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.

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Mount Burke, Wānaka


Mt Burke heli biking


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

Mountain Biking in Lake Wanaka

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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.

Find downhill mountain biking activities

Take a closer look at the trails below