Rotorua - best MTB in New Zealand...the world?

We'd heard about the wonderful mountain bike trails in Rotorua for years - from magazines, tv (2006 UCI MTB Worlds were there) and friends who'd visited...

Our friends were right!

Wow - swooping, flowing, fast and 130 kilometres of them in the Whakarewarewa Forest, just south of the city. Too much to take in in a week, maybe even a month. Why? Because once you've ridden a loop or 2 you just want to ride them again...and again...

We also really liked the variety. Not just grade, but style. Talking to some friendly locals out on the trails, it became pretty clear why. The first trails were bult in the early 1990s and since then lots of different trail builders have called Rotorua home. So there's narrow single track scratched out with rakes and hoes right through to beautifully groomed and benched trails. We liked all of them...

Rotorua is a geothermal area - so the pong of sulphur was one of the first things we noticed when we got into town - but then there is the plus side of that: hot pools to soak away the aches and pains from far too much riding every day!

The locals also told us that Red Bulletin magazine has described this trail network as one of the top 8 MTB destinations in the world - and the only one listed in the southern hemisphere. The big billboard on the road into town made a lot of sense - a beautiful, foggy photo with the strapline: Best trails this side of the Equator.

Hard to disagree...

Last day we came across a local photographer by the name of Graeme Murray - he sent us a photo from the shoot that billboard photo came from as a reminder of 10 awesome days.

Rotorua - we'll be back!

 

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