Motu Trails

The Motu Trails are one of the 21 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Status: Open

Grade: Easy (2) - Advanced (4)

Duration: 1 - 3 days

Total Length: 132 km

The trail takes in the Old Motu Coach Road, the Pakihi Track and the Dunes Trail. There are views of the Pacific Ocean, Motuhoura, Whakaari and of bush clad peaks, river valleys and waterfalls.

The Mighty Motu Adventure Trails offer it all. Discover a place where your perfect ride is a journey of freedom and adventure. The trails will include a full 3-day-ride, as well as day rides and multi-day rides to suit the needs of all ages and fitness levels.

With stunning coastal vistas, the trail will pass through classic hill country farmland and rugged mountain ranges. It will offer the opportunity to cycle 132km, linking Opotiki town with the coastline, the Motu and Toatoa areas of the hinterland and the Pakihi valley. It will also provide entry to Motu Village, Matawai, and the Waioeka Gorge area through to Gisborne.

Centred on the pre-European Maori trails, the historic Motu coach route section is being constructed with more tender participants in mind. This road originally led settlers between the Pacific Coast in the Eastern Bay of Plenty and the fertile plains of the Gisborne district. But there's plenty on offer for the thrill seekers who live life at a blur. A major upgrade of the Pakihi valley trail will reopen this legendary route for pedalling also. The people of Opotiki and Gisborne are inviting the world to their homeland, to come and share one of the undiscovered gems of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Best time to ride

The coastal section near Opotiki will be ridable all year round, whilst the upper sections of the Pakihi and Motu Coach Road can be expected to be damp and cold in the depths of winter. It is best to check with the tourism offices in either Gisborne or Opotiki for current conditions.

Getting there

Riders can start their trip at any stage along the Motu Coach Road and at lower sections of the trail, near Opotiki township. Motu is the top of the road so if you are looking to do the whole length of the trail, it will be easier to start at this end.

Trail partners

The Motu Trails project is a joint initiative of the Opotiki District Council, Department of Conservation, Gisborne District Council, Whakatohea Maori Trust Board and The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Click here for more information, photos and maps.

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