On Your Bike

Taupo has many options for cycling  so whether you are a roadie, a mountain biker, a casual rider or just want to take the kids out for a ride, there are plenty opportunities for everybody to bike.  For local knowledge, quiz the friendly staff at a local cycle shop. They'll be up to date with the track conditions and can point you to the best  place to ride for your level of experience and timeframe.

Great Lake Taupo 10 Great Rides

For a good overview of the whole area with more information about many of the rides listed download the Great Lake Taupo 10 Great Rides brochure.

Family and Recreational Rides

For an easy scenic ride that is suitable for all abilities, head to the lakefront and take a tour along the Lions Walk which runs from the park in the middle of town south to Wharewaka Point. This is a shared path and is sealed for around 5km.

Mountain Biking

In 2012 the tracks built and maintained by Bike Taupo where accredited as a Silver Level Ride Centre by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). What does this mean? As one of only 11 Rides Centres throughout the world, it means our faciliies are right up there internationally and offer  awesome mountain biking suitable for a wide variety of riding abilities.  Of the 11 centres only one is Gold, three are Silver and six are Bronze so are you waiting for?

Bike Taupo Mountain bike tracks:

  • Our trails run north from the town on both sides of the Waikato River. They link to Craters Mountain Bike Park, Wairakei Forest on the western side of Wairakei Drive. Check out Huka Trails and Craters Mountain Bike Park page.
  • The Great Lake Trail, a beautiful track which meanders for 90 kilometres besides the shores of  beautiful Lake Taupo.  It is part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail network.

Road Rides

There is also a good range of road riding options that can be accessed directly from any one of the cafés in town. Check out the Taupo Urban/Rural map.

Mountain Bike Day Trips from Taupo

North on Highway 5

The NZCT Thermal by Bike Trail  joins State Highway 5 (SHW 5) at Waiotapu and can be ridden north to Rotorua. There is also a mountain bike option at Rainbow Mountain.

If you head east on SHW 38 at Rainbow Mountain, you can go through Murupara to the Whirinaki Forest. The tracks are located in some of the best virgin native forest in the North Island. The Moerangi Track is an epic one day ride.

At Waipa, situated at the southern entrance of Rotorua, you will find the main car park for the Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest. This is one of the oldest mountain bike networks in New Zealand and it offers a great blend of riding surfaces, topography and scenery catering for all levels of riders.

North and west of Taupo

There are lots of new tracks on the NZCT Waikato River Trail. Tracks vary in difficulty and the closest ones travel either way from Atiamuri - Whakamaru - Mangakino.

The NZCT Timber Trail in the Pureora Forest  utilises historic bush tramways, old bulldozer and haul roads. It features 35 bridges, including 8 large suspension bridges (the longest being 141 metres) and showcases the historic Ongarue Spiral, a marvel of engineering. It passes through magnificent podocarp forests of rimu, totara, miro, matai and kahikatea, as well as some exotic forestry and more open vegetation, offering extensive views of the surrounding landscape.

East on the Napier Taupo Highway (SHW 5)

About 45 km east from Taupo there is the Te Iringa Track which is part of the DoC track network. Mountain bike access is currently being trialled.

South on Highway One

At the SHW1 bridge in Turangi you can access the Tongariro River Trail. This is a loop track on both sides of the beautiful Tongariro River suitable for families.

Further south, accessed from the Desert Road (SH 1), is the Tree Trunk Gorge Track.

Around National Park there are several options including the 42 Traverse (another epic), Fishers Track and the Old Coach Road from Horopito to Ohakune.