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Dreamin' of En-Zud in Sept...

Matt's picture

By Matt - Posted on 20 March 2008

So I have a faint chance of an opportunity to spend a week or two ridin' in NZ, north or south island, at the start of Sept, my basic thoughts are Rotovegas and Taupo to start with, Queenstown being covered in Snow then.

Please feel free to fill my head with romantic dreams of other potential epic/super fun rides under the long white cloud ;-}


Carlgroover's picture

Apparently has an awful lot of purpose built really good mtb tracks, may pay to do a search as I haven't been there but will as I have a free tour guide (brother) there.

kiwiboy's picture

I can tell you there are a lot of great tracks there. Around the Port Hills you can easily cook up a 30=60km ride, depending on where you start and where you want to go. Not a lot of it v technical but really nice flowing track. We used to start at one end inland (Worselys Track, good uphill grind to start)and ride right out to the headland - v nice ride, on the rim of the crater that is Lytellton Harbour. In Victoria Park, that is along the ride, some pretty good downhill runs. Hit one of the local bike shops for maps. Also check out Ground Effect's premises in Bedford row - not a store as such but usually racks of end of runs or seconds of really good mtb gear.

Other areas there are Bottle Lake Plantation, a pine forest with purpose built tracks, good riding, and I hear there is a new mtb park at McLeans Island, just a little way out of town (not really by Sydney standards - but by NZ standards)

Supagav's picture

I miss it dearly. Just moved over here from Dunedin so still missing local trails a bit.
If planning on doing the north island then Rotovegas will probably take 3 days alone to ride most of the tracks in the forest although you do tend to plan the loops around a couple of exceptional trails, "HOTXBUNS", "be rude not too" and the "exit trail".
There are some very good day rides from Rotorua as well. Taupo is a bit over an hour away and there is a good days riding there. From Taupo, head across to the Napier and check out Eskdale mountain bike park for the day. The 42nd traverse is worth a bit of a look. this list could go on and on.

Right South Island
Start with the Queen Charolette Track one very big day in the saddle (better to spead it out over 2-3 days). Nelson is worth the effort it has a lot of different options.
From Nelson head to Hamner Springs great riding to be had here and hot pools to recover after aswell. Be sure to catch up with Neil from Krank Dirtwear on the main street for some local knowledge.
Christchurch has been mentioned already. Further south naseby is such a great place to ride, even in winter. the ground freezes and the it becomes very hard and grippy. (hurts alot when you get it wrong though). Dunedin has got a few rides worth doing, i would put you in touch with a few people that will show you around.
Wanaka has some great riding as well.

While the south island might be a bit colder than the north it also tends to be a lot dryer over the winter than the north. I am a bit bias towards the south island as that is where i have done most of my riding.

check out for more places to ride, the list is huge really.
a really good book to get is the Kennet Bros classic guide to NZ moutain bike rides which is avaiable here:

I think that should keep you going for a while.
enjoy, i wish it was me heading over....

davis_jnr's picture


If your heading to Sth Island not far from Queenstown hit Wanaka, they have a small but nice bike bark there thats well built amongst a pine plantation.

It caters for intermediate to advanced riders primarily. All the local bike shops in town have maps of the trail network in the park...If your riding with anyone else they have a fun dual slalom trail there.

Would also look at Hamner Springs approx 90 mins north of Christchurch, tey have a network of trails, more crudely built but still fun to ride. I guess the attraction here is relaxing in the hot pools after a nice ride and the advantage of heading via Waipara Valley and hitting up some wineries.

There is always other activities to partake in.....hiking around MT Cook is always good.

Enjoy the planning

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