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The Worlds Best Trails?



It's a bold claim.
However, the thousands of locals and visitors who ride the Whakarewarewa trail network every year will all tell you they are a fantastic place to mountain bike.

In a country with some great mountain biking, this 180 kilometre trail network on the southern outskirts of the city are some of the finest.
And research confirms the significant role they play in the lifestyle and economy of Rotorua with millions of dollars flowing in every year.
The trails have evolved over the years with a lot of people involved in building, maintaining and developing them.

Check out our TRAIL MAPS (thanks to Gaz from Nzoland).

Main Photo: Graeme Murray


• Mike Ferrentino described the Rotorua trail network in US magazine, BIKE, like this:
RotoruaTourism central…This haven of geysers and mud pools is, and always has been, New Zealand’s meeting point between tourism and Maoritanga…
Not that we really had time to notice or care, sucked immediately as we were into the local forest, onto trails built by mountain bikers with mountain bikers in mind.
Trails in verdant shade that dip and weave and roll. Trails that sneak through trees in a way that makes hard riders hoot with joy yet at the same time could coax a huge grin to the face of a 70-year-old grandma on her first bike ride ever.
Sure, gawk at the geysers, wrinkle your nose at the stinking mud holes, soak in the springs, but get down on your knees and kiss the mulchy earth of these trails because they are the true hidden treasure here."

Our tracks provide a rich playground for locals and visitors (from New Zealand and overseas) all among lush, ferny forest and catering for everyone - from beginners and family groups right through to the fall-off-a-cliff experts.


• In August 2006, Rotorua hosted the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials Championships.
These were held at Skyline on Mount Ngongotaha, one of the city's main landmarks on the northern edge of town.
Visitors rode the trails in Whakarewarewa Forest visitors and they were a perfect training ground for competitors in the Worlds.

• From Rotorua has hosted the Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival, and the opening round of the Enduro World Series (EWS). The city has a 10-year licence to host Crankworx and EWS returns in March, 2020.

Jill K

Photo: Jill Kintner in action, Dual Slalom, Crankworx.

• Rounds of the New Zealand National Championships XTERRA and the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro and more all feature on the Whakarewarewa calendar, among other annual events.
• The Whaka 100 in October is the NDURO Classic and is one of the toughest challenges on the New Zealand MTB calendar - 100km and some big climbs with a great mix of terrain, singletrack and forest roads.
• In 2008 and 2009, the Pig & Whistle New Zealand Singlespeed Championships were run in the forest on Anzac Weekend in April. They returned on Anzac Weekend 2013 and, again, at the same time in 2015.
• In October, 2010 this full range of events in the Whakarewarewa Forest was joined by the Singlespeed World Championships, with large numbers of overseas visitors in town. The Rotorua Singlespeed Society hosted again in November 2017 with similar results.


Photo: Start line, SSSWC2017 (Mead Norton).

• In February 2013, all of Rotorua's cycling community came together for the 1st Rotorua Bike Festival. 10 days of events for almost everyone, from the serious racer to the recreational cyclist.

The festival is back every year, now in October/November...
Check out the website.

In 2020 New Zealand's premier multi-stage mountain bike race, The Pioneer will move from the South Island to Rotorua.

All our events feature the full range of the Whakarewarewa Forest - through Pine, Californian Redwoods, Australian Eucalyptus and native New Zealand ferns and more - bringing riders and support crews into town and continuing to benefit the local economy.

Best? Maybe.
Unique? Absolutely!

Rotorua has been identified as one of the world's cycling hotspots, as seen on Velogear Ride Advisor, Australia's #1 Cycling Guide.

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.