AUCKLAND - ROTORUA
Kia ora, and welcome to New Zealand, where you’ll find some of the best mountain biking anywhere in the world!
We kick things off early, meeting at 8am in the lounge of our Auckland accommodation, where your guide will have set up continental breakfast. Over breakfast your guide will introduce everyone to the group and run through everything you need to know to maximise your time in New Zealand!
When we're ready to go, we leave the hustle and bustle of Auckland behind us and head to Rotorua for some top-quality riding in the Whakarewarewa forest. With over 160 kilometres of trails, you’ll get a taster of what is to come for the rest of our time in this world-famous corner of New Zealand.
Afterwards, head into town for the feed of your choice before settling down for the first of our two nights in Rotorua.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation Rotorua - 2 Nights
This is it: the Big Kahuna, El Grande de Nueva Zelanda; the place dreams are made of. After waking in “Rotovegas”, munching on some brekky and with the iconic geothermal sulphur aroma tingling your senses, you will be chomping at the bit to get in a full day amongst some of the finest riding New Zealand has to offer.
On a recent visit, Australian Mountain Bike (AMB) magazine declared that these are the world’s best mountain bike trails. As locals, we can tell you they aren’t wrong, and today you get to see why!
With master crafted trails, unbeatable riding surfaces, well draining volcanic soils, varying topography and fantastic panoramic scenery, it’s no wonder Rotorua is renowned among mountain bikers as one of the world’s premier riding destinations. There is something to cater for all levels of rider, from beginners starting out through to experts looking for extreme action.
Using South Star Shuttles to get you from bottom to top is a leg-saver and is included in the tour, but we also highly recommend the add-on of one of the famous MTB Skill Clinics, run by top NZ MTB pros, for those that would like to work on their form.
After an exhilarating day’s riding, you will be well fed and entertained with a Māori Cultural evening where you will experience our proud Māori heritage and fill your puku (stomach) with a traditional hāngī.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
ROTORUA - TAUPO - Night Ride
Waking up bright and early, we head for our first gondola-accessed bike park, Skyline Rotorua. The park is used for the legendary Crankworx Slopestyle World Tour each year. There’s a fantastic range of tracks here – some of the most well-made you’ve ever seen.
Then we hit the road for the hour-long drive to Taupō, grabbing lunch and taking a peek at the impressive Huka Falls or Awatea Dam, before having a bit of free time in Taupō for you to get out there and try an add-on: from bungy jumping and skydiving, to jetboating and kayaking, or even try your hand at Hole-in-One golf; there’s something for everyone.
After grabbing dinner in town, prepare for one of the highlights of Haka Tours MTB trip – the famous night rides! Starting at Spa Park, we go on an epic night ride guided by lights provided by your guide. This is guaranteed to put a grin on your face, so too will the hot soak in the thermal stream. Buenas noches... there is a big day tomorrow.
Accommodation Taupo - 1 Night
TAUPO - OHAKUNE
After resting your legs yesterday afternoon, you will be pumped and eager to ride the beautiful, scenic and undulating terrain of the W2K and Headland Loop – part of the Great Lake Trail around Lake Taupō.
The Great Lake Trail is an epic journey to invigorate your senses. It follows the shores of beautiful Lake Taupō, and takes in the stunning views across the water to the majestic volcanic mountains beyond.
Enjoy extensive native bush, dramatic scenery, serene lake views, powerful waterfall, beautiful bird song, some sweet, sweet purpose-built MTB tracks – and more!
Following this, it’s time to head through the Tongariro National Park, where we can cycle the Old Coach Road straight to your accommodation on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu. We can even stop at the pump track for a blast if you’re keen.
Accommodation Ohakune - 2 Nights
The mountains greet you this morning when you wake up in Ohakune and we grab a bite to eat (and maybe some pictures next to the ‘big carrot’) before retracing our steps slightly north to what seems like the middle of the wilderness. Here, another one of New Zealand’s most iconic and incredible one-day adventure rides awaits!
Taking in the the Mangapurua Track, the ride along the Bridge to Nowhere trail is nothing short of amazing! This mountain bike ride boasts all the characteristics of a first-class adventure: amazing native bush, rivers, suspension bridges, intriguing history and a variety of tracks once used by pioneers.
At approximately 34 kilometres long, this breathtaking trail showcases the Bridge To Nowhere as the iconic symbol of the failed pioneering settlement of the Mangapurua Valley in the 1930s. The remoteness is outstanding – this is classic New Zealand backcountry at its finest! The ride includes mainly downward sloping single-track and 4WD which will have you deciding whether to put your hands on your camera or your brake levers!
After riding through the bush for 4–5 hours to the Bridge to Nowhere, you will arrive at the bubbling Whanganui River. Rather than make you ride all the way back up the hills, you can sit back and relax (or not) as a jet-boat pickup is at your service. The scenic jet-boat trip will take you down the Whanganui river all the way to Pipiriki, where you will no doubt be nodding off in the bus on the return to Ohakune for a well-deserved rest.
OHAKUNE - WELLINGTON
After a few massive days of back-to-back riding, taking in some of the best New Zealand has to offer, we make a beeline towards the capital – Wellington.
Moving south through NZ’s only desert, filled with geological history, look out for the wild Kaimanawa horses... and maybe even a few hobbits searching for Mordor!
The fun doesn’t stop just because the bikes are in the trailer! En route to Wellington, there are classic Kiwi-style stops and activities to get your competitive spirit up.
Cruising into Wellington in the afternoon, we have the option of a ride around Mount Victoria or Miramar – or take some time off wheels to get to know the city.
There are lots of awesome places to grab dinner in wonderful and windy Wellington, known for its funky bars and eateries. If you have enough energy and are looking for a great night out, head to Courtenay Place and its array of bars for a guaranteed night of fun.
Accommodation Wellington - 1 Night
WELLINGTON - NELSON
We try and beat the sun up this morning for a trip to the local MTB park at Makara, where a steady climb takes us to over 40km of perfectly-made, flowing trails with a backdrop of the country’s coolest city.
After a morning on the trails, we set sail in the afternoon across the Cook Strait, between the North and South Islands.
From the decks of the ferry, Wellington will fade from view – but before long, we’ll be greeted with views of vast blue waters and occasional dolphins for company if we're lucky!
After arriving in Picton, we travel the vineyard-scattered road to Nelson. A bikers’ paradise on the outskirts of Abel Tasman National Park, riders are truly spoilt for choice and face a feast of cycling options tomorrow.
Accommodation Nelson - 2 Nights
From high alpine environments to lush native forests and rooty forestry blocks, the luxury of choice has resulted in a wide variety of trails in and around Nelson, each with a unique flavour.
Within a 10km radius of Nelson City, we'll find over 30 trails ranging from grade 2 to grade 5. You'll find multiple DH tracks, flow tracks, root-infested technical challenges, fun bermed loops and classic back country epics.
We'll hit up the Coppermine Loop and the Dun Mountain Trail. It's not hard to see why this spectacular ride is one of the most epic in the country. This alpine route winds its way through the Codgers Mountain Bike Park, along the route of New Zealand’s first railway, before emerging into the alpine mineral belt near the summit of Dun Mountain (878 metres).
From the top, you are faced with a professionally built singletrack descent that drops for over 10 kilometres, emerging at the Maitai Dam. The last stretch of the ride follows the Maitai river right back into the heart of Nelson.
When we're off wheels, we'll take a walk up to the ‘Centre of New Zealand’ for some stunning views and photo opportunities.
NELSON - CHRISTCHURCH
This morning we have a group continental breakfast, pack up the bikes and leave sunny Nelson to head back over to the coast for a scenic and enjoyable trip down to Christchurch, experiencing some interesting sights on the way.
We pass through the heart of the South Island, over the Southern Alps via the native bush-covered Lewis Pass and onto the eastern side towards Christchurch.
Nearing the beautiful Garden City, your guide will point out a couple of trails to get you pumped up for the next day.
Accommodation Christchurch - 1 Night
CHRISTCHURCH - SPRINGFIELD
Today we start our the main South Island leg. A couple more tour members may join us this morning, so we will have a brief chat over breakfast before heading out to the cream of the crop: Christchurch trails. These are seriously fun rides!
From a superb winding singletrack around Godley Heads, to tracks with names such as Flying Nun and Anaconda, you know you will be in for a treat on the perfectly built XC and DH trails that only the locals know. Today you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the looming Southern Alps, right out over Banks Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
In the afternoon, after we have ridden our fair share of Christchurch’s best, we rally the troops and head for our next destination: Springfield.
Accommodation: Castle Hill - 2 Nights
SPRINGFIELD - OHAU
Today is the day for our next adventure ride. A white-knuckle classic: the Craigieburn Edge Track. A short 30-minute journey takes us up and over Porters Pass, and we enter the Castle Hill Basin, home to mystical limestone rocks and gold tussock.
Then we drive deeper into the mountains with their grey scree faces – this is some hardcore stuff. Our chosen trails are true alpine tracks, crossing 37-degree scree slopes, dipping in and out of bush.
Pioneered for ski tourism over 70 years ago, these were tackled by intrepid cyclists before mountain biking was even a thing!
If you want something cruisier, there’s the newly constructed Hogs Back Track – a perfect blend of natural trails with tools in just the right spots for flow.
A stay at Lake Ohau Lodge, near the shores of the lake, is an experience in itself. Even though it has the incredibly friendly culture of a ski lodge, it is actually run more like a hotel and we totally love the “faded glamour" feel of roaring open fires and panoramic lake views.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
OHAU - WANAKA
Even though it's difficult to leave the views of Lake Ohau Lodge behind, we track on, and depart to another vividly picturesque South Island MTB haven: Wanaka.
Winding through green farmland and high-country merino sheep stations, the impressive Clyde Dam comes into view – and shortly after, we arrive at Alexandra. We wouldn’t dream of missing out on this kind of out-of-this-world terrain.
This is a mountain biker’s dream playground, with multi-line trails allowing riders to take it easy or take on gnarlier drops and rock lines, all within whooping distance of your fellow Haka companions.
Back in Wanaka, you’ll have some free time to enjoy the sights or experience a thrilling optional activity.
Once dinner is eaten, it’s time for another of Haka’s famous night rides around some of Wanaka’s awesome trails. Whip around the expertly contoured tracks guided by the lights provided by your guide and the glittering stars above. It truly doesn’t get much better than this: you are in MTB paradise.
Accommodation Wanaka - 1 Night
WANAKA - QUEENSTOWN
We crack on with an early start in Wanaka to get to know this beautiful little town and is legendary lake.
Next up is the short scenic drive over the magnificent Crown Ranges, down into Arrowtown for a feast of cross-country awesomeness!
After a bite to eat (a hearty pie from the Arrowtown Bakery is highly recommended), we nip on up the road to Coronet Peak area, with staggering views of Queenstown and the Remarkables.
And how about those downhills? Don’t think we’ve forgotten about gravity! Today, we’ll show you some of our local favourites. The trails descending from New Zealand’s first commercial ski resort, Coronet Peak, are world class.
Rude Rock and the Zoot Track have been voted some of the top tracks in Queenstown by locals and visitors alike and, once you blast around and down them, we are sure you will agree! We might even save you from the uphill sections and cart you to the top so you can fly through the downhill without delay.
Accommodation Queenstown - 3 Nights
Waking up in the Adventure Capital of New Zealand is an experience in itself, with impressive scenery and colossal peaks towering over the energetic lakeside town. This MTB Mecca has a whole lot to offer.
We look to the skies and see New Zealand's first-ever gondola-assisted bike lift, providing direct access to Queenstown Bike Park. Get your suspension ready and heart pumping; there will be no granny gears here! With over 26 world class mountain biking trails and varying terrain for all abilities, in amongst the pine trees of the Ben Lomond Reserve, Queenstown Bike Park boasts over 30 kilometres of tracks and a longest run of 6 kilometres.
A 450-metre vertical rise via the Skyline Gondola gives you easy access to one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike parks. Attach your mountain bike to your Gondola cabin at the Skyline Queenstown base and enjoy the leisurely uphill Gondola ride before detaching your bike and taking on the legendary challenges of the Queenstown Bike Park.
Next up, there’s an unmissable option to enjoy the long, swooping exposed singletrack descent into what was once the world’s richest gold mining area, The Skippers Canyon Pack Track.
The afternoon also has the option of heading up to the Cardona Ski Field – a spot that, when it's not the winter months, is home to some expertly carved downhill and freeride MTB tracks littered across its slopes for you to enjoy.
The chairlift will take you and your trusty steed to the top of the mountain to bomb down the trails to your heart’s content. You can show off all the skills you have picked up during the tour and put them to the test on the jumps and freeride park onsite.
Our final run takes us straight from peak to pub – from Cardona Bike Park all the way down to the Cardrona Hotel in the valley below.
This afternoon is also a great time to get some additional activities under your belt! Want to go up higher into the surrounding mountains? We totally recommend a heli-bike trip. If there’s one extra activity you are going to splash out on this trip, heli-biking is one of the most jaw-dropping and exhilarating activities you can do. Take to the skies to ride otherwise inaccessible trails and get all of downhill but none of the uphill. 100% awesome!
- Rotorua and Queenstown Skyline Gondola Bike Pass
- Park Pass for Christchurch Adventure Park
- Māori Cultural Experience (including traditional Hāngī dinner)
- 3 course dinner at Ohau Ski Lodge
- All shuttles on Bridge to Nowhere, Redwoods and Coronet Peak
- Accommodation each night (max 6 share, upgrades available)
- Daily breakfast each day
- Classic NZ BBQ
- All maps, detailed trail advice and recommendations
- Exclusive riding on Backcountry and private trails
- Expert and friendly tour manager with local knowledge
- Small group sizes (14 max)
- Guided tour of every location. We show you places you would miss when travelling on a bus pass
- Plus many surprise stops on the way