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Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park

With mostly downhill trails ranging from Grade 2- 5 there is something for everyone at Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park, Rotorua, New Zealand. Photo: Derek Morrison

Skyline Rotorua is home to the world's first year-round Gondola-assisted bike park, Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park. The gravity park accesses the world-class downhill mountain biking trails on the flanks of Mt Ngongotaha. The 8.5km trail network has a variety of trails with something to suit most skill levels. There are six mostly downhill trails emerging from the top of the gondola, ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 5. Home to Crankworx and UCI World MTB events, Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park, has become a must-do highlight on any traveller's itinerary.

Enjoy the scenery from your gondola cabin as you climb the 200m vertical to the top of Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park with your bike beside you. You'll top out at 532m with majestic views of Lake Rotorua and the township below. There's a restaurant here, a shop dedicated to jelly beans, a convenient café and some fun adventure activities, such as the giant swing and the luge courses, to explore. Once you've had your fill of food and adrenaline, look for a track named Simple Jack and enjoy one of the easiest trails on the hillside. A Grade 2 trail, Simple Jack is perfect for families and for finding your legs after lunch.

For more experienced riders, you may like to ride down via the Grade 3 Day Walker, which connects to the Grade 4 Hipster and Sprint Warrior trails or the more technical Grade 5 Ten Fifty One trail. With 200m of vertical terrain you can spend the day doing laps using the gondola. With a gondola capacity of 3000 downhill runs each day, you won’t waste time waiting around. Riders will need to purchase a bike pass to ride the trails. Passes are available here and at the Skyline Rotorua base station.

There's such a lot of variety in such a small space – jump tracks, smooth, swooping tracks, steep and rooty tracks – it's all-round fabulous.

Rosara Joseph, New Zealand Olympian MTB racer Share

The Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park Profile

The Simple Jack trail is a good place to start when riding the trails at Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park. This easy trail provides stunning views, as well as smooth bermed corners for beginners to test their skills. This introductory trail follows an easy gradient through the farmland and a forested area on the mountain. The expected ride time is 4-6 minutes, but take as long as you like. There is no rush on Simple Jack.

The Day Walker trail is a step up from the Simple Jack trail and provides intermediate-level, Grade 3 riding. The natural terrain winds through the Redwoods, with steep descents and narrow passageways. The expected ride time on this trail is 2-3 minutes.

The Sprint Warrior is an intermediate to advanced trail (Grade 4) that provides a plethora of obstacles, jumps, tight corners and challenging moments. This well-known trail is popular with advanced riders who are keen for a challenge and to test their speed. The expected ride time is 4-5 minutes.

New Zealand cross-country mountain biking Olympian Rosara Joseph is a regular on these flowing trails. “There's such a lot of variety in such a small space – jump tracks, smooth, swooping tracks, steep and rooty tracks – it's all-round fabulous.”

As an advanced trail, Hipster is a ride experience with serious flow. The seamlessly chiseled terrain leads riders from corner to corner through an effortless series of berms. You will smoothly transition over jumps that have been purposely inserted into the trail. With the gondola overhead, remember to display your best style when riding over the tabletop jump at the end of the trail. The expected ride time is 4-5 minutes.

The Moss Piglet provides the purest of ride experiences. The gnarly off-camber angled terrain forces riders to shift their ride position in order to conquer this technical trail. There are numerous opportunities for riders to get air, with a mix of specifically designed tabletop jumps, gap jumps and step-downs. The expected ride time is 2-3 minutes.

Ten Fifty One is a steep and technical expert Grade 5 trail that sends riders quickly down the hillside and over gap-jumps. The trail comes in at just over 2 minutes of riding, but provides some adrenalin pumping speed and fast sections of trail. Having hosted the World Championships in 2006, there are trails for beginners right through to tracks for elite competitors. Two-time world champion Emmeline Ragot, explained that she really enjoyed the riding on the hill.

“It’s really good to ride here and there are all the tracks that we need – Rotorua trails are awesome,”  she told RideNZ.co.

Insider Tips

  • Before you head up the hill, revisit your skills on the purpose built pump track beside the bottom terminal.
  • Take some spare lunch money to purchase food or pack a lunch and eat while enjoying the outstanding sights from the top of Mt Ngongotaha between runs. 
  • This is the place to use your GoPro. So if you own one, don’t forget to charge the batteries and use your helmet mount for some breathtaking shots.

Getting There 

Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park is best accessed from Rotorua. Rotorua is a two-hour-forty-minute drive from Auckland Airport (216km) and an hour drive from Tauranga (70km). Rotorua is a one-hour-twenty-minute drive from Hamilton (98km). From central Rotorua, the trailhead start point is 5km from the centre of Rotorua, on the left side off Fairy Springs Road. The entrance to Skyline Rotorua is well sign posted.

Tell Me More

We recommend visiting local ride website RideRotorua for the latest information on ride groups, coaching, and cycle services in the area.

To explore all that Rotorua has to offer, we recommend visiting the Destination Rotorua website.

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