Ready, set, go: best spots to ride in Rotorua

Choosing the top mountain biking trails in Rotorua isn’t easy. Here are some of our top suggestions, renowned for their perfect dirt, great flow and views.

Rotorua has more than 145 kilometres of mountain biking trails to wow riders of every size and capability. Whether you’re a kid, just learning how to roll on the slopes or a pro with moves to impress the best in business, Rotorua has something for everyone. They don’t call Rotorua mountain biking haven for nothing!

Whakarewarewa Forest or as the locals call it - Redwoods

It’s one of the most established bike networks in the country, host to Crankworx that celebrates the best in this sport and generally a spectacular spot to be. Whakarewarewa is the epicentre of mountain biking in Rotorua and features rides to suit all abilities.

The forest is a sprawling mass of towering Californian Redwoods with views to swoon over. It boasts some of the best single track mountain biking trails in New Zealand and a network that is so vast that you can spend an entire day here without hitting the same trail twice!

The family-friendly and beginner trails are located in the lower reaches of the forest while the hardcore junkies and freestylers will find their thrills on the steeper and more technical slopes at the top of the forest.

Skyline Gravity Bike Park

Also a venue for Crankworx, Skyline Gravity Park is one of the most thrilling bike parks in New Zealand. It is New Zealand’s first gondola-assisted bike park and is open year-round. Featuring close to 30 trails, it offers UCI World Cup-worthy downhills to fun, flowy ‘groomer’ runs with smooth berms and jumps, and vertical drops.

The park provides trails for most skill levels with 8.5km of trails braiding down the side of Mt Ngongotaha. Sound exciting? It sure is!


Rainbow Mountain

A series of short tracks join to form the Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop. It is a gruelling 743 metres uphill ride to the summit, but the views from there are extraordinary. And, of course the fun begins only after. The top section is quite technical and challenging as you navigate through native bush. Then the track changes to flowing and fast, getting you to push harder and test your boundaries.

The end of the track gets you to Kerosene Creek for a swim in the naturally heated waters before you head to your next joyride.


Moerangi Track

A 35km adventure ride through pristine native forest. It is more suited for the more accomplished riders featuring Grade 3 trails that follow old trekking routes and past historic huts into complete wilderness.

The trail leads riders up to 1000m above sea level, before the well-deserved descent of 15km through epic native bush completes the journey – something out of the Jurassic era. As you’d expect of a forest ride, it’s a bit rough on the edges with the odd fallen tree or slip to accommodate along the way. 

Western Okataina

This is a dual use track through the Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve can be ridden in either direction. Keep an eye out for beautiful vistas and lake views seen through the openings between clusters of trees. The trails are relatively ‘raw’ and require moderate fitness and skill to manoeuvre.

Be prepared and confident when riding the exhilarating downhill section down to the Outdoor Education Centre, but remember, there is a steep climb back up from the bottom.

There are many other adrenaline-pumping activities to explore in Rotorua, including the Rotorua Canopy Tours. Check us out!