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Level: Beginner
Length: 28 mi (45.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +1,763/ -1,936 ft
Total: 25 riders

Mountain Biking Great Lake Trails

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#2 of 387 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#373 in the world

There are three Great Lake Trails, all on the northern side of Lake Taupo. From east to west they are:

1. Great Lakes Trail - W2K, from Kinloch to Whakaipo Bay. Best to start at Kinloch and get a shuttle back, 24km, 3 hours, including a detour called the Headland Trail. Alternatively ride back taking the 14km shortcut for a total of 38km, 4 hours...

2. Great Lakes Trail - K2K. From Whangamata Road to Kinloch. Best to start with a road shuttle from Kinloch, 20km, 3hours. Alternatively ride out and back from Kinloch, 40km, 5 hours. A third alternative is to make a loop of it by riding out on the roads, 42km, 5 hours...

3. Great Lakes Trail - Waihaha. Best to start at Kinloch with a road shuttle to the Waihaha River bridge on Western Bays Road and end with a boat shuttle back to Kinloch, 30km, 4 hours...

The trails are absolutely brilliant - bendy, humpy, and flowing - a symphony of gentle singletrack artistry. The scenery is stunning and the bush a dream coat. All in all, they are rare gems - scenic, mellow , semi-wilderness rides on fun trails.

There are a number of shuttles and bike hire places in the city of Taupo. Drop into the i-site (information centre), on the main street for the really nice trail maps and any other information you need. Taupo is a big tourist centre with lots of other attractions that they can help you with as well.

First added by Ginny_Tory on Jun 22, 2013. Last updated May 6, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
All three Great Lake Trails are usually ridden with shuttles, and Kinloch is the popular start and end for all of them. Kinloch is a charming village by the beach about 21km from Taupo. 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 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 to guide you there.
System trails (3)
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Great Lake Trails Trail map

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Craig Elliott (on Aug 31, 2019)
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Good (on Oct 27, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Taupo, New Zealand

Easiest | 15 mi
Intermediate | 10 mi
Intermediate | 17 mi
Intermediate | 1 mi

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  • Aggodfrey

    Amazing trail! Spend a couple days here and do it as two out-and-back trails. Good flow and beautiful views.

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  • Jim Cummings

    Absolutely brilliant! Bendy, humpy trail, fun from beginning to end and glorious views to go with it. Don't bypass the headland section!

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  • Jim Cummings

    The K2K and the other Great Lake Trails are the ultimate rides of their kind - a combination of a semi-wilderness experience, stunning scenery, and a track with continuous easy technicality.

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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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  • rohink

    Great trail with the views to match, awesome swimming spot at the end.

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  • fergnago

    Rode Waikapo bay to kinloch including the headland loop. After lots of rain the track was very soggy with lots of boggy sections. Still rideable and awesome scenery. A must do ride

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  • fergnago

    One of the most scenic rides in the north island, a must do ride

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  • Jim Cummings

    Got to be in your list of must-ride New Zealand trails! They are intermediate trails - not suitable for absolute beginners.

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  • Desperado

    No doubt about it - this is one of the world's great semi-wilderness mountain bike trails. It's the ultimate mellow adventure ride. Technically interesting all the way and gloriously scenic. It's enlightening, sensuously thrilling, and fun, fun, fun. It life you can't ask for more!!!!

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  • Jim Cummings

    Absolutely brilliant trails! Bendy, humpy, fun to ride from beginning to end and glorious views to go with it.

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