24 July 2020 | Written by Lydia Twohill

5 of the best places to mountain bike in New Zealand

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Mountain biking is one the most exhilarating and scenic ways to enjoy the beauty of New Zealand. With such a variety of tracks available throughout New Zealand, the hardest part is choosing which trail to tackle first! Whether you’re a seasoned rider who’s in it for the thrill, or you’re just wanting to get outside and explore – there’s something on offer for everyone. 

We’ve narrowed down 5 of the best places to embark on a mountain biking adventure in New Zealand…


1. Whakarewarewa Forest – Rotorua

best mountain biking in new zealand
Photo credit: Vaughan Brookfield

Without a doubt one of the most popular areas to spend time on a mountain bike is the Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest. Rotorua is renowned for offering world class trails and is known as somewhat of a mecca for mountain biking.

The forest has a network of 130km of trails, threaded through spectacular Redwoods and lush native flora and fauna. It’s easy to spend an entire day or weekend here, with the trails offering all levels of rides from beginners and young families through to advanced enthusiasts.

The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest is also conveniently located just a 10 minute drive from the city centre. Look no further for a world-class experience!


2. Queen Charlotte Track – Marlborough Sounds

mountain biking in new zealand
Photo credit: naumoid

A track that offers views of some of New Zealand’s most magnificent waterways – The Marlborough Sounds, it’s not one to be missed! This epic South Island track is infact one of New Zealand’s original Great Rides.

The trail curves around the bays, over hills and passes by a multitude of other activities that you can get amongst such as boat trips and water sports. You’ll have your breath taken away around every corner – be sure to stop and take it all in along the way.


3. Great Lake Trail – Taupo

new zealand mountain biking
Photo credit: Fraser Clements

The name says it all – expect GREAT scenery of the Taupo lakes as you weave your way around the shorelines. This all-season trail offers a unique mash up of terrain and ever changing scenery, with an incredible backdrop of brilliant blue lakes, rocky promontories and lush native bush along the way. Wanting more to do in Taupo? Check out our top 10 things to do on your visit, or our favorite restaurants to re-fuel!

4. Woodhill Forest – Auckland

woodhill forest mountain biking
Photo credit: Chris Cameron

Purpose built to offer some of the best mountain biking in New Zealand, Woodhill Forest will not disappoint for a fun, action-packed day out! You’ll have 50 trails to choose from, spanning across 150km!

This is definitely Auckland’s most popular riding destination and there’s trails for all levels, so everyone in your group can get involved. There’s a bike hire facility as well as a cafe and the park is open all year round. The park is located approximately a 50 minute drive from Acukland’s CBD, so it makes for the perfect day trip.


5. Rude Rock Track – Queenstown

mountain biking in new zealand - best tracks
Photo credit: Sven Martin

It’s no surprise the adventure capital of New Zealand boasts some of the most spectacular mountain biking trails. One of the best on offer is the Rude Rock Track,  which is probably better described as alpine biking rather than traditional mountain biking.

Having opened in 2013, it’s quickly become one of the most popular destinations for riding, definitely in part due to it’s jaw-dropping views of Lake Wakatipu and the greater Queenstown region – which are hard to beat! You’ll find the track located on the Coronet Peak Access Road.


Regardless of your riding prowess or age, mountain biking is an awesome way to immerse yourself in New Zealand’s epic scenery and have a fun day out with your family or group.

We’ve got you covered for when it’s time to jump off the bike and hang up the helmet at the end of the day, with holiday homes located throughout New Zealand for you to retreat to. 

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