Mountain Biking in New Zealand

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New Zealand’s mountain biking trails range from easy to epic, with special sights and scenery that take riding adventures to a whole new level.

From the tangled sheep paths of the tussock grasslands to purpose-built trails snaking through the sharp mountain peaks, New Zealand ’s varied topography makes for an awe-inspiring mountain bike playground.

Yeti Cycles High end mountain bike manufacturer

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Wanaka
Mount Burke, Wanaka

By Jay French

Rotorua
Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua

By Destination Rotorua

Marlborough
Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough

By Sven Martin

Queenstown
Coronet Peak, Queenstown

By Callum Wood

Nelson
Heaphy Track, Nelson

By Sven Martin

Christchurch - Canterbury
Port Hills, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Jay French

Ruapehu
Bridge to Nowhere, Ruapehu

By Visit Ruapehu

Wanaka
Glendhu Bay Track, Wanaka

By Camilla Rutherford

Wanaka

Wanaka

Mt Burke heli biking

Highlights

  • Epic trails on high country station
  • Amazing Lake Wanaka scenery
  • Only accessible via heli

Mountain Biking in Lake Wanaka

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Rotorua

Rotorua

Whakarewarewa Forest

Highlights

  • Best place to ride in New Zealand
  • Venue of Crankworx Rotorua Enduro race
  • The epi center of biking in Rotorua

Mountain Biking in The Redwoods

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Marlborough

Marlborough

Biking in Marlborough

Highlights

  • Ever-changing vistas
  • Natural & human history
  • Bush camps, homestays & lodges

Queen Charlotte Track

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Queenstown

Queenstown

Rude Rock Track

Highlights

  • Incredible sub-alpine scenery
  • Long downhills
  • Sweet, flowing single track

Rude Rock & Skippers Canyon Trails

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Nelson

Nelson

Heaphy Track

Highlights

  • Spectacular mountain wilderness
  • Wild West Coast beaches
  • Weird & wonderful nature

Heaphy Mountain Biking Trail

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Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Port Hills (Crater Rim)

Highlights

  • Epic ocean & city panoramas
  • Ancient volcanic landscape
  • Sweet, cross-country riding

Mountain Biking in the Port Hills

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Ruapehu

Ruapehu

Bridge to Nowhere Track

Highlights

  • Iconic attraction in North Island
  • 36km track through dense forest
  • Located in Whanganui National Park

Bridge to Nowhere Trail

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Wanaka

Wanaka

Lakeside Track

Highlights

  • Epic views of Lake Wanaka & mountains
  • Trails for all abilities
  • Stunning scenery

Wanaka Lakeside Tracks

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It’s hard to imagine a better place for mountain biking than New Zealand, where a seemingly endless network of forest trails, abandoned railways, farm tracks and other backcountry routes usher riders through an array of stunning landscapes, with the bonus off-the-bike activities such as walking, wildlife watching and wine tasting.

Many of the mountain biking trails are flowing singletrack, purpose-built by enthusiastic volunteers, while others follow historic mining tracks that were built deep into the mountains during the gold rush years of the 1860s and 1870s.

A great place to start is the New Zealand Cycle Trail, featuring Great Rides ranging from a few hours to eight days, with many located in world-class mountain biking hubs such as Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Ruapehu, Nelson, Christchurch & Canterbury, Wanaka and Queenstown.

Fantastic mountain biking trails can be found in almost every corner of New Zealand, offering rides for all abilities, interests and itineraries. Although most trails explore natural places, they are seldom far from towns and villages where bike shops and mountain biking tour operators can assist both guided and independent riders. Advanced riders looking for big adventure can sign up for downhill thrills with alpine heli-biking.

Hitting the trails is easy. The challenge is choosing which ones to ride.

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