Take a full bite out of the cherry with virgin forest, big volcanoes & pristine lakes.
GRADE 3 INTERMEDIATE
COST AUD 3499+TAX
COST USD 2999 +TAX
COST GBP 2099+TAX
COST NZD 3899 +TAX
COST CAD 3499 +TAX
COST EUR 2399 +TAX
COST USD 2999+TAX
If a long time in the saddle is your thing and you’ve got the chamix that’s up for the task, you’ll get the full whammy riding experience in the central North Island on the Jurassic Classic. There’s so much backcountry riding in ancient forest you’ll almost be convinced that dinosaurs still exist.
DAY 1 Arrive Rotorua
Arrive Rotorua, Ride Whakarewarewa 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 it’s “Hero Dirt” – tacky, with minimal rocks – all set up for maximum fun.
ACCOMMODATION: Okere Falls Lake House RIDE TIME: 3-5 hours DISTANCE: Up to you MEALS: (L,D)
DAY 2 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: Okere Falls Lake House RIDE TIME: 4 hours DISTANCE: 12-16 km CLIMB: 300 metres DESCENT: 300 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 3 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 short 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: Okere Falls Lake House MEALS: (B)
DAY 4 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 5 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 one of our all time favourite grade 3 tracks. 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 to National Park village, at the foot of Mt Ruapehu.
ACCOMMODATION: National Park Lodge RIDE TIME: 5 hours DISTANCE: 44 km CLIMB: 400 metres DESCENT: 750 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 6 Bridge to Nowhere
Ride the Bridge to Nowhere into Whanganui National Park, jet boat out.
Get set for a day of back-country wilderness goodness today. After a short drive from Ohakune, we’ll arrive at the beginning of the Bridge to Nowhere trail which kicks off with a gradual climb into the bush. Be prepared to put your bike into a granny gear and stop from time to time to check out the views behind you! After this short climb through a variation of grassland and bush, the hard work is done and it’s down down down to into the deep and densley forest valley below, with creek crossings and swing bridges galore! After some time in the valley, the Bridge to Nowhere, appears, well – out of nowhere. Make sure you have plenty of room left on your camera’s memory card – photo ops like this don’t come around that often. The Bridge to Nowhere (AKA Morgans Bridge) was built in 1936 in the hope that settlers would stay in the area, but country living proved too difficult for even the hardiest of pioneers and the area was abandoned – to our benefit! A another 20 minutes of riding brings us to a landing on the edge of the Whanganui River where a jetboat will pick us up for a ride down the river and back to our waiting vehicle. We’ll return to Ohakune for the evening.
ACCOMMODATION: Ohakune Lodge RIDE TIME: 5-7 hours –DISTANCE: 35 km CLIMB: 300 metres DESCENT: 550 metres –MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 7 Old Coach Rd or free time in Ohakune
Ride Old Coach Rd or free time in Ohakune
If you can’t stand the thought of being off a bike for the day, we’ll ride the “Old Coach Road” trail – the original rail link road for horse and cart transport built in 1906 to link two sections of railway that hadn’t been built through the densely forested terrain. By 1909, the rail link had been built, and the trail was left waiting for another 101 years before it’s magic was discovered for biking. It’s easy does it today, as it’s largely flat and wide, and heads through huge stands of native forest. A highlight is heading over the spectacular Hapuawhenua viaduct, high above a ravine, affording great views of the surrounding native forest. If you’re keen to take it easy today, Ohakune is the perfect place to do it. With Mount Ruapehu looming large over the town, there are numerous bush walks in the area, as well as having a vibrant small town centre with great cafes, bars and boutique shops.
ACCOMMODATION: Ohakune Lodge RIDE TIME: 2.5 hours DISTANCE: 15 km GRADE: 2 EASY CLIMB: 100 metres DESCENT: 150 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 8 Great Lake Trail
Ride the Great Lake Trail, Lake Taupo
We’ll make our way north this morning, and ride a section of the “Great Lake Trail” that skirts the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. The riding today offers a fantastic contrast from the last couple of days, with incredible wide expansive views out across Lake Taupo from a gradually descending trail with beautifully laid out corners, the ever present dose of glorious New Zealand forest, and the opportunity to swim in Lake Taupo’s beautiful waters at the end of the ride in Kinloch. Did we mention the views!? After our ride, we’ll return to Rotorua, and celebrate our time riding the amazing back-country of the North Island.
ACOMMODATION: Okere Falls Lake House RIDE TIME: 2.5-3 hours DISTANCE: 19.5 km CLIMB: 130 metres DESCENT: 150 metres MEALS: (B,L,D)
DAY 9 Depart
DAY 9 DISTANCE 59 KM
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.
The Dirt on the Details
RIDER SKILL LEVEL
GRADE 3 – intermediate
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
Bike (although we encourage you to bring your own bike)
International & domestic flights
“We flew by helicopter into the Pakihi Trail. It was an incredible day with great company, awesome biking and amazing scenery. Thanks Jamie, Phil and the team for an amazing day.”