Mountain bike trails: New Zealand
Mountain biking: Auckland
One of the best ways to get Waiheke Island is by bike. You don’t even need to bring a bike with you – just hire a bike at the Waiheke ferry terminal and start biking straight away – lookout for the dedicated mountain biking tracks at Rangihoua Hill. Another popular mountain biking park in Auckland is Woodhill Forest, which has 50km of forest trails and has something for everyone from beginners to advanced mountain bikers.
Mountain biking: Christchurch
Situated between Christchurch and the West Coast is the Craigieburn Forest Park that attracts mountain bikers who want to enjoy dense beech forests and snow-capped peaks – all in one ride! Ideally suited to advanced riders, the biking trails in the Craigieburn Ski Area are 1300m above sea level and involve thrilling descents – although intermediate bikers can avoid the most challenging part of the route by starting from the Lyndon Saddle Track.
Mountain biking: Rotorua
The 5600-hectare Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, also known as The Redwoods is famous for being a mountain biking mecca with some of the world’s best mountain biking trails that thread through lush native bush and towering redwoods. Rotorua has been awarded gold-level ride centre status by the International Biking Association (IMBA). As one of only six in the world, this epic mountain biking experience is one not to be missed!
Mountain biking: Queenstown
Queenstown is famous for its adrenalin-pumping downhill trails that attract mountain biking enthusiasts from all over the world. There is something for every cycling enthusiast in Queenstown from scenic country trails to road rides and heli mountain biking (you and your bike are loaded into a helicopter. The helicopter lands at the trail start on a mountain top) as well as the Southern Hemispheres only gondola- accessed downhill mountain biking.
Mountain biking: West Country
The Old Ghost Road in the West Country is a multi-day journey that is known for being New Zealand’s longest single-track through a rugged mountain wilderness. This route is only for fit mountain bikers who are totally self-sufficient and who want to tackle the “most remote and challenging” of New Zealand’s Mountain bike trails. The trail follows an old gold miners’ route between the ghost town of Lyell in the Buller Gorge and Seddonville in the West Country and involves staying overnight in remote huts and tackling cutting-edge mountain biking in the day.
Mountain biking: North Island
The Timber Trail in the Pureora Forest Park has everything that makes mountain bikers’ hearts beat faster including suspension bridges and awe-inspiring beauty. This is an 87-kilometre trail and runs between the settlements of Pureora and Ongarue with limited road access – making this two-day ride a memorable experience.
Mountain biking: Nelson
The Kahurangi National Park in Nelson provides mountain bikers with a remote wonderland of ever-changing landscapes. The Heaphy Track which is New Zealand’s most diverse Great Walk is open to Mountain Bikers between May and November every year and stretches over 80 km. This is one of the most popular New Zealand mountain biking trails and includes biking through lushly forested valleys and along wild West Coast beaches.