10 Of The Best Mountain Biking Regions In New Zealand

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Read about '10 Of The Best Mountain Biking Regions In New Zealand' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

Given the stunning landscape of New Zealand it’s not surprising that New Zealand has many great mountain biking tracks all across the country, each with their own challenges and terrain levels ranging from beginner to advanced.

Want to know where the best tracks and trails in NZ are? Decide where to ride with our helpful list of the ten best mountain biking regions in New Zealand.

1. Rotorua

Located in the North Island, Rotorua is home to some of the most popular mountain bike tracks in New Zealand. One of the reasons this region is so popular is the stunning Whakarewarewa Forest. The ‘Redwoods’ as they are known contain around 130 km of carefully crafted mountain bike tracks. The trails are well formed and cater for everyone from beginner to extreme.

Famous for its geothermal attractions you can kick back after completing your ride and relax in a spa or take up some of the numerous adventure activities around the region.

2. Taupo

Just an hour south of Rotorua is Taupo, complete with a general population of close to 30,000 and the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand. Lake Taupo spans approximately 616 square kilometres, and its shores provide a large amount of biking and hiking tracks for outdoor enthusiasts.

From easy family trail through to more expert runs, Taupo easily fulfills its obligation as one of the best places to go for Mountain biking. Taupo contains many mountain bike tracks with different difficulty levels. Look out for The Great Lake Trail or for more information on popular rides see here. Don’t miss the geothermal hot pools – perfect after a day of mountain biking.

3. Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs is located in the South Island of New Zealand, and while famous for its thermal hot springs and spas, it’s mountain bike tracks are also a favourite both for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

The area offers up an extensive network of trails with something for all abilities, while most of the tracks are quite short, they can be combined with others to extend the ride. Check out the best mountain biking tracks in Hanmer here.

4. Queenstown

Queenstown is considered the adventure capital of New Zealand so it’s no surprise that there’s plenty to choose from for mountain bike riding. Queenstown also has a great range of bike and gear hire so you don’t need to bring you own.

One of the most popular tracks is the Queenstown trail. With a total distance of 100 kms many people often split this ride across two days, or complete only part of the ride. While it’s a long distance the difficulty rating is considered to be fairly easy making it a great choice for families and beginners. Queenstown is also home to several Bike Parks for those who like to work on their tricks and freestyle it. Some other popular rides in the Queenstown area are the Gibbston Valley Bike Centre and the Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort.

5. Central Otago

Otago can experience some of New Zealand’s hottest summers and coldest winters making its rugged terrain perfect for mountain biking. Home to the epic Otago Rail Trail, Central Otago’s trail network spans around 150 kms, passing through some of the most stunning scenery the region has to offer.

All skill levels are catered for and you can choose to get on or get off wherever suits, perfect for those with families. For serious long distance riders there are plenty of places to stay the night along the way.

6. Southland

Host to some of New Zealand’s best mountain biking events, Southland is simply a mountain bikers paradise. Discover a large number of challenging and complex trails set in the remotest locations, while still providing plenty of choice for everyone from the beginner through to the expert.

The Southland region encompasses Invercargill, Pahia, Gore, Te Anau, Milford Sound and the majestic Fiordland National Park. The top tracks in the area include the very challenging Borland Road track, the Lake2Lake trail which runs from Lake Te Anau through to Lake Manapouri.

7. Gisborne/Hawkes Bay

Fast making a name for itself as a mountain biking destination, the East Coast is proving to be a popular choice for bikers seeking a more off the beaten track experience. The well-known Milmore Mountain Bike Park is one of the more popular areas that draw enthusiastic riders in the Gisborne area.

Or tackle the epic The Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park and mix it up in style with the 100 km of techy trails, flowing runs and twists and turns of the cross-country and freeride tracks, and the 180 km of trails in the Hawkes Bay between Napier and Hastings exploring the Cape Kidnappers Coastline as you go.

8. West Coast

Rugged and wind swept, the West Coast of the South Island takes mountain biking to whole new level. Seek out the Old Ghost Road trail for the ultimate West Coast experience and enjoy 85 km of remote west coast wilderness at its best. If you have to pick just one mountain bike trail in NZ it would be this one!

The West Coast also offers a large number of trails suitable for all abilities, check out the West Coast Wilderness trail for a family friendly scenic ride or the Blue Spur MTB trail network for more experienced riders.

9. Christchurch/Canterbury

Christchurch has so many mountain biking opportunities it’s impossible to choose a favourite, but we must mention about the Port Hills newest bike ride, the Christchurch Adventure Park and its array of technical and freeride downhill trails for all abilities. Enjoy an easy ride up the hill on the awesome lift facility or choose to take to the trails and ride up.

Going a bit further afield there are the big ones like the Craigieburn Forest Mountain track which makes the most of the remote location and has some hair raising tracks not for the faint hearted. Or try heading up to Mt Hutt (in the summer only of course!) for some really technical rides with lots of jumps, bridges and downhill runs.

10. Nelson/Moteueka

Nelson is blessed with such amazing landscapes from forest clad hills to remote and idyllic beaches, add to that the most beautiful weather and you have got yourself a mountain bikers dream location. Whether you head out to Moteuka or inland over the famous Heaphy track there are some excellent choices for all levels of riders.

The Rameka Track around the top of the Takaka Hill in the Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve is a good one for a good day out, where the DOC part of the track finishes you can continue on to the private land section and keep going to the Pack TrackGreat Expectations and The Klicks tracks.

With so many mountain bike tracks all maintained to a high standard in New Zealand and some of the best scenery and terrain to ride, it’s not surprising so many mountain biking enthusiasts love New Zealand. Take a look at our handy guide to bike rack hire in NZ and get your bikes where they need to be easily.

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