New Zealand


under-the-radar comedian
Planning to go back to New Zealand within the year for a more casual trip (I did the south island last year on a contiki, which was fantastic)

Where are the best spots for MTB? Specifically XC with some views and scenery if possible. Not *too* difficult as I'll probably be dragging the girlfriend along too

North or South, we'll be doing both most likely
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Likes Dirt
My mate and my sister (both first time downhillers) hit one of the parks near Queenstown last year and both were able to ride it okay. I'll find out which one for you.


Likes Bikes and Dirt
I posted my thoughts on a few rides I did in January there.. search under "my Rides in New Zealand" or something.

Anyway you need to get a book called "Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides" by the Kennett brothers which covers rides in detail over the whole country. Its very common in NZ, don't know whether you can find it here easily... may need to get it posted over.

My main recommendation is Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotura It is great, has stuff for all levels and is real nice and flowing and endless. You could spend several days riding new tracks there everyday. Also they are colour graded so you can hop on an intermediate track if thats your level (was mine) and be comfortable or try something harder and expect a bit of walking. Downside it means you have to spend some time in Rotorua though, which is kinda awful nowdays though there are enough tourist things to entertain for a while.

Near Auckland is Woodhill Bike Park which is also great for XC.

Still all over NZ there is no shortage of nice single track XC rides... local councils will even sign post them nicely.


Definitely get a copy of the Kennett Book if you're spending any time road tripping around looking for rides. Ground effect sells them and will send them over.

Rotorua/redwoods is great, with mainly XC for all levels of riding. You can get a trail map from the info centre.
Woodhill in Auckland is a sand based park in west Auckland. Mostly flat, though there are short climbs/descents. Heaps of fun. Quite a few structures and the like.
Makara Peak in Wellington Mostly XC but a range of skill levels catered for. Awesome views on a nice day.
There are some great rides around the Port Hills in Christchurch, around Nelson, Taupo, Queenstown, and Dunedin. Check out the Kennett book for full details.


Likes Dirt
i dont no any good riding spots but a good scenic trip is the cream tour in
the far north of the north island you go on a boat around to all the
individual islands i did it about 3 years ago and it was awesum!!


Eats Squid
Top ten NZ mtb rides

Found this today whilst looking around for NZ trails. Relevant info for those interested i guess.


Likes Bikes
You'll find XC rding anywhere you go in NZ. Get that Krnnetts book.

Post on when you come over and you should be able to find locals that will show you around.

As mentioned, Rotorua is worth a few days.

I'm local in Wellington, so rate what we have. So many trails, so few week-ends.

Queen Charlotte Track is nice - two or three days, and a water taxi to deliver your bags to where-ever you stay each night so you need only carry a day pack.

Nelson and the surrounding areas are another fav of mine.

Hanmer Springs is a mini Rotorua

Christchurch is good in summer - many of their trails get too soft and are closed in winter.

Central Otago (Alexandra, Queenstown, Wanaka). I'm not rushing to do the Otago Rail Trail - too much like riding a well graded dirt road for me.


The Central Otago Rail Trail has a good rep, but may not be for everyone. Rotorua has so many great rides you can just spend days there.


under-the-radar comedian
Bump - Cheers.

I'd like to do a few days in the North (for the riding - Rotorua etc.) and also because I've never been to the North (where else should I go?)

......And a few days in the South... Definitely stopping at Queenstown, perhaps some skiing etc... I'll climb the glacier again, white water rafting etc... Anywhere else?

Total trip time, probably 6-7 days.
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Formerly Unfit
I spent 3 months in the North Island and just got in all of its rides.

Its worth starting in Welly, then up to Taupo, then over to Napier, then to Roto then to Auckland (north) then Coromandel.


under-the-radar comedian
What's the "best"? I.e. more scenic, flowy and easy (ish)..can be hard as long as there is B lines for the gf. We'll probably just hire bikes.,
It's more of an 'adventure' holiday, not just a riding holiday (for the both of us)


Likes Bikes and Dirt
Hey Maxwolfie,
I just came back from Queenstown for a ride holiday. If you are just there for just some riding then the Skyline (Gondola) is running up until April (I think) and is wellworth it. This is the first full year of opertion after their trial last year. Vertigo do bike hire $130 for bike, armour and gondola ticket for half day which is plenty. Tracks range from easy to medium DH (they are posted as double black, but probably only single black really). The Hammys track (green) is pretty long, with lots of girls riding it, and is just heaps of fun without being difficult, so would be good for both of you. Skyline lso has a big swing, bungy jumping and some fun looking gravity go karts.
For more out of town XC there are a lot of places. Queenstown Bike Taxis (QBT on RB) looked after us really well, would recommend them.

+1 for rotorua

just came back from 1 week in rotorua and all I can say is if there's better mountain biking anywhere in the world it must be phenomenal because this place was sensational!!!

rotorua has a trail for every rider and we did every track bar the national downhill track and felt my am bike was overkill. a lighter xc bike would have been better for most tracks mainly due to the climbing if not on the shuttle. you get about 800m of elevation at the top of the park but this is fairly easily attained by tracks designed to get you up there but was feeling all 16kg of the bike by the top

the tracks themselves are exceptionally groomed(although rougher than I thought they would be due to drought) and almost all jumps are table tops which lets you build confidence if air isn't your thing

the shuttle makes the amount of runs you can do amount to crazy levels with most of the main 5 star tracks being linked from this.(red riding huck, corners and billy t ect)
you can ride directly to the tracks as they are only 2klm from town depending on where you stay.

the biggest problem with rotorua is that there are so much great riding its hard to make yourself have a rest day

I haven't been to Queenstown but hoping to get back over again in Jan so will be spending some time there and will be interesting to see what its like as I have been told its very good as well.

good luck in your travels


Likes Bikes

Like the other guys said, the Kennett Bros book is the Bible for riding in NZ.

here's what I'd recommend for XC/AM type riding on the South island for Park stuff and back country adventure type riding:

Port Hills in Christchurch are great fun with everything from easy XC to full on DH (although most DH trails are 5" bike ride-able)

Hanmer Springs - mix of all level trails, Threshold, yankee Zephyr, Tank, Detox and Big Foot the best.

Kaiteriteri Mtb Park - good fun easy trails, most of the black trails are just fall line and over in 2 seconds so stick with the greeen/blue - berm city and good fun

Nelson - Dun Mtn area, Coppermine Saddle, Old Codgers Mtb Park, Peaking/Sunrise ridge for hard XC/AM

Cannan Down/Rameka Track from Takaka Hill - bit of everything and brilliant riding in varied terrain

Craigieburn - brilliant riding around the ski fields area - Luge, Sidle 73, Hogs Back and Edge trails make abrilliant day out

Croesus near Greymouth/Blackball - technical XC, I've done it 5 ties it's that good

Kirwans near Reefton - massive technical climb (or Heli bike) and mega technical awazing descent - lots of other great rides around Reefton, excellent trails!

Old Ghost Road - from Lyell end or Mokunui end - soon to be an 80km epic ride (with huts) through amazing country, ride from the Lyell side for about 26km up and then descend with a massive smile on your face, same goes for Mokunui end, brilliant benched single track.

Heaphy Track - May to November, multi day adventure ride

Wakamarina - near Blenheim - technical XC

Wharfdale near Christchurch - great Xc, nothing too technical

Queenstown - Gondola, Coronet Peak, 7 Mile, Mike Lake area and everything in between! Awesome riding - get the local map and explore, something for everyone!

Wanaka - like Queenstown but without the steroids - Plantation/Sticky Forest, Deans Bank and lots of great beginner/intermediate stuff all around.

PM me if you'd like specific info on an area I've lived over there and ridden almost everywhere. i'll put some pics up soon from our trip - just got back!



Likes Bikes
Going to NZ in jan 2014, very soon, stil not booked it all yet.., hitting Queenstown again went last year and rotorua but want to find some other places to go, thinking christchurch just havent looked into where to go and stay etc. will b by my self most of the time thou :(. would b good to hook up with other AM mini DH riders to ride etc with.