The Motu Trails Great Ride is one of the highlights of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, offering everything from backcountry and forest adventure to a family friendly cruise along the Pacific Coast. The Motu Trails stretch from the town of Opotiki (just 90 minutes’ drive from Rotorua) to Matawai (60 minutes from Opotiki and Gisborne). Riding on the Motu Trails is year-round. You also get the relaxed vibe of Eastland. Come here for awesome riding and unreal beaches and forest — without the crowds and jostle.
- Pakihi Track. This historic track offers 21km of sensational escape. You start at 600m altitude and drop to 100m, wiggling through forest and alongside the Pakihi river. The track is rated advanced, though that reflects the drop-offs to the side, rather than the trail being especially technical. Shuttle providers offer a range of drop-off options to suit your time and fitness.
- Motu Road Trail. Don’t dismiss this ride because of the word ‘road’. It’s no ordinary road. In fact, it’s an historic route, almost all gravel and some rough, that climbs as high as 800m. You enter conservation reserve and remote farmland, for a stunning ride of up to 67km.
- Dunes Trail. This 10km family-friendly trail scoots along the coast east of Opotiki. Twisting and turning all the way, with easy access to the beach, the Dunes Tail is a fun spin for all levels of rider. Ice-cream stop mandatory!
- The Motu Trails loop. You can link together the Dunes Trail, Motu Road Trail, and Pakihi Track, to form a 93km loop. If you do this one in one day, you’re clearly fit. Many take two days, stopping in Toatoa, or adding a bit more distance and stopping in Motu.
- Rere Falls Trail. For a brilliant backcountry journey, you can go from coast to coast, Gisborne to Opotiki, riding the Rere Falls Trail and then onto the Motu Road Trail. Rere Falls Trail is rated as a Heartland Ride on the New Zealand Cycle Trail. It’s a hilly 170km, and best tackled in two to four days. There are shuttle options.
- Whakaumu and Te Waiti Tracks. As well as the Motu Trails Great Ride, there are several linking rides, promoted as Motu Trails Explorer rides. Two of the best are Whakaumu and Te Waiti tracks. Both are relatively short and single-entrance, but both enter superb jungle-like forest and are relatively technical.
- More information. Motu Trails Charitable Trust is responsible for providing free information on the Motu Trails, accommodation and services. Visit their web site for trail information, maps, faq and a directory of service providers (shuttle, bike hire, accommodation). For answers to questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. As well as riding, Jim knows about trail running and kayaking options, if you want to mix in a bit of variety.
Ph: 07 315 3031 for Opotiki i-SITE; or 06 867 2000 for Gisborne i-SITE.
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COMBINED SHIPPING CHARGES FOR BULKY ITEMS
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