7 Day North Island Trail Hunter Tour
Get amongst some of the finest mountain biking that NZ’s North Island has to offer. From the white-knuckle downhills of Rotorua and perfectly flowing single-tracks of Taupo, to the most scenic of backcountry epics near Ohakune, this tour will leave you breathless in more ways than one.
We take you to the meccas of NZ Mountain Biking, along with some of the famous ‘Great Rides’ of New Zealand and some lesser known trails that are the locals favorites.
Customise your package by including some of our fantastic optional add-on such as a mountain bike skills clinic and sky diving - our customisable business model is totally unique and has won us a swag of awards.
Day 1: Auckland to 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 Haka Lodge Auckland where your guide will have set up continental breakfast. Over breakfast your guide will introduce everyone and run through everything you need to know to maximize your time in New Zealand.
Around 9am we leave the hustle and bustle of Auckland behind and proceed to its pride and joy - the new 440 Mountain bike park (home to some insane gravity fuelled descents). Catering for beginners through to the more advanced, this is the place to get your heart pumping and your brakes screaming!
Saying goodbye to the Auckland trails, we head on to the land of Mountain Bike Dreams: Rotorua (where we will be based for the next two nights). After an exhilarating days riding, you will be well fed and entertained with a Maori Cultural evening where you will experience our proud Maori Heritage and fill your “puku” with a traditional “Hangi”.
Day 2: Rotorua
This is it, the Big Kahuna, El Grande de New Zealand; the place dreams are made of. After waking in “Rotovegas”, munching on some breakky 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 NZ has to offer.
On a recent visit, Australia 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. With around 130km of continually evolving trails, there is something to cater for all levels of rider, from beginners 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. After a massive day of trails, we take a much-needed soak in one of New Zealand’s hidden natural geothermal gems, Kerosene Creek.
Additional Activities • MTB Skills Clinic
Day 3: Rotorua to Taupo
Leaving Rotorua bright and early, we drive for one hour down the Thermal Explorer Highway to Taupo, taking in the awesome unique sights of the geothermal wonderland and a few boiling mud-pools and geysers along the way.
Arriving in Taupo, we head straight out for a morning of riding at the crème de la crème of local tracks and award winning MTB Park- “Craters of the Moon”. Boasting the same self-draining volcanic pumice soils as Rotorua, this place showcases some awesome XC and single-track options.
Taking a cheeky peek on the ride home at the impressive Huka Falls or Awatea Dam may entice you to go on one of the many adventure options available in Taupo. Take advantage of the free afternoon to rest your legs and try one of the many awesome add-ons available, from bungy jumping and skydiving, to jet boating and kayaking; 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.
Additional Activities • Skydiving over Lake Taupo • Water Touch Bungy
Day 4: Taupo to Ohakune
After resting your legs yesterday afternoon, you will be pumped and eager to tackle what is called ‘The Greatest One Day Mountain Bike Ride in the North Island’ – the 42 Traverse.
We have an early breakfast in Taupo and head south towards Tongariro National Park, where we experience the privilege of riding the awesome 42 Traverse.
Renowned for the long and often rutted downhills, the 42 Traverse track will test even the most ardent kamikaze freak. In this picturesque alpine region the views of the volcanic plateau are phenomenal, including Mountains of Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies), Ruapehu and Tongariro (which gives its name to the National Park itself).
Taking in 46km (4-7 hours) of XC and backcountry goodness will certainly work up an appetite. Luckily, we provide a hearty packed lunch for you today. Bragging over 520m of overall descent on old logging tracks through remote native bush, the track surface varies from gravel to mud, includes some stream crossings, and, of course, the few inevitable up-hills!
A welcome pickup awaits you at the end of the trail, as does a refreshing cold beer at Cafe39 South. How about a trip to Tokaanu Hot Springs, where more geothermal pools are waiting to soothe those aching muscles?
Day 5: Ohakune
The mountains greet you this morning when you wake up in Ohakune and we grab a bite to eat 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 Kaiwhakauka Track and part of 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 42kms in length, 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 (Grade 3-4) 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 (good thing lunch is included today, no shops here!). 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 thrilling 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.
Day 6: Ohakune to 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.
The adrenalin doesn’t stop just because the bikes are on the trailer today. En-route to Wellington there is a chance to stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon, an extreme adventure park which offers the world’s most extreme flying fox: a 1.2km flying fox style zip line which reaches a top speed of 160kp/h! Pair up with a new buddy or two and fly down the canyon together. Go on, we dare you!
Cruising into Wellington during the late afternoon, we will make our way to the accommodation and set up here for the night. There are lots of awesome places to grab some dinner here in Wellington, known for its funky bars and eateries. If you have enough energy and are looking for a great night out, head to Courtney Place and its array of bars for a guaranteed night of fun.
Additional Activities • Mokai Gravity Canyon
Day 7: Wellington
We make the most of the last day on tour here and after a bite to eat for breakfast (bit of a sleep-in allowed), we go for a slight trip up the hill to get some awesome views before some singletrack goodness. Makara Peak is another brilliant Mountain Bikers paradise, and right on the doorstep of Wellington! A huge selection of rides faces us today, and if we feel like tearing up the dirt, we can head to somewhere like the renowned Makara Peak MTB Park for some more purpose built single-track and testing downhills (one track is called ‘Vertigo’ – guess why?). Alternatively, if we feel like another backcountry epic, we can opt for something along the lines of the RedRocks Loop or Skyline Tracks.
After the morning on the saddle, we all head back down into the Capital City to have a look around the town, and take time out for a bit of lunch with the group before saying goodbye to the fellow riders you have met over the past week as they board the ferry for Cook Straight, and you finish your last afternoon of the North Island tour.
The tour ends today whenever your legs tell you they have had enough, or the sunlight fades. There are some fantastic restaurants and eateries in Wellington, renowned for it’s cuisine, so after a full week’s riding, you deserve a bit of a treat to celebrate! If you haven’t had enough and want to hit the trails for one more day, or you just want to rest the legs and explore the sights of Wellington, please feel free to add an extra night’s stay (or two) to your booking.
Additional Activities • Extra nights’ accommodation Wellington • Nelson Sun Excursion 2 Day Tour • MTB Skills Clinic
Get ready for the MTB adventure of a life-time. Trails like Redwoods, 440 MTB Park and Bridge to Nowhere may seem unfamiliar to you now but we guarantee you will fall in love with them.
It's an early start on day one as we meet at 8am for breakfast at Haka Lodge Auckland, before we make our way, bikes on the back, to 440 MTB Park for the first day of riding.
In the evenings on the tour you are welcome to relax at the accommodations, rest your legs and soak in the local hot tub(s), cook in, eat out, go partying or even some more night riding... whatever takes your fancy.
As you build your tour online, you will see a few optional activities available to add - remember, none of these are compulsory. Not sure which activities to choose? No problem. Once you've paid a deposit and secured your seat you can add activities anytime until 30 days prior to departure.
Activities can also be purchased on the road - just let your tour guide know, he'll be happy to help. However we can't always guarantee availability when booking on the road, so we suggest if there are any activities you definitely want to do, that you pre-book them.
As the tour starts early in the morning you can opt to stay at Haka Lodge Auckland the night before the tour - only having to walk downstairs on the day the tour starts makes for a stress free morning. Likewise, you can book an extra night at the Wellington YHA on the last day so you are not in a rush once we go our separate ways. Alternatively, you can keep the good times rolling by adding on our 2 Day Nelson Sun Excursion to the end of your tour, taking in the amazing trails of Nelson, ending in Christchurch at our own Haka Lodge.
Upgrading your accommodation to a 2 person private room costs $499 NZD. The cost is per room, so if you share the room with someone else you can split the cost between you.
NB. Please contact us for future dates in 2017
• An epic 7 Day Mountain Bike tour over some of NZ’s best singletrack, scenic backcountry and thrilling downhills.
• All transport to New Zealand’s best MTB locations
• All shuttles on Redwoods, 440 MTB Park and Bridge to Nowhere Trails
• Accommodation (max 6 share, upgrades available)
• Daily breakfast
• Lunches on days four and five
• Expert and friendly tour manager with local knowledge
• All maps, detailed trail advice and recommendations
• Small group sizes (16 max)
• Maori cultural experience and performance
• Traditional Maori ‘Hangi’ (food cooked using heated rocks buried in an underground oven)
• Hot Pools entry to Tokaanu and two other secret NZ thermal springs
• Exhilarating jet boat transfer from NZs greatest one day ride
• Entry fees into three of NZ’s best purpose built MTB parks and trials
• Quality riding lights for the special Haka Night Adventure Ride (if you do not already own some)
• 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
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Did the 7-day North Island mountain bike tour with Jase and had a great time. So many trails to ride, and managed to squeeze in a couple more rides not listed on the itinerary. The night ride was a highlight! There was always a good selection available for breakfast - which meant all i had to do was wake up and get ready to ride. Great service and communication from Holly before the tour, and then from Jase during the tour. Only wished I had the time to do the full 16-day tour. Thanks for the MTB tips, Jase.
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