Essential North Island
022 600 6562
Take a week and tick off all the very best single track the North Island has to offer.
GRADE 3 INTERMEDIATE
COST AUD 3250
COST GBP 2199
COST NZD 3250
COST USD 2299
COST CAD 2899
COST EUR 2299
COST USD 2299
Sometimes a week is all you need to get your complete riding fix, especially when it’s in a far off place, on the best dirt in the world, and in the most unique forests on the planet. This carefully crafted trip gets you riding in the backcountry with no hassle, no rush and all the bells and whistles that remind you why you love to ride in the first place.
DAY 1 Arrive Rotorua
Ride Whakarewrewa Forest
Our trip begins in Rotorua – the capital of mountain biking in New Zealand. That’s our very biased local opinion, but you’ll see what we mean when we head into “the Redwoods”, as there’s a trail to suit anyone, and no mountain biking trip to New Zealand is complete without descending into the world famous Redwoods! So depending on how jetlagged you are, we can get a sense of what you’re after and hit the perfect trail – smooth flowy goodness with berms galore, to rutty climbs, and technical ditches. Rotorua is famous for its “Hero Dirt” – tacky, with minimal rocks – all set up for maximum fun.
ACCOMMODATION: Redwoods Riding House RIDE TIME: 3-5 hours DISTANCE: Up to you MEALS: (L,D)
DAY 2 Backcountry on the Timber Trail
Ride the backcountry on the Timber Trail (Pureora to Piropiro)
A drive south of Rotorua and through the volcanic heartland of the North Island brings us to the beginning of the Timber Trail – one of the most iconic multi day backcountry rides in New Zealand. After a final thorough check of our bikes and gear, we’ll head into the wild from Pureora, through dense mossy forest on single track, crossing numerous high suspension bridges over amazing forest canyons. There’s a sting in the tail on the first half of today’s ride – a 500 metre gradual ascent through cloud forest and mist, straight out of Lord of the Rings. After a break at the summit of Mt Pureora taking in the epic views, it’s an equally gradual descent down to Piropiro, and our accommodation for the evening, which definitely involves hearty food, hot showers, comfortable lodging and a well deserved drink.
ACCOMMODATION: Timber Trail Lodge RIDE TIME: 4-5 hours DISTANCE: 40 km CLIMB: 500 metres DESCENT: 540 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 3 Ride the Timber Trail
Ride the Timber Trail (Piropiro to Ongarue)
Today is a day of undulation on single track through epic forest (again!), over spectacular suspension bridges, past weird and wonderful rock formations and remnants of New
Zealand’s colonial history, and all round fun on the best grade 2/3 trail in the world. After the 5km mark, the significant uphill section is behind us and it’s all about the descent through the forest, New Zealand’s highest suspension bridge, and experiencing the only rideable railway spiral in the world – a relic of New Zealand’s early logging pioneers.At the end of the trail we’ll head back to Rotorua.
ACCOMMODATION: Rotorua Riding House RIDE TIME: 5 hours DISTANCE: 44 km CLIMB: 400 metres DESCENT: 750 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 4 Free time in Rotorua
Free time in Rotorua
Rotorua is the cultural heart of New Zealand, and a fantastic place to explore, given the variety of options available – from zip lining, to lake cruises to rafting. We can point you in the right direction and help you reserve any activities you might like to do. Or if you’re keen to kick back and relax, it’s also a good idea to have a non-activity day to be rested for the following days riding! For those who are keen, we’ll have our bike guide and guru hold a bike maintenance workshop today, to go over our bikes and satisfy our need to tinker with our bikes. It’s good wholesome bike-nerd fun!
ACCOMMODATION: Redwoods Riding House
DAY 5 Whakarewarewa Forest Loop Trail
Ride the Whakarewarewa Forest Loop
Today we ride straight from the accommodation. The Whakarewarewa Forest Loop is a one-way loop that circumnavigates the forest otherwise known as the Redwoods. This 35km trail gets great views of Lake Rotorua, Tikitapu, and Rotokakahi. The trail is grade 1-2 with easy to moderate climbs and flowy descents. This is a pretty relaxing ride with anywhere between 2.5-4 hours in the saddle. There are opportunities to stop for coffee and a swim mid-way and there are also other routes that we can take depending on the group. The forest loop is made up of 27km of single track with a path back to town to close it off. There are a few other options within the forest to keep it single-track the whole way. That’s another one of the benefits of having a local guide.
ACCOMODATION: Redwoods Riding House RIDE TIME: 2.5-4 hours DISTANCE: 35 km CLIMB: 850 metres DESCENT: 850 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 6 Ride Whirinaki Forest
Ride Whirinaki Forest
After the breakfast of champions this morning we’ll head south to Whirinaki Forest. This forest captures everything that North Island riding is all about – tight, winding single track through lush sub canopy tree-ferns and incredible native forest. On trails like this, even when you’re riding slow, it feels like you’re going fast! There are some HUGE emergent podocarp trees here, along with an abundance of native birds, and arguably the largest population of
native Kaka (the North Island’s own forest parrot). This place is a wild as it gets anywhere in the North Island. We’ll stop at a hot spring on the way back to Rotorua and celebrate another days epic riding.
ACCOMMODATION: Redwoods Riding House RIDE TIME: 4 hours DISTANCE: 16 km or more if you’re up for it. CLIMB: 300 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 7 Depart
Today is the last day of your North Island riding adventure with us. We hope you’ll have enjoyed your time here, having ridden some of the best trails in New Zealand and taken in the best scenery on the planet in the process. Our specialty is first class guiding, being welcoming hosts, taking care of all the logistics and nitty gritty details, and ensuring it’s all done in style. We’ll send you home relaxed, refreshed and looking forward to the next epic ride.
Heli Biking on the Pakihi Track (from NZ$599 per person)
If you’ve chosen to stay on for this extra last day, get ready for the most unique heli biking trip in New Zealand, in one of the most beautiful areas in the North Island – the East Cape. After a drive through native forest and fertile plains of the Bay of Plenty, we’ll board a helicopter (complete with bike racks!) and fly into the densely forested of the Urutawa Conservation Area. This is BIG country, and the views are spectacular. After the drop off by
our heli shuttle we’ll begin our ride on the Pakihi track. If there’s more fun to be had on a video gamey forest trail, we’re yet to find it. The mix of dense forest, views out across the river, cool bridges and non stop descent make this ride truly out of the box, and best of all, we’ll have it to ourselves! There are some steep drop offs in a couple of sections on the track, so we’ll be kept on our toes. At the end of our ride we’ll head back to Rotorua.
TOUR DEPARTURE DATES
Ask us if we have any departure dates that suit your travel dates and we’ll see what we can do!
2023/24 season: September 24 | October 08| November 12 | December 10 | January 14 | February 11 | March 10| and April 14
The Dirt on the Details
Resting up in comfortable lodging and surroundings at the end of a days ride is important. We don’t like to dirtbag it anymore, so neither should you. We’ve selected lodges and hotels that are rider friendly and understand the importance of a place to hang out, wash your bike, socialise and exaggerate about riding experiences at the end the day on the trail.
All breakfasts, lunches and dinners, except for your free day in Rotorua where lunch and dinner are on you.
Riding snacks – because you need fuel
All transport and shuttles – all you need to concentrate on is riding
Guiding and hosting
All park entrance fees to our national parks and riding areas
International & domestic flights
“Thanks to New Zealand Mountain Biking for an incredible trip. Everything was first class.”