Tag Archives: MTBNZ

Wellington – the MTB-friendliest capital

Mountain biking as a relatively young sport doesn’t get much support from “official” side in most countries.  New Zealand, in contrast, has been investing in MTB-infrastructure tremendously since the prime minister ennobled mountain biking as the new golf.  Although I am struggling with that comparison the political support is great and Wellington, the capital city of NZ, is an outstanding example.  The city is nestled into hills which are partly declared natural reserve areas.  Obviously this is great MTB-terrain and purpose built trails are not only tolerated, but even supported.  As a consequence you find MTB-trailsystems and MTB-parks literally in the city.  And the official mountain biking promotion videos usually end with a stop in craft beer bar.

Most popular is the Makara Peak MTB Park.  You pedal up the Koru Trail that winds through lush forest on perfectly maintained track so that you barely feel the effort.  In a part riders are asked to be quiet in order not to disturb some rare birds that create very special ambience acoustics.  Sally Alley takes you up further and around the hill and until recently you had to descend into a canyon to climb back up again to reach Makara Peak.  In order to make mountain bikers’ lives easier a swinging bridge has been built that stretches over the canyon.  Cool.

For the descent there are a couple of options.  Peak Flow is the most popular one as it has been freshly rebuilt and turned into fast and flowy fun track that takes you back into town.  And on most days you will have great views on the city – unfortunately we didn’t catch one of those…

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Rotorua – New Zealand’s Mountain Bike Mecca

New Zealand is probably the nation with the highest MTB-affinity and Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest is the epicenter of it.   More than 160 kilometers of finest trails built into fascinating nature with lush forest and volcanic phenomena make it a true MTB-mecca.

After three intensive days of riding there were still numerous trails I haven’t ridden.   The Taniwha downhill lines I simply had to ride more often and it still wasn’t enough….

I really loved the shuttle system with well-aged buses and their large trailers.  And actually, it functions quite well when all the buses are up and running.  In terms of trails Rotorua offers everything you  want, from natural trails with lots of roots to smoothly shaped flow trails and hefty jump lines.  AMAZING.  I could have spent many more days here…