Mountain biking mecca: Welcome to New Zealand’s home of mountain biking

Your ultimate guide to mountain biking Rotorua

Top of Tokanui - Whakarewarewa Forest. Photo credit: Graeme Murray

Top of Tokanui - Whakarewarewa Forest. Photo credit: Graeme Murray

Rotorua is undoubtedly the world’s best all-year mountain biking destination. 

Not only are there over 200km of free trails to explore, there are geothermal mineral pools, boutique cafes, restaurants, pubs, golf courses, geothermal parks and cultural experiences to discover.

We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to a mountain biking holiday in Rotorua. 

Whakarewarewa Forest Loop. Photo credit: Graeme Murray

On the saddle

Rotorua is a year-round mountain biking destination, with trails that suit all abilities, from complete beginners to seasoned riders. Rent your bikes from local brothers Tak and Tu Mutu at Mountain Bike Rotorua, the friendly mountain bike enthusiasts at Planet Bike or the e-bike experts at Electric Bike Rotorua.

Whakarewarewa Forest (the Redwoods)

Rotorua’s lush forest surroundings are a great place to start your mountain biking holiday. Fuel up with a coffee and bite to eat at Waipa car park before setting off on some of these trails: 

The Kids’ Loop: An easy 8km trail that starts and finishes at the car park. 

Whakarewarewa Forest Loop: A 34km one-way loop rated Grade 2-3 with a variety of uphill, downhill and flat terrain for riders of most abilities. The newest New Zealand Great Ride. Ideal for E-bikers 

K2 Trail: An advanced steep downhill trail with plenty of drops and roots to maneuver.

Skyline MTB Park

The 12km of trails at Skyline MTB Park are also a must for riders of all abilities. There’s a pump track for beginners and those who want to take it easy. Intermediate and advanced riders can tackle the fun and flowy Sprint Warrior, the challenging Dweedle Dum, or the latest Grade 6 addition to the park – The Debt Collector. 

A bonus of Skyline MTB Park is you don’t need to navigate any uphills – just take the gondola straight to the top!

Whakarewarewa Forest Loop lookout. Photo credit: Graeme Murray

Whakarewarewa Forest Loop lookout. Photo credit: Graeme Murray

Whakarewarewa Forest Loop lookout. Photo credit: NZ Roady.

Whakarewarewa Forest Loop lookout. Photo credit: NZ Roady.

Rotorua hosts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest mass-participation mountain biking event on 21-23 October 2022

Biking events

Line up your holiday to Rotorua with one of these epic mountain biking events.

Crankworx
This multi-stop mountain biking festival returns to Aotearoa 5-13 November 2022. Watch the competition, check out the latest mountain biking products and mingle with Crankworx athletes at the Crankworx Rotorua expo. There are scavenger hunts and daily activities in the Kidsworx Arena for kids under 12. 

Whaka 100
Rotorua hosts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest mass-participation MTB event on 21-23 October 2022, a brutal test of endurance which has rightfully earned a reputation as the toughest MTB event around. 

There are also competitions, giveaways, family-friendly events like the Whaka Kids 5km.

Crankworx is a multi-stop mountain biking festival that is coming to NZ in November

Crankworx is a multi-stop mountain biking festival that is coming to NZ in November

Après bike style

There’s nothing more satisfying than putting your feet up or giving them a soak while you reminisce about the trails. Debrief on your daily adventures with the crew at these top spots: 

Secret Spot Hot Tubs: Soak in a secluded hot tub amongst native bush with a craft beverage in hand. Trail dog friendly.
Arikikapakapa Golf Rotorua: This 18-hole golf course is located in an active geothermal area, making it a truly unique landscape to tee off in. 
Good Eastern Taphouse: With its simple philosophy of good beer + good food + good friends, you can’t go wrong at this popular hangout. 
Eastwood Cafe: Along with firm favourites like pizza and eggs benny, you’ll also find waffles, sticky duck tacos and a fish burger with parmesan fries. Trail dog friendly. 
Pig & Whistle: An historic pub and local landmark boasting a wide range of New Zealand craft beer and cider on tap, great pub food and live entertainment every weekend.

Eastwood Cafe

Eastwood Cafe

Secret Spot Hot Tubs. Photo credit: Graeme Murray.

Secret Spot Hot Tubs. Photo credit: Graeme Murray.

Unwind with unforgettable accommodation

You’ll certainly need a good place to rest your head after using up all your energy on the trails. Here are some options:

Pullman Rotorua: Book a post-ride spa treatment at Massage Eden, the on-site day spa and enjoy farm-to-table cooking at Barrel & Co. Bar and Grill.
Aura Rotorua: Swim all year round in the heated outdoor swimming pool, cook up a storm on the BBQ, or relax in the mineral pools at this sustainability-focused friendly motel.
Distinction Rotorua Hotel and Conference Centre: This hotel is ideally situated to make the most of the MTB trails, and has a wash down facility, and a purpose-built, individual locker bike storage unit for mountain-biking guests.  
The Greenkeepers Cottage: The refurbished Greenkeepers Cottage at Arikikapakapa Golf Course has views of the fairway and great lock up facilities for your bikes.

Pullman Rotorua Lakeview Suite

Pullman Rotorua Lakeview Suite

Start planning your visit to the home of mountain biking in New Zealand today at rotoruanz.com.



Please travel safely and check guidance at https://covid19.govt.nz/ for any requirements related to the Covid protection framework (the traffic light system) in the region you're travelling to.



Lake Rotoiti, photo credit: Paul Michael

Lake Rotoiti, photo credit: Paul Michael