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.

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

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 and levels for every rider, from newbies to experienced pros.

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

More recently there's been a new wave of bespoke private parks and tracks for experienced riders and a huge commitment to the sport through events like Crankworx(opens in new window).

Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua

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.

Mountain biking, Queenstown, Queenstown

A great place to start are the Ngā Haerenga Great Rides,(opens in new window) 23 trails 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.

Find downhill mountain biking activities

Take a closer look at the trails below