Exploring North Island's World Class Mountain Biking Hotspots

JustMTB shows us their mountain biking highlights of upper North Island

JustMTB are the New Zealand mountain bike tour experts. Join them as they share some of their favourite parts of their North Island tour itinerary.

After a brief introduction to New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, it's time to head south in search of adventure. Lake Taupo has for many years been a great escape for North Islanders, but with a growing reputation as a sports & activity mecca, Taupo has seen its popularity and footfall skyrocket.

Just outside of Taupo is where the fun begins, riding the Rotary trail that hugs the Huka river - a great mix of sightseeing and introduction to singletrack on a New Zealand mountain bike tour. After taking in some of the famous river trails and local trails, there's no better way to end a day than a soak at Acacia Bay and the pristine waters of the lake.

Less than half an hour away is the Kaimanawa Ranges, home to pristine native forest and a couple of amazing mountain bike trails - Te Iringa and the Sika track. Nestled up on the flat tops is undoubtedly one of North Island's best heli biking trails, with stunning 360 views over the surrounding backcountry. A flowing 10km of singletrack navigates it's way through rolling hills and rocky bluff before dropping to the valley floor for a heli pickup and another lap!

The Timber Trail is a classic mountain bike ride, and can be done as an overnight trip by either camping or staying in a lodge just off the trail. Navigating some of New Zealand's longest swing bridges over gaping chasms is always worth a photo break! After a night away from civilisation, everyone deserves a night back in a comfy bed and a spa to relax in!

Rotorua is another "must ride" location on the Central Plateau. Hidden in the heart of the Whakarewarewa forest, among a mix of giant Redwood trees and native bush is some of the world's best singletrack.  Words cannot describe the quality of trails - it's a have to experience it for yourself sort of place. And with enough riding for a week on it's own it proves a difficult place to tear people away from.

Outside of riding, Rotorua has some great "rest time" attractions. Maori cultural shows, spa's, and for those with a little energy, some great walks and wanders through the geothermal landscapes. Surrounded by lakes, it's also a great location for a little wake boarding, or just a swim and sunbathe.

A North Island MTB tour wouldn't be complete without a visit to Auckland's premiere gravity mountain bike park - Four Forty. A mix of intermediate and advanced singletrack and enduro trails, it's fast becoming a mecca for those with legs tired from a week of pedalling. With great views over the Firth of Forth, a swim and beers at sunset seal a great end to an epic week of riding.

Article by

  • Phone
  • Book now
  • Visit our website

Have you got a great story to tell? Add your own article