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How to do rotorua

Jonathan's picture

By Jonathan - Posted on 17 August 2010

Hi everyone might have the opportunity to go to rotorua at the end of the year. Obviously theres no point of me going without my bike so how do i go about organizing a ride there?

Thanks for everyones help

Rob's picture

Rock up to the forest here or here (the green arrows).

Chat to some locals at the trail heads. Most likely they will invite you along with them and show you around.

Or pick up a map from Bike Vegas on the main drag and look around yourself. Most likely if you are riding alone (which isn't really recommended) you'll bump into some locals who will want to show you around. I guess Bike Vegas could also hook you up with the local club or social riders if you ask them before hand.

It's epic. Train for some hard (400m vertical) hill climbs and learn how to ride berms Eye-wink

ae93gti's picture

Google up some k1w1 forums and make contact with a few folk before you go?

We're a pretty friendly bunch eh bro Smiling

arghvee's picture

Just do it. Train and enjoy. Yes, very bike friendly place, just ask.

tubbsy's picture

I'd also highly recomend Woodhill forest in Auckland (only 3 hours away) if you get the opportunity too.

flubberghusted's picture

Four of us will be down there from 4th to 11th December.
If you're flying solo, feel free to join us as we're going to do a bit of exploring to different parts from Whike... to W2K to Taupo and others.

Though there is a question I have for the forum so sorry hijacking this thread...
Should we "Caravan of Courage" it with a 6 bertha or just stink up a house/apartment & grab a bus/van?
Caravan = more freedom
House = you can take a crap in your peace and comfort

@Rob - Saw the hippy bus on your last expedition? Who, what, when, how, why and where?

Rob's picture

The Hippy Bus belonged to Gav's Olds. He'll have to tell the story - I didn't ask Eye-wink

We also hired a standard mini bus and box trailer. Can't say I can recommend the trailer option for your bikes as there was a lot of rattling coming from it!

tubbsy's picture

Depends on what you wanna do. If sightseeing is your aim, maybe a6 bertha, otherwise you can always find reasonable accomodation, plus a caravan around the towns is just a pain.

6 of one, half a dozen of the other, all comes down to personal pref.

Nick R's picture

We got direct flights - Sydney to Rotorua $380 return on AirNZ so going from Nov 6th to 9th. Accom at the Rob Roy motel and renting a minivan.

Cant wait - Rotovegas looks awesome....

tubbsy's picture

It is mate, one of my fave places! If you have the extra dosh, there's a few must see's in addition to Biking.
- Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland. The one just out of Roto-vegas is better. Hells Gate which is in the town is not nearly as good.
- Polynesian hot pools, excellent for relaxing after riding, and you can sit in deifferent heated pools overlooking the lake.
- Zorbing (of course)
- And the Luge on the edge of town is wicked. Go down the advanced's much more fun.
- Lone Star for dinner, reasonably priced, awesome portions and excellent quality

Loads of other stuff too, just look around.

Matt_B's picture

can link you to an awesome bach on lake okareka - ridable to trails, with cable tv, bbq, canoes if you want - just out of the smelly bit too - quiet though - sleeps about 4 or 5, owner mtbs (who doesnt in rotorua)

tubbsy's picture

BTW, 'bach' = holiday home

Kiwi to Aussie translation

Jonathan's picture

Is it worth doing a tour at all? so i can have some really good knowledge of where i'm going, not get lost and get the most out of the trails.

I just don't wanna rely on just pitching up and guessing.. id rather pay a little bit and be ensured an awesome day out riding Smiling

I'm also going with my family so thank you very much everyone who offered to fly with get accommodation with but don't worry Sticking out tongue

And as fair as bike transport goes, how must i get my bike on the plane??

Thanks for everyones help.

ar_junkie's picture

If you are hitting Whakarewarewa Forest (Rotorua), there's no need for a tour guide as every trail is mapped and sign posted (and has a grading or difficulty rating).

If you are looking for riding buddies, try and hook up with some locals via forums or at trail heads (as previously mentioned).

Regardless of how you choose to experience Whakarewarewa Forest, it will be AWESOME!

Jonathan's picture

Are there any specific trails i would be stupid to not do?

Rob's picture


OK, it's a long slog up the hill, but if you don't ride up there (via Frontal Labotomy of course) do Split Endz into Pondy Downhill, Pondy New and Old Chevy then there's something wrong with you.

Other favourites were Dragons Tail, Genesis, Corners.

Seriously... anywhere will do. Be warned though - it will ruin the Sydney trails for you!

What dates are you there?

P.S. See here for all the profiles from the last trip:

Dicko's picture

Hot x buns - big climb up direct rd but worth it for this great downhill trail

+1 for old chevy and split enz

Jonathan's picture

10 - 17th january.

Wow you guys are getting my excited!!!!

Is it a mission to take your bike there thou?

Dicko's picture

Bike box from local bike store
Remove front wheel
Remove pedals
Slide stem and bars off head tube
Put back together

As long as you can keep bike and box sub 20kgs all is good

tubbsy's picture

Airnz has a free 10kg extra for sporting goods, so if you are flying them, don't forget to remind them.

Rob's picture

Air NZ used to have free 10Kg extra for sporting equipment but when I checked their flight info found this had disappeared.

Seems one now has to pay the usual excess. However, obvious sporting equipment (ie. a bike, skies, etc.) will get 50% reduction - which still makes flying with Air NZ a better deal than other airlines.

Jonathan's picture

As far as grading goes whats it like.... is 5 the hardest and is it really difficult.

Hans's picture

Grading is 6 = hardest, 1 = easy (me)

Well signposted...

Don't miss the Trail called "Corners"....endless berms for 6 or 7 kms....

This is the place my mind goes to when I'm stuck in a Sydney traffic jam... Eye-wink

Jonathan's picture

Ive already noted corners on my list, i saw a video of it and WOOOWW!!! i was speechless how good it looked. But even all the grade 3 tracks look tricky. Do you have to ride them fast to enjoy them because they look a bit tricky for me.

I don't know :S

tubbsy's picture

Top tip, stop over thinking it! Eye-wink
If you can ride a bike, you can ride the trails. You'll know when to go fast and when not to. The main thing is, have fun!

Jonathan's picture

Im getting a bit to excited Laughing out loud

Nick R's picture

Flew over Saturday back Tuesday. It is the best singletrack in the world.

Super easy - Air NZ charges A$20 over / NZ$25 on the way back extra for the bike bag / box.

We hired a Ford Transit van and borrowed a trailer for the bikes and stayed in a cheap motel for the 4 days. Rode Whaka Forest a few times including Split Enz, Billy T, G-Rock, Corners, Huckelberry Hound, Pondy etc - love the shuttles to the top which run weekends and school holidays.

Afternoon trip to Taupo for Craters of the Moon trails - worth doing as different terrain to Rotorua.

Did a day trip to ride the 35km Moerangi MTB trail in the Whirinaki Forest using Scott from Jailhouse Shuttles to drop us at the trail head and pick us up at the other end and then put on a BBQ of local venison - well worth the NZ$40 pp.

Looking forward to next year's trip

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