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 cycling 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
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