Aotearoa New Zealand has some of the top mountain biking trails in the world – from the north to the south you can discover New Zealand’s epic mountain biking scene.

1. Queen Charlotte Track

One of New Zealand’s original Great Rides, this track(opens in new window) traces the bays, hills and ridges of the Marlborough Sounds(opens in new window), with resort stays, boat trips and water sports on offer.

Marlborough
Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough

Highlights

  • Ever-changing vistas
  • Natural & human history
  • Bush camps, homestays & lodges

Proximity

GRADE

Intermediate - Advanced

2. St James Cycle Trail

Traversing historic St James Station near Hanmer Springs, this challenging high-country trail rewards riders with vistas of soaring peaks, alpine meadows, beech forest, tranquil lakes and crystal clear rivers.

Christchurch - Canterbury
St James Cycle Trail, Christchurch - Canterbury
christchurch-canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

St James Cycle Trail Information

Highlights

  • Remote wilderness
  • Spectacular alpine scenery
  • Hanmer Springs spa town

Proximity

GRADE

Easy - Advanced

3. Whakarewarewa Forest trails

To see why Rotorua(opens in new window) is widely rated one of the world’s best mountain biking meccas, look no further than these legendary trails(opens in new window) threaded through towering redwoods and lush native bush.

Rotorua
Whakarewarewa Forest, known simply as 'The Redwoods', is a mountain biking mecca., Rotorua

Highlights

  • Excellent single track in forest
  • Shuttle transport for uphill
  • Café, info centre & skills area at start

Proximity

GRADE

Easy- Expert

4. Great Lake Trail

New Zealand’s largest lake backdrops Taupō’s(opens in new window) all-season trail(opens in new window) offering an irresistible mix of flowing terrain and changing scenes as it sweeps down to the shore and around the lake’s bays and rocky promontories.

Taupō
Great Lake Trails, Taupō

Highlights

  • Vast lake and mountain views
  • Enchanting forest
  • Fun, flowing trail

Proximity

  • by car:

    20 mins from Taupo

GRADE

Intermediate

5. 42 Traverse trail

One of New Zealand’s original mountain-biking must-dos, this descent-heavy cross-country(opens in new window) trail(opens in new window) follows long-abandoned logging tracks through forest within wheeling distance of Tongariro National Park(opens in new window).

42 Traverse, New Zealand

Highlights

  • Volcanic scenery
  • Long, fun descents
  • Unspoilt rivers

Proximity

GRADE

Intermediate

6. Rude Rock Track

Pulling in ambitious riders from all over the world, these adrenaline-pumping (opens in new window)downhill trail(opens in new window)s in Queenstown(opens in new window) are all the more irresistible for their eye-popping alpine country backdrop.

Queenstown
Coronet Peak, Queenstown

Highlights

  • Flowing singletrack
  • Sub-alpine terrain
  • Thrilling descent

Proximity

GRADE

Solid Blue Square (4)

7. Old Ghost Road

New Zealand’s longest single-track is also its ultimate wilderness epic – a multi-day journey in the West Coast following a hard-won route over rugged mountains that realised the abandoned dreams of old gold miners.

West Coast
Old Ghost Road, West Coast

Highlights

  • Wild Mokihinui River
  • Spectacular ridge sections
  • Ghostly gold mining relics

Proximity

GRADE

Advanced

8. Heaphy Mountain Biking Track

An unforgettable adventure through the remote wonderland of Kahurangi National Park(opens in new window) in Nelson, this (opens in new window)ride(opens in new window) (opens in new window)takes in strange and ever-changing landscapes, with the bonus of staying in atmospheric backcountry huts.

Nelson Tasman
Heaphy Track, Nelson Tasman

Highlights

  • Kahurangi National Park
  • Native wildlife
  • Spectacular mountains & rivers

Proximity

  • by car:

    3 hrs from Nelson

  • by car:

     30 min from Collingwood

  • by car:

    1 hour from Takaka

GRADE

Advanced

9. Welcome Rock Trails

Snaking around a high-country hilltop in Southland(opens in new window), a historic water race has been extended by hand to produce a splendid single-track circuit(opens in new window) with grand views and charming huts to stay in overnight.

Southland
Welcome Rock Trails, Southland

Highlights

  • High Country scenery
  • Historic and modern huts
  • Easy gradients

Proximity

GRADE

Intermediate

10. The Timber Trail

Luring riders deep into the Pureora Forest Park in the heart of the North Island, this mixed-terrain trail(opens in new window) features ancient trees, birdlife, thrilling suspension bridges and intriguing timber-milling relics.

Taupō
The Timber Trail, Taupō

Highlights

  • Ancient forests
  • Rich culture & heritage
  • Thrilling suspension bridges

Proximity

GRADE

Easy - Intermediate

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