Rotorua Bike Trails - Top 10 MTB Tracks

Are you a keen biker ready to take on some amazing scenic tracks?

Few places in the world stand at the gateway to over 160km of world-class mountain biking trails. From lush, urban forest trails to rugged and remote mountain top tracks, the Rotorua area certainly over-delivers on downhill thrills. 

The top 10 Rotorua bike trails are:

  1. The Skyline Mountain Bike Park
  2. Redwoods/ Whakarewarewa Forest
  3. Lake Tikitapu
  4. Whirinaki Forest
  5. Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge
  6. Rotorua Lakefront
  7. Te Ara Ahi Thermal Trail
  8. Rainbow Mountain
  9. Moerangi Track
  10. Western Okataina

The Skyline Mountain Bike Park

Two bikers riding riding on the gravity park overlooking Rotorua and the Skyline Gondola on a sunny day.
Image credit: Skyline Rotorua

Get your adrenaline pumping at the Skyline Rotorua MTB Park with New Zealand's first year-round Gondola assisted bike lift!

Our 12km downhill trail network is suitable for most ability levels. Take an easy ride on the Hipster trail, level up on the Hucks-N-Hooves or go full Enduro on The Fuzz or the Debt Collector. Then, grab some delicious food and drinks to refuel at the Market Kitchen Café.

Redwoods/ Whakarewarewa Forest

A mountain biker navigates a mountaintop corner with panoramic views of Rotorua behind them.
Image credit: RideNZ

This legendary southern Rotorua mountain bike park offers undulating terrain and topography as riders weave through towering Redwoods. Bikers of all levels have enjoyed and ridden the 180-kilometre master-crafted mountain biking trails.

As this international mountain biking destination attracts many cyclists each year, local bike-specific industries are on hand to support mountain bikers with bike hire options, shuttle up-lifts, and guided rides.

Lake Tikitapu

An incredible aerial shot of the Lake Tikitapu with a boat in the foreground.
Image credit: Rotorua Duck Tours

Lake Tikitapu, also known as Blue Lake, is one of the most popular Rotorua mountain bike trails for locals and visitors alike. Circling the lake is a 5.5km easy circuit track for walkers, which weaves through stunning native bush and exotic conifers. Flowing from the path into Whakarewarewa Forest is Tangaroa-Mihi—a 2.5km grade two mountain bike trail, perfect for kids or beginners.

Whirinaki Forest

A group of friends take a break from mountain biking in the Whirinaki Forest.
Image credit: RotoruaNZ

The Whirinaki Forest trail is a purpose-built 16km network that weaves through spectacular forestry and is one of the best New Zealand cycle trails for beginners. Riding the grade 2-3 track, you’ll pass raging rivers, indigenous ferns, and abundant birdlife along this Tangata Whenua (sacred treasure).

Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge

A lady crosses a small bridge on her mountain bike along the Sulphur Bay track.
Image credit: Lucy Casey

One of the most unique Rotorua cycle trails, this track weaves through a volcanic playground home to threatened bird populations and unique plant life. Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge boasts magnificent steam vents, bubbling mud pools, and natural hot pools.

Rotorua Lakefront

A beautiful aerial photo of the Rotorua lakefront cycleway.
Image credit: RotoruaNZ

Taking a relaxing walk or a bike ride along Lake Rotorua is a great way to soak up some warming rays in a beautiful setting. The lakefront is within walking distance from central Rotorua and is adjacent to the Village Green.

Te Ara Ahi Thermal Trail

A group of people stops to check out the view from the highest point of the Te Ara Ahi Thermal Trail.
Image credit: Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Close to Rotorua’s lakefront is the trail known as Thermal by Bike. Along this course, you’ll view steamy geothermal areas, rippling lakes and gargantuan mountains. The Te Ara Ahi trail covers three connected segments ranging from easy to intermediate, with multiple access points and shuttles. Make a detour from here to take on the Redwoods mountain biking trails.

Rainbow Mountain

People stop to appreciate the views along the Rainbow Mountain track.
Image credit: RotoruaNZ

Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve is located 26km south of Rotorua along State Highway 5. This steep ascent up a multi-coloured volcanic mound rewards riders with mesmerising panoramic views before a heart-pumping downhill descent.

Professional trail-builders created this shared trail - for both walking and biking - to be challenging and technical but wildly exhilarating. Afterwards, soothe your tired muscles in the geothermal waters of Kerosene Creek.

Moerangi Track

A group of mountain bikers navigate a heavily forested section of the Moerangi track.
Image credit: Cycling New Zealand

The Moerangi Track is a remote and challenging 35km adventure ride through unspoilt prehistoric forests, alongside roaring rivers. Prepare to spend 5 to 10 hours traversing the Grade 3 trail, which isn’t technically challenging but does feature natural obstacles such as fallen trees, slips and steep bluffs as you ascend 1000m above sea level.

Western Okataina

 Mountain biker ascends the Western Okataina track with sweeping views of the lake behind.
Image credit:

The Western Okataina Walkway follows an old logging road that passes through regenerating native forest and grassland. Along the route, riders may be able to spot Lake Okataina, and if you ride the 758 metres up the side track up to Rangitoto Peak, you’ll enjoy some exquisite panoramic views at the summit.

Ready To Hit The Trail?

A Skyline Rotorua Mountain Biker does a tail whip over a jump.
Image credit: Skyline Rotorua

Ready to shred some of the best mountain biking tracks the country has to offer? Grab your Rotorua MTB trail map and plan which trails you’ll explore on your trip to Rotorua. If you don’t have your own wheels, you can find high-quality dual-suspension bikes and maps from one of the many rental outlets in town.

Where will you start your epic New Zealand mountain biking adventure? Discover more itinerary ideas, travel tips, and places to visit in Rotorua in our blog.

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