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Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop...

 

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IP address logged as: 107.20.115.174

 

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Origins and History:


Commonly called Rainbow Mountain, the area’s traditional Maori name is Maunga Kakaramea and it is an iconic peak for the Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa people. The name Maunga Kakaramea means “Mountain of Coloured Earth” (literal translation is maunga: mountain, kakaramea: red ochre), which is reflective of its bare brown, orange and red steaming slopes.

 

Historically, Maunga Kakaramea was used as a place of refuge during battle and was a burial ground for the Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa people. Maunga Kakaramea also provided the people with valuable food resources. Some of the foods the manga and its waterways provided are fern roots, eels, freshwater crayfish, ducks and birds.

 

The mauri* of Maunga Kakaramea represents the essence that binds the physical and spiritual elements of all things together, generating and upholding all life.
*Mauri is a critical element of the spiritual relationship of Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa with Maunga Kakaramea.


Location and getting there:


South of the city - Rainbow Mountain can be reached by car or, better still, on Te Ara Ahi, the Rotorua section of the National Cycleway.

 

This starts with the Hemo Gorge Trail with the trailhead at the southern end of the Te Puia carpark under a magnificent waharoa (caved gateway).


Where the Hemo Gorge trail ends at the Waipa Mountain Bike carpark you can either join the Whakarewarewa Trail network or head to the corner of Waipa State Mill Road and SH5 to Taupo.
From here Te Ara Ahi offers a ribbon of concrete to take you most the way to Rainbow Mountain, with some lightly trafficked rural roads designated as cycleway before reaching the DOC trails on the mountain.


If driving from Rotorua, the carpark is situated just past the turnoff for SH 38 (the Murupara/ Waikeremoana highway), on the left-hand side of the road.


The trail:
The Rainbow Mountain MTB loop was developed in conjunction with Te Ara Ahi and is a fantastic mountain bike ride in a geothermal setting. Enjoy a well paced ride/walk to the summit on the steep and technical climb - Te Tihi O Ruru (It is a steep climb and most riders will walk sections). Have numerous stops to catch your breath and take in the geothermal environment, learning a little at information panels on the way.


Catch your breath (again!) as you absorb the amazing 360° views from the summit.

 

The grade 4 downhill that follows (Te RangaTrail) will thrill and challenge your skills with its mix of rock and native bush. The trail is most difficult at the start, hand-built through the rugged terrain. This eases to machine-built trail providing a faster, more flowing nature for the remainder of the descent.


Te Ranga trail ends at the hot water stream 'Kerosene Creek' - a great place to have a soak in the naturally heated geothermal waters.

 

PHOTOS: thanks to Department of Conservation and Nick Lambert



 

TRAIL PROFILE (click to enlarge)

 


Please ride within your limits, and be aware that trails can change with weather and heavy use from race events effecting their difficulty. Ride Rotorua will in no way be liable for any injury or damages arising from riding any of the trails listed on the Ride Rotorua website.

 

 

RIDERS COMMENTS:
3 of us went and rode this trail late in Summer. The first part has some great views and is funish uphill. Then it got a bit steep so I peruaded the others to walk with me! The top has incredible views of the area that stretch for many many miles. Then when you're bored of marvelling at the views you start a fantastic downhill that goes from grade 4 in to a really fun grade 3. I just wished it went on longer but then at the bottom you get to visit kerosine hot creek and it's wee waterfalls. Just a great little ride so close to Rotorua.

 

Andy Fuller - 22/07/13 09:44pm