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Loading your mountain bike into a gondola cabin can be an art rearing the bike and manoeuvring it onto one of the 11 (out of 33) refurbished gondolas but by the second run at Skyline Rotorua Mountain Bike Gravity Park you’ll have it nailed and there is enough space to fit four bikes to a cabin.
Once you’re at the top, you’ll have multiple trails to choose from ranging from Grades 2 to Grades 5 with six full-time patrollers all of which are trained to pre-hospital fist aid levels, making the Gravity Park the Southern Hemisphere’s only full-time patrolled mountain bike park.
The park’s longest trail Simple Jack a Grade 2 status covers 2.3km and traverses across Mt Ngongotaha, crossing the hillside three times under the Gondola and Chairlift lines taking in exceptional views over the city and Lake Rotorua. The trail eventually leads the rider round a mega-berm and into the Redwood forest where corners start tightening up and superb berms practically turn into wall rides if you hit them hot enough eventually spitting you out of the bush at the trail end, leaving you wanting more.
Mix it up on another run by take the fork in the Redwoods to hit the Daywalker trail Grade 3 in status which steps up to a more intermediate ride as the trail narrows and steepens, making for an awesome option to have more fun with. The next trail to tackle is Hipster where a section of three decent-sized hip jumps about half way down the track can be found. The trails are built so the jumps are all roll-able, but plenty of air is on offer for the more skilled rider. Everything links together well on Hipster. These are definitely the type of trails that you want to ride over and over again.
For the more seasoned rider a lush blend of digger built and hand built trails, providing a welcome diversity and the established Redwood forest provides the perfect canopy to house the bottom half of the trails where the bottom section of Moss Piglet is a sight to behold.
This section of trail, accessed from Sprint Warrior, takes you over two big tables before dropping into a gnarly, off-camber, raked-in line through the forest. This line finishes with a 300m jumps track and features for riders to really challenge themselves. The section starts off with a ‘must jump’ step down, laden with boulders in the gut of it, which leads into the Empire of Dirt trail building team’s pièce de résistance – the surgeon’s table, a feature that resembles something out of an international slope-style course.
Multi Day Adventures own and operate a Mountain Bike Rotorua hire base at the bottom Skyline terminal, providing bike hire, repair and servicing, as well as guided tours of the trails.
- The stage one trail terrain covers 8.5km and includes 30% easy trails, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced. The trails are: Grade 2 - Simple Jack; Grade 3 – Daywalker; Grade 4 – Sprint Warrior (part 1) and Hipster; Grade 5 – Sprint Warrior (part 2), Moss Piglet and Ten Fifty One.
- The Gravity Park opens from 9am. A morning pass is from 9am to 1pm and an afternoon pass is from 1pm to 5pm. Closing times may be extended as light allows in summer months.
- The Gravity Park is not recommended for first-time cyclists. All riders aged 12 and under should have the consent of a parent, guardian or caregiver to ride. For safety reasons access is not allowed for children under 5 years, pregnant women or tandem riders (including infant bike seats/carry packs
- Skyline Mountain Bike Gravity Park is the second mountain biking venture for Skyline Enterprises, with the Queenstown operation offering riders access to trails from September to May.