So, Crankworx has enticed you to come to Rotorua to play on your bike? Great idea! Before you do, let us help you make a plan.
So many great places to stay
Picking a place to stay is generally easy. In and around Rotorua, it won’t take much to find holiday parks or cabins, hostels, hotels and motels and B&Bs. There truly is something to suit every budget and every sized group. Spots are filling quickly, so get in quick!
Many of these offer facilities for mountain bikers, check it out when you book.
Location is also easy, no matter how you get here. If you are coming by car or camper, exactly where you call home during your visit is not a big deal. Rotorua is really easy to navigate, and even the far side of the lake is only a leisurely 20 minutes or so from the trails.
If you’re coming without a vehicle, or prefer to park it up and go by bike, no worries! Pick any spot in town, a warm-up pedal on purpose-built singletrack will get you to the trails via routes that are safe and fun to ride.
Getting your bearings
Whakarewarewa Forest is at one end of town, and Skyline Rotorua MTB Park is at the other.
There are supermarkets in the town centre, and a huge selection of eateries (check out Eat Streat for nearly a dozen restaurant options in one city block), which also plays well for people who don’t use a vehicle.
What about turning up without a bike? Actually, not a bad idea. You can pick up a bike that’s just about as good as your own (might even be better!) for a single- or multi-day hire from a range of operators.
When it’s best to visit
We’re often asked when visitors should plan to be here, and the short answer is any time!
Rotorua is a year-round riding destination. It can be cold in winter but we’ve still got sunny skies and warm temperatures. Be prepared to dress for the season, including some rain, and you’ll be sweet. Locals may wear shorts year round but we recommend packing layers.
Rain can happen anytime, this is heartland New Zealand! The dirt we are blessed with is incredibly free-draining, so even immediately after rain the trails are rideable.
More great things you can do here
If it’s raining, there are plenty of other things to do and see. Rain or shine, there are some things you should be pencilling in for your visit.
Be sure to visit one of our famous geothermal attractions – allow at least a couple of hours for these uniquely Rotorua experiences. Or go for a steamy soak in one of the many hot pools and spas.
Check out the options for a real Māori cultural immersion.
If you’re up for more adventuresome activities, get into the trees with a zipline or tree walk. Ride the luge! Drive a full-race go kart! Raft a dizzying waterfall! Bounce down a hill in an inflatable ball!
Whatever you get up to in Rotorua, it won’t be boring!
Planning your riding is more of a challenge as there’s so much to do. A session on the gondola-accessed runs at Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park will need a minimum of three hours. Forest rides can last all day, especially of you take the edge off with a couple of shuttle rides to the top of the hill. Shuttles run daily, weather dependant.
Experienced riders find enough variety in the Rotorua forest to keep them occupied for weeks, but here are some rides that are refreshingly different: The Timber Trail in Pureora, Great Lake Trail near Taupō, Waikato River Trails, Whirinaki World Heritage Area’s Moerangi Trail. Any of these incredible rides can be accessed from your base in Rotorua in an hour or so’s drive, if you can tear yourself away for a day!
*Content supplied by local mountain bike legend Gary “Gaz” Sullivan of NZO.