no shortage of activities, there is bound to be something to suit everyone. If you’re into cycling, this is the place to be.

Asure Palm Court Rotorua has bike cleaning facilities available for our guests to use after a hard day out on the hills. Once you are done cleaning, you can enjoy relaxing in our in-room geothermal spa – perfectly suited to help relieve those tired muscles.

To help you plan the best mountain biking adventure in Rotorua, we have created the ultimate guide with lots of information about our local tracks, equipment stores and more.

And we will add to this list over time, so if you think of anything we have missed … let us know!

Mountain Biking Trails

Rotorua Mountain Biking Trails & Businesses

With Rotorua been the home to Mountain Biking in New Zealand, there are over 80 tracks to ride. Ranging from beginner to Expert, you will find something to suit your expertise.

Here are some great places to find some of the best mountain bike trails around:

1. Skyline Rotorua Mountain Biking

Home of the Dirt Rocks Track – Skyline Rotorua is the home to New Zealand’s first year-round Gondola assisted bike lift.

Skyline Mountain Bike park gives riders easy access to 12km of trails with varying terrain for all abilities.  With 12 trails in all Skyline Mountain Bike ranges from Intermediate, advanced and expert. View the trail map here!

Skyline Mountain Bike is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, bike lift prices start from $32.

Bike rentals are also available and operate from the bottom of the skyline Rotorua terminal.  And if you need help with your bike the Rotorua Bike team are onsite from 9 am daily to help you with your biking needs.

Rental prices for bikes start from $60 per day.

  • Top Elevation: 532m
  • Vertical Rise: 200m
  • Longest Run: 1.8km
  • Trails: 12 runs

You can find Skyline Rotorua at 178 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua or check out their website here.

2. The Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest

Famous for its magnificent stands of towering Californian Coastal Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest is just five minutes drive from the city centre. One of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country, with master crafted trails, unbeatable riding surfaces, well-draining volcanic soils, varying topography, and fantastic scenery. It is no wonder Rotorua is renowned among mountain bikers as a premier riding destination.

With around 130km of continually evolving trails, there is something to cater for all levels of rider, from beginners and family groups through to experts looking for extreme action.

Mountain Bike Rotorua, the on-site bike hire at the Rotorua Mountain Bike car park also operates the container café which sells awesome coffee, smoothies, sammies, cakes, ice-creams, and other goodies to re-fuel after your ride.

Here you can experience some of the finest walking and mountain bike trails in the world. Not to mention taking in superb panoramic views of Rotorua City, Lake, and surrounding district. If you love the outdoors this area is for you! Entry to the forest, tracks and the Redwoods i-Site & Visitor Centre is FREE.

You can find them at Tawa Rd, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua.  Check out more info here: http://redwoods.co.nz/bike/

Open from 8.30am daily.

3. Mountain Bike Rotorua

Mountain Bike Rotorua Adventure Hub is your gateway to Whakarewarewa, Redwood Forests and the Skyline Gravity Park. The Mountain Bike Rotorua adventure hub has everything you need to know about trails, skills, workshops, and events happening in the region.  It’s home of the internationally renowned mountain bike festival, Crankworx Rotorua. They have bases at each of these bike parks as well as a convenient central city location, the friendly team at Mountain Bike Rotorua have everything you need to get out and ride.

You can find Mountain Bike Rotorua at the Redwood Forest – Tawa Rd, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, and in central Rotorua (1213 Fenton St)

Opens 8.30am – 5.00pm daily.

4. Hemo Gorge Trail – Te Ara Ahi

The 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.

Heading out to the forest from town, the trail starts at the southern end of the Te Puia carpark and drops down a wide, well-bermed section to the valley floor for a quick run to the Puarenga stream. Rotorua’s water used to come from the Waipa Spring and the pipes and buildings have been uncovered as part of the work. At the old pumping station, take the stairs to a great spot with a view back down the gorge to the city. There are seats everywhere to rest and take in the environment. Continue south and you will reach a fork. Turn right and it’s a steep-ish climb, and turning left takes you along the river to well-engineered stairs for a short hike-a-bike. Get ready for a fast downhill experience and then after a steady climb, you will arrive at the Bridge to Waipa – an impressive structure! On the left is single-track to the Waipa Mountain Biking carpark and you are at the trailhead. Head right on the pathway to Waipa Mill Road and right again to SH5, and you will find the concrete strip of Te Ara Ahi on the left of the highway. Here’s more information on this trail.

Open Daily from Sunrise to Sunset, all year round.

Mountain Biking Events

Mountain Biking Events

Rotorua is also host to a number of international events throughout the year, including the ever popular annual Rotorua Bike Festival through to being the first stop on the Crankworx World Tour. There are also a number of local community-based events held throughout the year. To keep up with all things happening in Rotorua, be sure to sign up to our monthly newsletter.

1. Rotorua Bike Festival

Our very own bike festival! The Rotorua Bike Festival celebrates the start of Summer with 10 packed days full of festivities and fun for all ages. This year it will be held between October 25th – November 3rd.

View more information about the Rotorua Bike Festival on their website. 

2. Crankworx

Crankworx brings the world’s downhill, slopestyle, and enduro legends together.  Based in Canada, the Crankworx World Tour comes right through to Rotorua, New Zealand. The Rotorua tour usually takes flight in March.

View the full Crankworx event schedule on their website

Electric Bikes Biking A New Way

Biking a different way

If mountain biking isn’t your cup of tea, yet you want to get out on a bike and see the beautiful sights Rotorua has to offer, you can always consider altermative options – like EBiking, or setting up a picnic while the kids bike around!

1. Electric Bike Rotorua

Explore Rotorua and experience the thrill of an Electric Bike! Choose between a mountain bike or a cruiser and ride around town or venture further afield to discover other attractions nearby without sweating.

You can be of any age or fitness level and all you need to know is how to ride a bike, the rest is easy.
Ride around town or venture further afield to discover other attractions nearby. Our team will help you design the trip you like!
Our bikes are a unique mode of transport for your adventures in Rotorua!
We offer a range of rental options, from one hour to a full day, as well as long term rentals.

Open – 9 am – 6 pm Daily, Prices start from $25.00

2. Picnics and Bikes

Kerosene Creek is a beautiful natural hot spring that flows through natural bush. There is a corregated iron shed for changing into swimming togs or bathers. This spot is great to picnic in and can be a nice reward after a hard bike (or walk if you really want an alternative). You can find more on how to get there by clicking here

The Redwood Forest that was mentioned earlier also makes for a great spot to eat and relax. The trees provide shade and shelter so whether it’s Summer or Winter, you’ll find somewhere to sit and relax after that spectatcular bike ride! 

Mountain Biking Tips

Tips and Tricks

Every mountain biker has their first run! With various runs, comes various lessons learned. We thought we would share some of our top tips and tricks with you so you can learn the easier way rather than the hard way. 

1. Stay loose

The bike will roll over the terrain – the rocks, the roots and so on. Your job is to ensure the bike does its job. Keep your body loose so the bike can move beneath you. Hover above the seat when riding over difficult obstacles like rocks. 

2. Take breaks

Biking can be exhausting! Do not be afraid to take breaks or stop and enjoy the scenery and wildlife around you. 

3. Easy on the BRAKES

Different from the second point – but stay easy on the brakes! You will be tempted to grab both of the brakes and pull them with everything you have got. But, we advise that you resist! Mountain bikes are very powerful and just one, or even two fingers will be enough to reduce your speed. If you pull with everything you have got, you will likely send yourself over the handlebars! Ouch. 

4. Eyes on the track

Keep an eye on where the track is leading you. Do not focus directly on large targets – you might focus too much on avoiding it, that you hit it anyway. We advise that you look beyond the obstacles and focus on where you are wanting to go and what direction you want the bike to go in. Peripheral vision is useful for avoiding and handling small obstacles in your immediate view. 

5. Use the gears

Mountain bikes have gears and sometimes they can look a little confusing. The gears are a useful tool however and will help you keep up your momentum. We advise testing the gears – especially if it is a new bike, before hitting the trail with everything you have. 

Bike Shops Rotorua

Bike Shops

There are a number of bike shops in Rotorua to assist you with parts, equipment, repairs and even hiring. Some of these include:

Bike Fix

  • 84 White Street, Rotorua
  • 07 347 2232

Bike Culture

  • 1133 Pukuatua Street, Rotorua
  • 07 343 9372

Outdoorsman Headquarters

  • 6 Tarawera Road. Rotorua
  • 07 345 9333

Rotorua Cycle Centre

  • 1111 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua
  • 07 348 6588

Cycle Zone

  • 1299 Fenton Street, Rotorua
  • 07 348 6610

For additional tips and information about good tracks in and around Rotorua, contact us today! We are happy to help organize your Mountain Biking adventure.

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  • All units have silent thermal heating
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