New Zealand trail recommendations


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    • #207031

      My wife and I are heading to New Zealand for 21 days and I’ve been doing some research for some good riding but looking for recommendations as well. We are bringing our own bikes and she rides at an intermediate level. I’m hoping to have a couple rides on my own for some more advanced rides as well. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Also any if you know of an must do say hikes that would be great too.


      Many Thanks

    • #207069

      Hey Cody, i think you’ll like it here. It depends where you’re going ultimately, but a couple of suggestions in general in my humble opinion… top of the country to the bottom… based purely on where I’ve been riding, and you’ve probably researched most of them, so keep in mind there’s plenty more!

      North Island:

      Auckland – you’ve definitely got to check out 440 ( ). shuttle service only, good people and great trails that you can blast or take a bit more time with depending on your confidence and state of mind. there’s proper DH sections and a killer DH trail but you can do top to bottom easily across various trails at any pace. Walk the extra road to the top for the view and the additional riding (take the left trail), both worth it. Love this place.

      Another option would be Woodhill ( ), which is a little bit closer to Auckland, they’ve got great trails but not as much vertical as 440. There’s a short 3k ride out to where the trails actually kick in, which some people like to whinge about, but the riding is great fun. some trails go down, some go up-and-down. nice riding in the forest. definitely head out to the far side and do “off-the-grid”, worth the pedal.

      Rotorua – Look Cody, if you’re bringing your bikes to New Zealand and not riding in Rotorua, then I think we’ve got a problem. Get there. Ride some proper NZ forest! Don’t limit yourself to one day here, there’s too much awesome riding to be had. days and days worth. possibly a lifetime’s worth.

      South Island:

      Christchurch – they’ve recently (less than two months ago – ) opened a chairlift access mtb park on the hills right next to the city. IT IS AWESOME. It’s all pretty new but they’re doing it proper and it is well worth heading there. A great mix of older technical trails and new totally roller-coaster berms and table-top affairs. tonnes of fun, great cafe and really well set up.

      Wanaka – If you get there, there’s a pine forest reserve just up above the town that has a crazy dirt jump park in it, and just a bit further along, there’s a massive plantation called Sticky Forest, which is free to ride and maintained by the local club and other awesome people. It’s a super nice network of trails, well mapped out and a short bike ride from anywhere in Wanaka. The trails are all great fun, and the locals have been busy building up new features and a superb new jump trail there. This is my home away from home! there’s also a broader network of trails that are more XC but it’s such a beautiful part of the country I’d still be happy rollerskating on gravel round those areas.

      Also, halfway between Wanaka and Queenstown is a ski field called Cardrona ( ) that operates lift-access mtb in summer. Amazing place to ride. great trails, incredible views. well worth a visit. aim for the afternoon run from the skifield down to the historic pub. about a 10k downhill run, guided. they have a shuttle service to take you back up after a refreshing beer.

      I’ve ridden all of these in the last few months and recommend them all.

      There is also amazing riding in Nelson at the top of the South Island, I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but I’ve witnessed the faraway gaze and humbled voices of those that have! And Queenstown obviously has a well-earned international reputation as an epic place.

      There’s a lot more out there, and most places have trails of some description. If you’re looking for multi-day or scenic rides, there’s heaps to choose from. Everyone is currently lining up (or planning) to do the Old Ghost Road trail in the South Island…

      Just get here and have fun! All the best with your travels.

    • #207474

      Hi Cody

      For the best advice on New Zealand trails you need look no further than!!! Specifically:

      The best mountain bike destinations are in order: Rotorua, Queenstown, Nelson, Taupo. (Forget Auckland, it just doesn’t measure up! Even Wellington is much better.)

      New Zealand’s back-country is unique – you must sample it. The best mellow back-country rides that both you and your wife will enjoy is at Taupo – the Great Lake Trails – more information on singletracks!!! Another great intermediate two day back country adventure ride in hobbit forest is The Timber Trail. Both you and your wife will love it.

      An epic two to three day adventure trail that your wife will definitely not enjoy but you will never forget is The Old Ghost Road.

      The best mountain bike park style riding is in Rotorua and Queenstown. Check out Whaka Forest, Coronet Peak, Queenstown Bike Park…

      The best easy scenic pedal-and-quaff style riding is near Queenstown: Check out Otago Central Rail Trail, Roxburgh Gorge, Clutha Gold Trail. Those three link together.

      All of those are described on – in detail with photos and without marketing hype!!!

      As for hikes, check out and

      But be realistic Cody you won’t be able to bring your bikes and your hiking gear on the same trip!!!

      The best time to come to New Zealand is February and March.

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