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Whether you are a seasoned pro or want to try mountainbiking for the first time, the Taupō region is the ideal place for your mountainbiking adventure. There are not many places in the world where you’ll find such a variety of terrain on purpose-built mountainbike trails. Not only are you spoilt for choice, but the region is an all-weather riding destination with its well-draining pumice soil.
The Taupō region has had a lot happening lately on the mountainbiking front, with new trails being built and the huge network of existing trails improving all the time. There are forest trails, river trails, longer wilderness rides and a pump track; enough to keep any rider occupied for weeks on end.
Great Lake Trail
Perhaps the most well-known of these trail developments is the Great Lake Trail, part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail. This trail really is world class and the riding is just pure fun. The trail has been built with sweeping berms and gentle gradients, and the flowing downhills are the kind that have you whooping for joy. The Great Lake Trail is wilderness riding at its best. You’re away from the crowds, there is abundant birdlife and the views across Lake Taupō to the mountains are stunning.
The trail extends from Whangamata Road (the Orakau Trail) through to Whakaipo Bay, covering 41.5km.The fourth section of the Great Lake Trail at Waihaha is currently under construction, so in the future there will be another 40-50km of trail to ride, making for an epic multi-day adventure.
Tongariro River Trail
Another of the region’s most picturesque rides is the Tongariro River Trail. This shared biker/walker trail starts in Turangi township and follows the world famous trout fishing river down its eastern bank to Red Hut Pool and return. The trail is in a lush native bush setting with beautiful views of the river. If you’re lucky, you might see an angler catch a good-sized rainbow trout along the way. It’s an easier ride suitable for those just starting out with mountainbiking, for families, or for those just wanting a cruisy Sunday afternoon ride.
Other Trail Options
There are so many more options for riding in the Taupō district, including Craters Mountainbike Park (Wairakei Forest) with over 80km of singletrack riding on dry, pumice trails; and the river trails between Taupō and Aratiatia. Wherever you choose to ride, the trails have been purpose-built by a team of experts who work full-time on trail development. This team of track builders is passionate about giving riders an unforgettable riding experience.
Meet The Local Riders
If you are in town, be sure to pop in to one of the local bike shops and find out from the friendly staff where their secret riding spots are. They’ll happily give you tips on where to ride and what kinds of trails you might enjoy. Bike shops also have trail maps available and can give you information about mountainbike shuttle services.
Taupō is the kind of place a mountainbiker will feel at home. It’s totally OK to be seen out for a post-ride coffee in your lycra or muddy mountainbiking baggies and there is a vast array of cycle-friendly cafes to visit. So make your way to Taupō for a world class riding experience of fast flowing downhills, expertly built mud-free trails and stunning scenery.