The Grade 2-3 Whirinaki Forest Trail's provide a purpose built 16km network which weave through some of the most spectacular and interesting forests in the world. Whirinaki is the preserve of the mighty podocarp, which are ancient trees that date back to the time of the dinosaurs. As you ride, gaze at the rushing rivers, the New Zealand fern plants, and bountiful bird life in the historic forest.
The 2-4 hour trail has been designed for recreational mountain bikers with low to medium fitness and skill levels. This must-do track is the perfect introductory trail for new mountain bike riders. This ride is also rich in history, along the way you can stop to learn about how the area was once a famous battleground for activists against de-forestation.
The forest holds cultural significance, and is considered to be tangata whenua or a sacred treasure that provides wealth such as food, shelter and medicine for traditional Maori. Currently, the mountain bike trail is under intensive management. The trail travels through the middle of the Whirinaki Ecological Management Zone, where work is underway to build up rare plant and animal populations.
- Watch out for a few high cliff faces and bluffs, while the trail is not technically difficult, there are some sections where walking your bike might be the safest option.
The Whirinaki Forest Trail's can be accessed from Rotorua or Taupo. Minginui in Eastland is one-and-a-half hours drive (90km) from Rotorua, or one-hour-forty minute drive (120km) from Taupo. The trailhead start point is at the end of Old Fort Road, close to the centre of Minginui.
Tell Me More
The Whirinaki Forest Trails are maintained by the Department of Conservation. We recommend visiting the DOC website for information on their services and tracks in New Zealand. The Department of Conservation also have a regional office which you can stop into at the Te Urewera Visitor Centre.