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Level: Intermediate
Length: 19 mi (30.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +1,108/ -1,149 ft
Total: 3 riders

Mountain Biking Great Lake Trail - Waihaha

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#103 of 387 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#6,989 in the world

The Waihaha trail is 30km, about 4 hours, of mellow flowing singletrack bliss. It weaves its way through forest with stunning river, canyon, lake and mountain views. It's never very steep but it is undulating! It's an exceptionally well made trail in an amazing landscape. Riding it is a wonderful mini-adventure that normally includes a road shuttle, a boat shuttle, lunch along the way, a swim in the lake and, on a clear day, photos for a lifetime.

There are toilets at the start, midway and end of the trail. You'll get cellphone reception here and there.

First added by Jim Cummings on Jan 19, 2017. Last updated May 6, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Most people go to Kinlock and get a shuttle out to the trail head at Waihaha River bridge, and a boat shuttle back from the end of the trail at Waihora Bay. Kinloch is a charming village by the beach about 21km from Taupo. Leave Taupo heading north on State Highway 1, After 1.3km, at the top of the hill, turn left onto Poihipi Road. After 9.7km turn left onto Whangamata Road, in another 7.5km turn left into Kinloch Road. You'll arrive at Kinloch in 2km where you'll spot the parking area beside the fire station. There are lots of signs. If you want to ride the trail without the expense (about $150) of shuttles your best bet is to drive to the end of Waihaha Road which is near the middle of the trail. You could then do the trail as two out-and-back rides totalling 60km. Here's how to get there... Leave Taupo heading north on State Highway 1. After 1.3km, at the top of the hill, turn left onto Poihipi Road. After 9.7km turn left onto Whangamata Road, in another 27km turn left into Western Bays Road. You'll reach Waihaha Road after 9km. Drive down it for 6km until you come to the car park at the end.
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Great Lake Trail - Waihaha Trail map

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(on Feb 23, 2017)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Taupo, New Zealand

Easiest | 15 mi
Intermediate | 10 mi
Beginner | 28 mi
Intermediate | 17 mi

Rider questions

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  • Jim Cummings

    At 30km or 19 miles, this is the longest of the three Great Lake Trails. It's also the furthest from Taupo and the most expensive since it involves two shuttles unless you do two out-and-back rides totalling 60km from the end of Waihaha Road.

    Some say it's the best of the three trails but I don't think there's anything in it. It does make for a fantastic day out with friends - great riding, a picnic, a boat ride, a bit of an adventure, stunning views, and a life-long memory.

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