Mountain Biking

January 29th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

An advertorial post from Evolution Cycles:

Whether you are an experienced mountain bike rider or are just getting into mountain bikes, New Zealand’s North Island has variety of riding opportunities for every skill set. Whether you want to experience the blood curdling rush of high speed downhill or slowly meander along a flat road, you will find it in the North Island.

Mountain bikes are a great way to see New Zealand and is very popular here. Getting out of a motorized vehicle and onto a two wheeled device powered by nothing but legs, is a great way to get a discover the country and all it has to offer. You will experience unique wildlife and the serene countryside you as you have your adrenaline pumped like never before. Here’s my top 10 list (in no particular order), I welcome any criticism and comments. I’m happy to update this list if I’ve missed someone’s favourite spot!

#1 Waikato River Trails – this network for mountain bikes has trails for all ability levels. There are boardwalks, farmland, forest and riverside with a wide range of interesting geological formations and notable landmarks. This network of trails runs 100 km and goes from Lake Karapiro to Atiamuri’s hydro dam.

#2 Summerhill Farm – for beginners on mountain bikes, this privately owned park has something for everyone. There are trails for walking or riding that take you through native forest and green farmland. There is a single track and also a skills area. Guided tours encompass a combination of kayaking and biking, giving you access to a variety of islands that are located in the Tauranga Harbour.

#3 Woodhill Forest – this beautiful (and incredibly popular) forest contains 150 km of tracks for every level of rider. There is also a network of 50 bike trails throughout this area. Many people would put this right at the top of their list, it’s one of those places you must see when visiting New Zealand. You might recognise this forest as the White Witch’s camp in the Narnia film series.

#4 Waihi and the greater Coromandel Peninsula area offers a range of rides (and terrific walking tracks) through this historic region whether you prefer a guided tour or to go it alone.

#5 Te Aroha – This mountain bike track is tucked snugly into the lower part of Mount Te Aroha (where I lived for 5 years) and features a scenic 10km ride that is open all year round. Every 500m or so, you have a choice of expert or beginner track (one of my favourite features). The track takes you past bush covered foothills, mountain streams, past the Mokena Geyser (the only know hot water soda geyser in the world) and waterfalls. While living there, I worked for the council and helped build some of this track myself, so it has a special place in my heart.

#6 Rotorua Thermal Region – a globally renowned destination for many dedicated mountain bikers. Rotorua is one of my favourite places to visit, we go there several times a year. The Redwood Forest (part of the Whakarewarewa forest) is a popular location and bikes can be hired at the location itself. There are local cycle shops that hire bikes as well and maps are also available almost anywhere. Just a few minutes drive from town, these tracks cover over 70km of very unique terrain beautiful surrounding views.

#7 Pan Pac Eskdale Mountain Bike Park – This park is one of the largest mountain bike parks in New Zealand. It is located with a privately owned commercial area – the Tangoio Forest. The park has been developed by the Hawke’s Bay Mountain Bike Club for use by all mountain biking enthusiasts. There are some spectacular views from the 290m peak of the mountain and more than 80km of trails to be ridden by anyone of any skill level.

#8 The Whirinaki Forest Trails were rated “ride of the trip” in 2009 by Australian Mountain Bike Magazine. These trails include the 36km Moerangi Trail and Whirinaki Loop track. A serious bun burner, these trails are sure to satisfy even the biggest adrenaline junky.

#9 The Central North Island Ruapehu region offers 14 tracks for every level of cyclist which includes the Tongariro Forest Park’s 42 Traverse track which covers 46km of challenging terrain on a volcanic plateau.

#10 Taranaki downhills – the 18 km Whangamomona Road is located along Forgotten World Highway and offers a grade 3+ mountain bike trail starting with the “Bridge to Nowhere” and ending at the Whangamomona Pub. This trail is not for sissies, and was carved into the rugged landscape over a 100 years ago

So that’s the list, I hope you’ll be able to visit some of these amazing places the next time you want an adventure!

Written by Daniel McCarthy from Evolution Cycles

Evolution Cycles offer a massive range of bikes, scooters, bike components and accessories. We are also the only bike store offering Free Shipping NZ wide. Visit Site>

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24 Responses to “Mountain Biking”

  1. pedrogarcia (52 comments) says:

    I’ve never seen advertorial on Kiwiblog before – is there a link to the ratecard?

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  2. xy (187 comments) says:

    Kiwiblog, that well-known haven for cycling supporters.

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  3. Raphael (88 comments) says:

    #4 Waihi and the greater Coromandel Peninsula

    And the Thames Mountain Bike Club has just finished putting in some new trails up on Scarface, with some help from Trail Fund and local businesses.
    https://www.facebook.com/Thamesmtbclub?fref=ts

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  4. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    Maybe DPF wants a free bike…

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  5. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    I thought mountain biking was a green, hippie, leftist, conspiracy?

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  6. 2boyz (262 comments) says:

    Just back from a week up in Taupo, rode a couple of trails with my 9 & 12 year old (Excellent trails), although Wellington has great Mountain biking most tracks involve some type of major hill (UP) work :). Brought my bike from the very same company that is advertising, online late last year. good luck with the free bike DPF.

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  7. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    I ride trails in Rotorua, Taupo and Auckland (Woodhill) frequently. Recently rode the Waikato river trail from the SH1 start point through to Whakamaru (to the swing bridge) and back. A near 70k round trip, what a brillinat day in the saddle that was.

    Rotorua is rated as one of the top 5 trail mecca’s in the world. Its utterly brilliant. Taupo is OK. The Waikato trails range from easy and fun, with glorious views of the river, through to some technically challenging stuff that is Grade 4.

    We are incredibly lucky to have all this. MTB riding is fantastic fun, and a great workout, plus the best excuse EVER for having a pint at the end.

    Off to ride in BC later this year, cant wait. Get a bike, any bike, and get out there people. Its bloody brilliant.

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  8. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Mountain biking is about as left wing as Americas Cup racing and eventing at Badminton.

    I miss the Montana Mountainbike Militia and their website. Their product testing was ledgendary.

    “Contrary to the manufacturer’s claims, these forks are not ‘bulletproof’, merely ‘bullet resistant'”

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  9. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Plus, Mountainbiking is sooooooo 1990s. Cyclocross is where all right-thinking hairy-legged nutjobs are at now.

    I mean, this is a sport that has at its core cowbells, beer laps and triple-fermented Belgian beer.

    I love destroying mountian biking Strava KoMs with a bike thats half the weight and twice the stiffness (and doesn’t have a granny gear like a std mountainbike)

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  10. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (562 comments) says:

    Also worth a mention are the tracks at Totara Park, Manukau and the tracks out in the Hunua’s, South Auckland

    If you’re riding out at Totara park you may come across a crusty lot going by the name of RRADOF, best to steer clear. This is what they get up to in the middle of the year. Hard Bastards!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATK43OAKieA

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Totara-Park-Mountain-Bike-Club/624670427565827

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  11. Akaroa (557 comments) says:

    Why have we got “An advertorial post from Evolution Cycles:”?

    I know this is supposed to be David’s blog, and all that, but I can’t imagine that a perceptive individual such as he is would knowingly and willingly throw open the valuable resource for comment and discussion that Kiwiblog is to someone merely flogging push-bikes – or trying to!. I hope not anyway!

    [DPF: If you want to donate money to Kiwiblog to pay the bills then I'll let you know the bank account number.]

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  12. ChrisM (103 comments) says:

    I think Daniel has got his wires crossed a bit for the taranaki downhills. Starting at the ‘Bridge to Nowhere” and getting to Whangamomona is more than just a ride. It will be swinging across the Whanganui and bushbashing for a couple of days. Doesn’t he mean the “Bridge to Somewhere”? This was going to be the western part of the Whanganui crossing in the Napier to New Plymouth road.
    And for Yogi – cyclecross is for wimps. Single Speeding is the only way

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  13. bc (1,367 comments) says:

    Given the rabid anti-cyclist posts that have been on this site, I wish Evolution Cycles all the best on getting business from people here :)

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  14. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    DPF, we disagree on your liberal social issues but I am with you on mountain biking. Have you tried the track at Te Rapa?

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  15. cas (39 comments) says:

    I give a plug to the Motu Trails – the Dunes Trail along sand dunes; the Motu Road Trail ; the Pakihi described by a freelance writer for Australian Mountain Biking magazine as ” one of the most awe-inspiring mountain bike experiences on the planet”. And there are additonal trails like the Rere Falls trail on the Gizzy side. Well worth taking on.

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  16. wrightingright (143 comments) says:

    For fairness and balance I expect to see a blog post in the near future on the many merits of road cycling! ;-)

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  17. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    “xy (124 comments) says:
    January 29th, 2014 at 4:13 pm
    Kiwiblog, that well-known haven for cycling supporters”

    Track lice are slightly better than road lice but both are a menace to decent society ;)

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  18. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Try hway 14 to hway 4 . Turangi- Tauranmui road cross country to Owhango.

    Or the trails in the Pureora. Good camp to stay at Tauramanui.

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  19. lolitasbrother (697 comments) says:

    I like it,
    Farrar turns from political commenter to walker, runner, and biker fast,
    its OK farrar we can handle it,
    we return NZ Nat Govt 2014 guaranteed

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  20. Monty (978 comments) says:

    Well trevor the muss mallard will be interested.

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  21. NeutralObserver (95 comments) says:

    What about Wellingtons own MIGHTY, Makara Mountain bike park. 10 Minutes from Lambton Quay – world class.

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  22. jcuk (687 comments) says:

    Since my son’s partner had an accident mountain biking, hit his head, and a few days later life support was turned off, I view MB riding with caution … just as the coroner who wants airbags on racing circuits. If you crack eggs you must expect a mess …. your choice but not my option.

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  23. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    I survived Cycle Commuting in AUCKLAND for 3.5 years
    my most memorable moment was a mini bus of private school brats
    and their drive trying to intentionally Run me off the Road for 3 blacks in NEw market

    he was giving the middle nz children a lesson in Road Rage

    Check out the Rail Trails in AUS

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  24. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    I meant blocks in no way was that mean to be a racist comment

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