Mountain Biking Around New Zealand

New Zealand is home to a myriad of scenic and enjoyable mountain bike tracks suitable for all levels of riders. Here's some our top picks throughout NZ.

If you don’t have your own bike with you, don’t worry, the Kiwi Experience bus passes through many bike hire locations where you can pick one up at a good rate.

If you’re after more detailed information on local bike tracks and maps for particular locations, have a chat with knowledgeable and friendly staff members from the bike rental shops. Don’t forget that helmets are compulsory here in New Zealand, whether you’re on or off the road – safety first!


From the delights of Paihia, cycle your way over to the historic Waitangi site, then make you way up towards the Waitangi Golf Course. Look out for Te Wairoa Road which takes you through to the Rayonier forest onto the charming village township of Kerikeri. Distance: approximately 25-kilometres.



Enjoy a relaxing 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland to Waiheke Island. Waiheke has a stunning, scenic loop-track around the eastern side of the island. Pick up a map when you’re at the ferry terminal.



The home of mountain bike adventure. Woodhill Forest boasts 50-kilometres of cycle trails forking through an exotic forest. The sandy base makes for ideal riding conditions, even in wet conditions. For the more adventurous rider, you’ll find a load of purpose-built ramps and challenging obstacles.



Discover some of New Zealand’s best purpose-built mountain biking in the Whakarewarewa Forest, located just three kilometres from Rotorua. Whakarewarewa Forest offers a variety of awesome tracks for both beginners to the more experienced riders. From Highway 5, take a left onto Waipa State Mill Road. Just 200 metres on left you’ll find a car park with an entrance to the tracks. Don’t forget to pick up a map from the information centre before you leave town.



The Aratiatia Dam Track is a short trip from Taupo. Head north out of Taupo and follow the road signs to Huka Falls. After crossing the bridge you’ll arrive where the Aratiatia Dam Track starts. This bike track shadows the river down to the dam itself, ending with an easy route back to Taupo.



Undoubtedly the most popular cycle track with local Taupo riders, located conveniently close to town, featuring heaps of winding tracks for all levels of riders. To get there, head north from the lake front on State Highway 1 for approximately 4.5-kilometres, then take a left onto Karapiti Road.

Craters of the Moon has a track for all levels of riders, from one to four hour trails. For experienced mountain bikers, hop off the bus for a couple of nights in the National Park area and challenge yourself on the ‘42nd Traverse’ – guaranteed enjoyment! We recommend taking extra clothing, food and liquids, and a map.



When in Wellington, check out Mt Victoria. Popular with both cyclists and walkers, you’ll discover several routes, up to 8-kilometres, taking you to the summit from where you can enjoy stunning views of New Zealand’s capital city.



The popular 35-kilometres ‘Pelorus to Nelson Track’ begins at the end of Maungatapu Road. For more experienced riders seeking a challenge, you’ll find it at Fringed Hill, located at the bottom of the Dun Mountain Walkway. If you have the endurance to take on a steep 700-metre ascent, you’ll be rewarded with the most stunning views from the summit. Choose from three tracks back down - Note, tracks can treacherous in wet conditions, so take care.



Queenstown’s Cycle Trail boasts over 110-kilometres of tracks to explore and experience. From flat, comfortable trails, to thrilling downhill tracks for experienced riders after an adrenaline fix. Queenstown is fast-becoming a renowned international destination for mountain biking, and even has its own Queenstown Bike Park.

If you’re just starting out, or seeking a leisurely ride, check out the scenic Lake Wakatipu Ride. This trail will only take you an hour or two to complete and starts from Queenstown’s town centre. Cycle your way around Frankton Arm, over the historic Kawarau Bridge, then continue along the beautiful lakefront to Kelvin Heights and Queenstown Golf Course.



Experience the legendary tracks of New Zealand’s Deep South. These incredible destinations include the Whare Flat Forest in Dunedin, Sandy Point in Invercargill as well the scenic trails of Stewart Island. The Central Otago Rail Trail is a must-do following a stunningly, scenic old rail route. Allow two to four days starting from Middlemarch (Trains depart daily from the Dunedin railway station to Middlemarch).



Just outside of Christchurch, you’ll discover Bottle Lake Forest -  a popular area for cycling and tramping (especially for night-riding if you’re keen to battle the elements!). Approximately 30-kilometres return, this bike ride will take about two hours. A pleasant, leisurely cycle that allows you to explore the city’s outskirts.

Find out everything you need to know before your New Zealand experience with these helpful tips.

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