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Amateurs to experts from across the country and around the globe, who have experienced the more than 90km of trails in Whakarewarewa Forest, agree that it doesn’t come any better.
The forest’s unbeatable blend of riding surfaces, topography and scenery cater for all skill and fitness levels. The huge variety of choice includes 14 beginner/easy Grade 2 options for children, novices and family groups through to 26 Grade 3 and 4 options including favourites Be Rude Not To, Gunna Gotta, Hot X Buns and Billy T. Grade 5 options offer the most technically challenging tracks including the National Downhill Taniwha for the most experienced riders.
Right on the city’s doorstep and an easy ride from most local accommodation houses, this highly-favoured mountain biking haunt features magnificent stands of towering Californian redwoods set amongst other exotic and native species. Affectionately known as the Redwoods, it is part of the wider 5667ha Whakarewarewa Forest that adjoins the Blue and Green Lakes and Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. It’s the venue for the annual rounds of the NZ national MTB championships, 29km XTERRA ride, Moonride (6, 12 and 24-hour options) and the NDURO summer and winter MTB Series.
Another string will be added to the city’s mountain biking bow with the opening of Te Ara Ahi- Pathway of Fire, a two-day trail ride from Rotorua to the Orakei Korako thermal area. Part of the $50 million Nga HaerengaNew Zealand Cycle Trail project of 18 great ridesstretching across the country, the easy grade trail is 85% complete and is due to open mid to late 2012.
WHAKAFORESTKEY MTB FACTS:
- Free access to more than 90km of amazing scenic, continually evolving forest trails.
- More than 60 trails from Grade 2 to 5 offer a huge variety for all ages and skill levels.
- Part of 5667ha Whakarewarewa Forest just a 5-minute ride from Rotorua CBD.
- Shuttle service to transfer riders/bikes to start of downhill tracks.
- Heaps of MTB hire options – from CBD based outlets to those practically in the forest.
- Guided ride/bike hire package options for families, individuals or groups of all levels.
- On-site mechanic available in Waipa carpark for basic servicing and minor ‘quick fixes’.
- Forestmaps available from the Redwoods Visitor Centre. Choice of $6.50 Forest Recreation Guide with MTB pages showing riding areas and identifying terrain, skill and fitness levels required, plus track profiles or a$10 manky. This washable, re-usable map on a hanky has MTB tracks on one side and walking tracks on the reverse.
- Bike-friendly accommodation options offering bike washing and/or storage facilities.