January 2017: Mountain biking in New Zealand
New Zealand is home to some of the world’s best mountain biking. Few countries serve up such diversity – from flowing urban single-track to rugged, remote backcountry trails, all set against stunning landscapes.
Combine this with a wealth of off-the-bike attractions, quality accommodation and a great food, wine and craft beer scene – it’s the perfect place for a mountain biking holiday for your clients.
National tour operators such as Just MTB
, Adventure South
and Haka Tours
offer fully inclusive tours, and in most regions local operators offer a range of services, from bike rental to multi-day tours.
A great place to start is the New Zealand Cycle Trail network, which offers multi-day adventures such as the remote and challenging Old Ghost Road
., or the gentler but scenic Timber Trail
. Beyond the network, fantastic trails can be found all over New Zealand, offering rides for all abilities, interests and itineraries.
Read on for some tips on New Zealand’s top mountain biking regions.
A mountain biker’s heaven with world-class tracks, Rotorua is an international mountain biking destination and hosts a range of national and world mountain biking events, including Crankworx
To see why Rotorua is widely rated one of the world’s best mountain biking meccas, look no further than these legendary trails threaded through towering redwoods and lush native bush
. There are trails that cater for children/beginners to competitive/experienced riders and everyone else in between. Plus there is a shuttle service for tired legs, or those just looking for more downhill fun.
Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park
is New Zealand’s first year-round Gondola assisted bike lift, giving riders access to 8.5km of world-class downhill mountain biking. The dedicated gondola cabins are designed to take up to four bikes and riders per trip.
Multi Day Adventures
offer guided mountain bike tours and bike hire in Rotorua.
Wellington’s hilly, bush-clad landscape makes for exhilarating riding, with 350km of mountain biking trails across the Wellington region.
Wellington is ideal for those clients wishing to travel with their own bikes, as it’s a compact city with trails accessible within minutes of the city centre.
Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park
Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park
is an award-winning bike park only 15 minutes’ drive from central Wellington. The park features over 40km of purpose-built single track catering to all experience levels, from beginners to expert riders.
Bikes can be hired from nearby Mud Cycles
Just minutes from the CBD, this popular reserve
in Aro Valley is a great spot for a ride.
Just five minutes from the central city, Mount Victoria
is great place to ride. With a range of rides from easy to intermediate, plus a skills area, your clients will be spoilt for choice.
Boasting an IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) Gold Status, Nelson serves up rides stretching from mountains to sea for all types of riders.
Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
This expertly designed mountain bike park
is located close to stunning Abel Tasman National Park. The park is free to enter and new trails are always being added.
With epic mountain surrounds it’s no surprise that Queenstown gives other regions a run for its money in the fight for New Zealand's mountain biking crown.
Rude Rock & Skippers Canyon
Pulling in ambitious riders from all over the world, these adrenaline-pumping downhill trails
are all the more irresistible for their eye-popping alpine country backdrop.
Queenstown Bike Park
is home to New Zealand’s first-ever gondola assisted bike lift, providing direct access to Queenstown Bike Park.
The bike park features over 30km of tracks weaving through the pine trees of Ben Lomond Reserve. The longest run is Hammy’s Track, an easy 6km trail lasting 15-30 minutes.
Christchurch offers many excellent mountain biking opportunities.
Christchurch Adventure Park
The newly opened Christchurch Adventure Park
is home to the longest chairlift in New Zealand that takes sightseers, riders and their bikes to the top of the Port Hills with stunning views across the city and Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps. Riders can access the largest collection of lift accessed trails in the Southern Hemisphere, ranging from beginners through to pro-line black.
Smaller mountain biking areas around the city, such as McLeans Island or Bottle Lake Forest, are also well worth a visit.