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Level: Beginner
Length: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +329/326 ft
Total: 4 riders

Mountain Biking Waikato River Trails: 1 Karapiro

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#129 of 381 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#8726 in the world

The trail is smooth and wide with just a few steep pitches. Initially it's close to the road but after Little Waipa Reserve - a great spot for camping and boating - it's right beside the beautiful Lake Karapiro. You'll pass the Huihuitaha wetlands on a boadwalk half a kilometer long and see the old swingbridge and powerstation at Arapuni after just 11km.

Hostel style accommodation is available at Arapuni and there is a cafe but not much else.

Many people do the trail as an out-and-back ride from the north end. Usually they carry on past the Arapuni dam to Jones landing. That makes for a round trip of less than 40km.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • Restrooms 
Getting there
To get to the northern end of the trail from Hamilton head south on State Highway 1 for 45km when you'll see the big "Waikato River Trails" sign pointing to the right down Horahora Road. The Pokaiwhenua Bridge car park is about 5km down Horahora Road. The southern end of this section of the Waikato River Trails is at Arapuni where it becomes the Arapuni Section. There is road access to Arapuni village and also the dam.
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Waikato River Trails: 1 Karapiro Trail map

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Hollings Nat (on Feb 2, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Jun 17, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Hamilton, New Zealand

Intermediate | 5 mi

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  • Jim Cummings

    This section of the Waikato River Trails is as picturesque as the other sections and it's the most like a "family fun" style of ride because it's short and not too challenging.

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