6 May 2021 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

The Best Rotorua Bike Trails

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Our favorite biking trails in Rotorua

rotorua bike trails
Credit: Flickr

If you are looking to go mountain biking in New Zealand, it’s hard to beat the trails in Rotorua. The area has spectacular scenery, from redwood forests to mountain summits to lake views. Rotorua also has a fabulous mix of trail levels. Return year after year as your skills improve. There are trails for everyone, from beginner to advanced.

If you’re just getting into mountain biking or you’re vacationing with your family, you’ll have fun on Grade One and Two trails. These trails are rated as easy, but you’ll still get to enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Intermediate bikers will love Grade Three trails. These trails feature uphill and downhill sections, tight turns, and chutes. Experts can try their hand at Grade Five and Six trails, with professional-level difficulty and thrills.

The Redwoods in Whakarewarewa Forest has the most extensive network of trails in Rotorua. Choose from different grades and routes and enjoy the ride.

If you love downhill thrills but dread the uphill climb, check out Skyline Rotorua. Ride the gondola up and mountain bike down.

The Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest

rotorua mountain bike trails
Whakarewarewa Forest MTB Track – Credit: Flickr

The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest is just three kilometers outside of Rotorua. This wonderful park features a magnificent canopy of California redwood trees. There are over 130 kilometers of evolving mountain bike trails, which are helpfully organized by geography and skill level.

The Whakarewarewa Forest Loop Trail

This 35-kilometer loop is a wonderful way to circumnavigate the Whakarewarewa Forest. With Grade One and Two trails, it’s suitable for beginners.

The Inner Core Network

The Inner Core Network has rides ranging from Grade One to Grade Six. The Inner Core Network is great for beginners and families. Here, you’ll find The Kid’s Loop and The Dipper.

The Kid’s Loop

The Kid’s Loop is four and a half kilometers long and perfect for kids and kids at heart. It will leave the whole family smiling!

The Dipper

The Dipper is one of the original trails, and it’s hard to beat. This Grade Two trail is two and a half kilometers long, and you might enjoy it so much, you do it twice!


The Tahi trail is a Grade Two trail that is two and a half kilometers long. This mellow rolling trail is suitable for beginners and connects to several other tracks to extend the ride. You’ll go through a forested section, enjoy an open clearing, and then go through a strand of redwoods.

The Creek Track

The Creek Track is a mixed grade trail, with some sections reaching Grade Three difficulty. It’s a good track for beginner bikers that are looking to stretch their skills. If you are looking to graduate from the Dipper, try the Creek Track. You can walk the short Grade Three areas if needed.

In the first part of the track, you’ll come to a sign that indicates the easier and harder routes. The easy route is primarily flat and flowy. The harder route has a chute with a sharp turn. Then you can cross the bridge over the creek to reach part two of the trail which follows the creek. You’ll get to try some tight corners and get a great workout.

Outer Core Network

family bike trails rotorua
Credit: Flickr

The Puarenga Track

The Puarenga Track on the Outer Core Network is especially beautiful. This Grade One trail takes riders back and forth over bridges and the stream. There are bench seats along the way, so families and couples can stop and take a break or have a picnic. There’s also a traditional Maori carving about halfway.

Tokorangi to Wash Network

rotorua cycle trails
The MTB competition Crankworx. Credit: Flickr

Tokorangi Trail

This Grade Three trail starts high on the Tokorangi ridge. It’s a good option for intermediate riders who are looking to test their skills. This flowing trail flows from a logged area to a vibrant native forest.

Tawa to Moerangi Network

rotorua mountain bike park
Credit: Flickr

The Tuhoto Ariki Trail

The Tuhoto Ariki Trail is part of the Tawa to Moerangi Network. This Grade Four trail starts at 765 meters, the highest point in the Whakarewarewa Forest. This trail has climbs as well as long downhill portions.

The National Downhill Route

mtb rotorua
Credit: Flickr

The National Downhill Route features fast and steep downhill runs and is for expert and extreme riders only. As you ride, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Rotorua Lake and the city. This network features some of the most popular area bike trails, and once you’ve experienced them, you’ll see why.


The Taniwha is an expert-level world-class trail in the National Downhill Route. This Grade Six trail is one kilometer long. This steep, fast downhill trail has jumps and drop-offs. It’s used for club and national racing.


If you are an expert rider and looking for a challenge, try the Grade Five/Six Hatupatu trail. You can access it through The Tuhoto Ariki Trail. The Hatupatu trail has rooty sections, serious camber, and you’ll need serious momentum to clear tricky sections.

Skyline Rotorua

skyline rotorua mtb
Biking next to Skyline Rotorua – Credit: Wikicommons

Do you love going downhill but dread dragging your bike uphill? Skyline Rotorua Mountain Bike Park has the answer! This fabulous park has a gondola, so, like skiers, you can get a lift to the top and enjoy the bike ride down. The top elevation for these Rotorua Bike Trails is 532 meters (1745 feet), so you know you are in for a thrill. Skyline has 12 trails ranging from beginner to expert. Test your skills, learn new tricks, and enjoy the exhilaration of the downhill rush.

Western Okataina Walkway

Western Okataina Walkway features 12 kilometers of trails with gorgeous lake views. Start at Millar Road and enjoy the exhilarating downhill sections. This is a dual-use trail, so watch out for walkers.

Rainbow Mountain Loop

Rainbow Mountain Loop’s highlights are the multicoloured, steaming geothermal cliffs, far-reaching views, and a warm creek swim. A series of different tracks form this loop. Bikers can park in the Rainbow Mountain car park.

Begin the Rainbow Mountain Loop by taking the Te Tihi o Ruru Summit Track 743 meters uphill. This challenging ride will reward you with exceptional 360-degree views at the summit. On a clear day, you can see Tongariro National Park‘s volcanic peaks to the south, Mt Tarawera to the north, and Paeroa Range to the west. Next, head downhill on the Te Ranga MTB track. Upon arrival at Kerosene Creek, you can take a wonderfully refreshing, naturally warm swim.

Te Ara Ahi

rotorua bike trails
The Waimangu Volcanic Valley – Credit: Wikicommons

This fabulous trail takes bikers through four geothermal areas. This trail has lake and mountain views and is filled with Māori history. This Grade Two and Grade Three trial is 48 kilometers long in total. Riders can hop on and off at different sections to complete their favorite parts or spread the trail out over several days.

This extensive trail starts near the Rotorua Museum and then takes bikers along the Sulphur Point Track past Whakarewarewa and Te Puia. The trail then tracks by the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Riders can continue on to Okaro Lake, Rainbow Mountain, and Kerosene Creek. Kerosene Creek is a popular place to swim in naturally warm waters. Finally, bikers will arrive at Waiotapu, where a host of attractions await. Choose from the pub, honey factory, or the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

Book your next mountain bike getaway with Bachcare and challenge yourself on the best Rotorua bike trails.

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