Mountain Biking Around Rotorua

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Did Crankworx inspire you to bring out the bike and get back into mountain biking? If so, Rotorua is the perfect place.

Hailed as New Zealand’s mecca for mountain biking, Rotorua is home to some of the world’s best trails set among some amazing geothermal scenery. To make choosing which trail to ride super easy, we’ve outlined our top picks for intermediate to advanced mountain bike trails around Rotorua.

Skyline Gravity Park – Sprint Warrior

We are kicking things off with an intermediate trail located atop Mount Ngongotaha, nestled in Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park. ‘Sprint Warrior’ has two sections (top & bottom) for both intermediate and advanced riders, respectively. Ride through the Skyline Redwood Forest through this downhill track and show off your skills with machine-built berms, step downs, gap jumps and many more advanced biking terrain. The whole track takes approximately 3-4 minutes, top to bottom – so there’s no mucking around here. 

Check out more information on the trail here

Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop

Geothermal trails are a must when riding in Rotorua, and the Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop trail provides the perfect experience. In conjunction with the Te Ara Ahi trail, Rainbow Mountain is perfect for intermediate to advanced riders. Technical turns and steep declines mean experience is preferred when attacking this trail. The Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop track is arguably one of the most ‘scenic’ in Rotorua with panoramic views of the Rotorua region once you reach the summit, riders are treated to amazing NZ nature from start to finish.

Check out more information on the trail here.

Mountain Biker ride around a berm with trees in the background.
So many great trails!

Whaka Forest – ‘The Redwoods’

Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest is home to some of the world’s greatest mountain bike trails. With around 130km of track the forest caters to all riding experience and levels, from beginners to families and advanced riders.

Eagle vs Shark

Eagle vs Shark is a dangerously fast and flowing, 99% downhill grade 3 trail with lots of smooth, rollable jumps. It all adds up to what becomes a favourite for many riders in no time flat.

The trail starts at the shuttle drop off point towards the top of Tawa Road, one of the highest points in the forest. It winds down a steep slope, facing north with a couple of traverses across the face of the hill before opening up to a newly formed lookout over Lake Rotorua. From here it continues down a newly built section to the Black House carpark on Tarawera Road.

Two mountain bikers riding through the forest.
Stunning forest!

Te Ahi Manawa

This is one to test all those technical riders out there as this grade 5 quickly descends into a steep, rooty off camber trail with plenty of drops and chutes to test every rider. After rain this can provide plenty of laughs as you try to negotiate your way down remaining on 2 wheels.

There are 3 sections split by Buchanan Road and Tikitapu Road, with arguably the highlight of the trail being the last section with it big sweeping corners down the gully that feel more like riding on a half pipe. You end on the shores of Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) before making your way back towards Moerangi Road for some more action.

Check out more information on the trail here

A man riding down through the forest on Mountain Bike, two other bikers in the background.
Always a great time in the forest!
This blog was updated in May 2021.
For more great Mountain Biking information in Rotorua check out Ride Rotorua.  

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