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  1. #1
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    New Zealand Aug 1-4 - what to do? where to go?

    I had to do a stop over on my way back from Melbourne so I thought i'd take a few days for my first visit to New Zealand. I'm flying into Auckland on July 31 and leaving on Aug 4. I'm thinking of heading to Rotorua, for the scenery but also because I've heard it has great mountain biking. With so few days, should I just spend all my time there or should I go somewhere else (for biking or not)? Is there a better place to bike? Any suggestions would be very welcome!

    Regardless of where I go - and this might be a determining factor - I'll have to rent a bike. Suggestions about where to rent would also be very helpful. And any suggestions for places to stay???

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Wrong island. The best riding is all down south. But this is the cold time of year.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Service Agent.
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    Disagree. Rotorua's tracks are primo all year round. Down here you'd most likely find all the tracks closed, mud everywhere, and you'll freeze your ass off.

    Last time I went to rotorua it was raining, I asked the guy at the shop at the bottom if the tracks were open. He just laughed at me. The riding was perfect.

  4. #4
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    Yes Rotorua is Awesome all year around.

    What type of riding do you like doing the most ??

    There is lots of everything but without knowing what you like it makes it harder to tell you what tracks you will like best.

    What size are you & what type of bike do you ride back home ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzzanic View Post
    Yes Rotorua is Awesome all year around.

    What type of riding do you like doing the most ??

    There is lots of everything but without knowing what you like it makes it harder to tell you what tracks you will like best.

    What size are you & what type of bike do you ride back home ?
    Excellent point! I should have said in my original post. I do mostly cross-country trails with technical sections. I ride all the technical trails I can in my area (Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles), but mostly rocks and not big drops or jumps. My normal rides are 2-2.5 hours of riding, 15-20 miles and 2-3,000 feet of climbing. I'm used to lots of climbing, but definitely prefer the downhill. I will have been traveling for a month with almost no riding, so I'm going to be out of shape! (And at 60 years old I'm pretty slow on the climbs now anyway.)

    I'm 5'11" and I'm riding a large Ibis Ripley.

    Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Wrong island. The best riding is all down south. But this is the cold time of year.
    The South Island is on my bucket list, but it'll have to wait for a trip when I have more time.

    And I know it's winter in NZ, but that's when I'll be there so I'll have to take what I can!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgrAde View Post
    Disagree. Rotorua's tracks are primo all year round. Down here you'd most likely find all the tracks closed, mud everywhere, and you'll freeze your ass off.

    Last time I went to rotorua it was raining, I asked the guy at the shop at the bottom if the tracks were open. He just laughed at me. The riding was perfect.
    That's good to know! Any suggestion on what trail to ride?

  8. #8
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    It sounds like you would love the riding that the Redwoods in Rotorua has to offer.

    Ride Rotorua :: Welcome to MTB Heaven

    Because there are so many trails, You can buy a trail map at the shop in the car park.

    On the Saturday & Sunday you can catch the shuttle to the top & do some cool tracks on the way back down, This will give you a lot more time to get lots of tracks in.

    I would like to come over & show you around, But very close friends of our's had there 14 year old sun stuff up a jump in a jump park & broke his neck & we are looking after there other kids.

    I will have a talk to some other friends as well & see if we can get some people to show you around.

    I will PM you with my cell ph number so we can give you more tips on were to ride.

    I ride a Rip9 RDO & Rip9 & Jet9 etc so may well like the same type of tracks as you. ( My bikes are Lge & I'm 6 ft )

    Tracks to look at on You tube.

    Billy T, Corners, Little red riding huck, Be rude not to, mad if you don't , G Rock, Split Enz

    This will give you a taste to what is there.

    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker View Post
    Excellent point! I should have said in my original post. I do mostly cross-country trails with technical sections. I ride all the technical trails I can in my area (Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles), but mostly rocks and not big drops or jumps. My normal rides are 2-2.5 hours of riding, 15-20 miles and 2-3,000 feet of climbing. I'm used to lots of climbing, but definitely prefer the downhill. I will have been traveling for a month with almost no riding, so I'm going to be out of shape! (And at 60 years old I'm pretty slow on the climbs now anyway.)

    I'm 5'11" and I'm riding a large Ibis Ripley.

    Thanks for your help!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgrAde View Post
    Disagree. Rotorua's tracks are primo all year round. Down here you'd most likely find all the tracks closed, mud everywhere, and you'll freeze your ass off.

    Last time I went to rotorua it was raining, I asked the guy at the shop at the bottom if the tracks were open. He just laughed at me. The riding was perfect.
    Where are you talking about?
    The only tracks which close in my area are due to snow (high altitude). They're still not actually closed, just kinda difficult to ride. All the stuff below about 1000m altitude is still good.

    Rotorua is built tracks. The South Island is riding actual mountains and a very different type of riding.
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  10. #10
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    Rotorua is great, and Taupo would also provide brilliant riding at this time of year. Both palces within an hour of each other. Would be happy to show you around.

    I've PM'ed you.

  11. #11
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    a pic of Taupo riding last weekend

    Lake Taupo in background. RIP9 RDO in foreground.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Zealand Aug 1-4 - what to do?  where to go?-photo-10.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Don't mean to hijack the thread but I am going to be on the South Island in November. I was wondering what is a good place for cycle hire in Christchurch (full suspension 29er) and some must see places for cross county / all mountain riding. No DH due to my fiancé being on the trip as well. Thanks!

  13. #13
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    There's good riding all over South Island, and great riding around the Christchurch area.
    Hanmer Springs - resort town 90 mins from Chch.
    Craigieburn trails - 90 min east Chch. Beautiful country. Stay Flockhill.

    Queesntown is the mecca though. And lots of bike rental options in Queenstown as well as a tourist town that your fiancee would love. There's also a gondola from town that offers an easy way and DH trails - no reason not to poach a DH run or 5....

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkelliher View Post
    There's good riding all over South Island, and great riding around the Christchurch area.
    Hanmer Springs - resort town 90 mins from Chch.
    Craigieburn trails - 90 min east Chch. Beautiful country. Stay Flockhill.

    Queesntown is the mecca though. And lots of bike rental options in Queenstown as well as a tourist town that your fiancee would love. There's also a gondola from town that offers an easy way and DH trails - no reason not to poach a DH run or 5....
    Craigieburn is a must-do and ridable almost all year round. For years I avoided it in winter and spring for fears of snow melt turning it to slush. But the snow melt just fills the creeks and river, the trails along ridges are unaffected.

    The Gondola in Qtown is open during daylight savings months usually. I'm not sure exactly when it closed for winter but probably Easter. Plenty of other places to ride around Queenstown but also Wanaka and Alexandra.
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  15. #15
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    Cool, Great bike for that area.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Where are you talking about?
    Well here's my local trails:
    Track status - Cycling - Christchurch City Council
    Yep, all closed at the moment apart from the 4wd tracks.

    And if I head into the hills to visit Craigieburn:
    Hogs Back Track
    The edge and the luge are open (and good for a snow ride), but dracophyllum and the hogsback are closed and form a big loop that you wouldn't want to miss. Much better in the summer.

    The Wharfedale track doesn't close but it gets very muddy. Etc etc.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgrAde View Post
    Well here's my local trails:
    Track status - Cycling - Christchurch City Council
    Yep, all closed at the moment apart from the 4wd tracks.

    And if I head into the hills to visit Craigieburn:
    Hogs Back Track
    The edge and the luge are open (and good for a snow ride), but dracophyllum and the hogsback are closed and form a big loop that you wouldn't want to miss. Much better in the summer.

    The Wharfedale track doesn't close but it gets very muddy. Etc etc.
    Those port hills do get soggy. Luckily there's a lot more to the south island than Chch.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Service Agent.
    www.dougal.co.nz Suspension setup & tuning.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzzanic View Post
    It sounds like you would love the riding that the Redwoods in Rotorua has to offer.

    Ride Rotorua :: Welcome to MTB Heaven

    Because there are so many trails, You can buy a trail map at the shop in the car park.

    On the Saturday & Sunday you can catch the shuttle to the top & do some cool tracks on the way back down, This will give you a lot more time to get lots of tracks in.

    I would like to come over & show you around, But very close friends of our's had there 14 year old sun stuff up a jump in a jump park & broke his neck & we are looking after there other kids.

    I will have a talk to some other friends as well & see if we can get some people to show you around.

    I will PM you with my cell ph number so we can give you more tips on were to ride.

    I ride a Rip9 RDO & Rip9 & Jet9 etc so may well like the same type of tracks as you. ( My bikes are Lge & I'm 6 ft )

    Tracks to look at on You tube.

    Billy T, Corners, Little red riding huck, Be rude not to, mad if you don't , G Rock, Split Enz

    This will give you a taste to what is there.
    Thanks again for all the advice. Somewhat ironic that the iconic ride is through California redwoods since I'm from California - but we definitely don't have trees like that in southern California so I would enjoy it! I'll do homework on those other trails.

    Sorry you won't be able to join me (and totally sucks about your friend's son; hope he recovers well). It would have been fun to meet. I've seen lots of your posts, especially about your bikes. You gave me good advice about the Jet 9 RDO when I was looking for a new bike; I ended up with the Ripley but the Jet 9 RDO was a top contender. I also almost bought a RIP 9 RDO when that came out, and in fact my riding buddy did buy one. From bike choices, it sounds like we probably do like the same types of trails.

  19. #19
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    I live north of Auckland and just spent the weekend riding in Rotorua, it was my first time riding there since 1996 and I was blown away! Trails are in sweet condition given that it is the middle of winter, and with the shuttle you can fit in a heap of good riding in one day. Did all the tracks muzzanic mentioned and more, then did Rainbow Mountain on Sunday before driving home (after a swim in the thermally heated creek at the bottom of the mountain). It's about 20 minutes out of Rotorua heading towards Taupo, the view from the top is worth the climb and the downhill is awesome! First half rough and technical second half is fast and flowy.

    It was bloody cold though, at least for me being used to our mild climate! Was barely above freezing when we set out at 8.30 on Saturday and I under-estimated just how energy-sapping riding in the cold was. I'm sure you'll have a blast riding there regardless of what you find to rent. I My 5spot was great, but we had guys riding everything from Specialised Enduros to old hardtails and everyone still had fun.

  20. #20
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    Re: New Zealand Aug 1-4 - what to do? where to go?

    Hit up the headlands track the next time you ride the W2K in Taupo.

    Towards the western side of the lake

    And looking back towards mkellihrs image he posted above.




    Don't know how lucky we are

  21. #21
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    Yes quite a nice ride.


    Quote Originally Posted by TaupoRider View Post
    Hit up the headlands track the next time you ride the W2K in Taupo.

    Towards the western side of the lake

    And looking back towards mkellihrs image he posted above.




    Don't know how lucky we are

  22. #22
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    Re: New Zealand Aug 1-4 - what to do? where to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by muzzanic View Post
    Yes quite a nice ride.
    Sure is. You don't happen to have that green bike that's for sale on TM?

  23. #23
    JustMTB
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    The Waihaha/Western Bays track is great too. Just wish one could get down to the falls below.

  24. #24
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    Re: New Zealand Aug 1-4 - what to do? where to go?

    Im on my pH so don't have any pics of that ride but here is kinloch to kawakawa bay

  25. #25
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    Yes that is me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TaupoRider View Post
    Sure is. You don't happen to have that green bike that's for sale on TM?

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