From stunning coastal views to epic mountain rides, New Zealand’s diverse landscape provides the perfect playground for any mountain biker. From purpose-built singletrack to natural technical tracks you can enjoy a variety of flow and technical trails throughout the country. Needless to say, New Zealand also offers up amazing post-ride activities — swimming in hot springs, wine-tastings, rafting, zip lining, and hiking. If you find yourself down under, here are 8 must-ride mountain bike trails in New Zealand.
1. KIRWANS TRACK
To enjoy the best of the 1100 metre Kirwans Track descent, opt for a heli-drop! On the descent, you are rewarded with spectacular views over the Victoria Mountain Range and west coast wilderness to the Tasman Sea. You’re in for a true Kiwi adventure on this track with endless rooty and often wild singletrack consisting of a few hike-a-bike sections down to the river where you can wash the gnar off. The trail is located above the small town of Reefton, that is full of historic charm, and delicious warm home-made kiwi pies perfect for a post-ride meal.
2. THE OLD GHOST ROAD
The Old Ghost Road is an 85 km advanced singletrack adventure that travels through remote valleys, mountaintops, and by beautiful rivers — this is a must-do trail if you’re visiting New Zealand. The entire trail can be ridden between 2 — 4 days on a bikepacking trip, but you don’t need to complete the entire trail. The route is an old gold miners road from the 1870s that has been revitalized for mountain bikers and hikers. There are 4 ghost towns along the route that hold the spirits and memories of miners and builders. Our local Kiwi mountain bike guides helped build this trail back in 2016 — they know it well!
3. WHAKAREWAREWA FOREST
Next, we’re heading to the North Island to enjoy the Whakarewarewa Forest near Rotorua. This area boasts approximately 130 kilometres of mountain bike trails suitable for all skill levels. After your ride enjoy everything else Rotorua has to offer, including touring areas geothermal hot pools, rafting, ziplining, fishing and so much more!
4. QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK
The Queen Charlotte Track is a 70-kilometre singletrack mountain bike route that starts in Piction on the South Island and extends through stunning scenery and challenging terrain. Similar to the Old Ghost Road, you can decide to complete only portions of the trail if you don’t want to do bike packing adventure. Depending on the time of year, some sections of the trail may be closed, so plan accordingly. The Queen Charlotte Track is great a day adventure, it’s an easier style flow track, with a few good climbs!
5. RAMEKA TRACK
The Rameka Track is located near beautiful Nelson, in an area known as Golden Bay, New Zealand. and offers up amazing views of Abel Tasman National Park, into Golden Bay and Takaka, it’s one hell of a hoot of a ride! Bring your shuttle driver because it’s a huge access ride if you don’t have a ride. Another reason to join our awesome Misty Mountain Hop ride — shuttle driver, van, gear, snacks, post-ride beverages and logistics are all covered! The Rameka track offers rocky and technical sections followed by wide open flow sessions and ever-changing scenery. Oh ya and you can ride through fern gully! It descends about 1000M down into a small hippie town, called Takaka where organic breweries and the good life of living easy exists.
6. SALMON RUN
Our last three trails are located in Queenstown — New Zealand’s adventure capital! We highly recommend spending a few days biking in Queenstown to experience the best trails in the area. Salmon Run is a Black trail suitable for experienced mountain bikers as it has some exposure, technical sections, and tight switchbacks. If you’re up for the challenge, the trail has beautiful views of Queenstown from above.
7. MOKE LAKE
Beautiful lakeside views and stunning singletrack, this 7‑kilometre loop is more of a cross country style ride but it will lend itself access to more technical rides on the lakefront. It will be sure to put a smile on your face.
8. RUDE ROCK
The Rude Rock trail is accessed via Coronet Peak just outside of Queenstown and it is an adrenaline-pumping flow trail with stunning views. You will want to ride is over and over again!