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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.
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