Rotorua...the Spiritual Home
of Mountain Biking in New Zealand
What our trails are all about...
Whakarewarewa Forest on the southern outskirts of Rotorua contains one of the oldest trail systems in the country. These master crafted trails have an unbeatable blend of proximity to the city centre, riding surfaces, topography and they are surrounded by trees that have size & variety.
In 2011 and 2012 a major revamp of some of the trails in the orginal core network began after extensive logging in the forest. The Rotorua Mountain Bike Club's brief is to restore the trails in a similar style, shape and length as the originals.
They are doing this with great success - improving the flow and making great trails even better.
It's a major investment of time and dollars - but excellent value for money.
The Club along with Casey King, Mark Upshall from Spadewerx, some of the trails original builders, trail adopters and volunteer working bees have all contributed to the work.
Riding on the trails is free to all as the costs of building and maintaining MTB trails is met and informally shared by:
• the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club (Inc) through volunteer efforts.
• the channelling of charitable trust funding into trail development (to pay contract part-time trail-builders since 2005).
• enthusiastic freelancers who give up their own time to build and maintain trails like Old Chevy, Hot X Buns, Rockdrop, Pig Track, Gunna Gotta, The Tickler, Be Rude Not To and Mad if you don't.
• Red McHale from the Department of Corrections who organizes PD work crews ("do the time" comes to mind but all power to their elbows). Notable work by them over the last few years: the "hard landscaping" on HXB and Old Chevy (including the two bridges), Te Ara Puna, Duck Pond and Puarenga, Ball & Chain...
• and a team of helpful staff employed by the local Rotorua District Council.
The forest land is owned by Te Arawa; the tree crop itself is primarily owned by a US investment company and the NZ Super Fund. The commercial forest management operations are conducted by a local private company as a production forest and they generously allow recreational use in the forest.
The Redwoods is a trail system that has been growing since the late 80s, and it has been designed to pack as much fun into a small area as possible. You can take a 2.5 hour ride without any repeated sections, while never getting further than about 2 kms in a straight line from the trailhead. Even when the carpark is full, the mainly one way system keeps the forest from feeling crowded. The trails are ideal for introducing friends and family to the sport, as they are generally pretty mellow. But they have enough challenges if the speed is cranked up that expert class riders come back again and again. The trail system is continually being extended and enhanced. Further afield there are heaps more trails than a fit rider can do in a weekend and various groups are always building new ones. Recreation and events are managed by Rotorua District Council.
There is a legal right of access by the public for recreational activities but forestry management go far beyond their obligations to make the forest such a great playground for bike riders.
The Visitor Centre on Long Mile Road has up to date information and you can get a trail map. Call in and tell the staff how cool the trails are. The Redwood grove around this area is full of walking tracks, and horse tracks, and is off limits to bike riders. If you want to start your ride here, go to the far end of Longmile Rd from Tarawera Rd and go around the gate to head up the tarsealed climb of Nursery Road. The trail system has an entrance at the top of the hill.
RideRotorua.com - live since 17 August 2007
If Rotorua doesnt satisfy your every single track need then scope this out Singletrack Colorado
The publishers of RideRotorua.com fully recommend this trip as an adventure of a life time.