Tuhoto Ariki Trail
Mountain bike - Advanced
1 hr 30 min (walking) 40 min (riding)
This is a specifically designed dual use mountain biking/tramping trail through native bush that both riders and walkers can enjoy.
Tuhoto Ariki starts at the highest point in the Whakarewarewa Forest, Tawa-765m. The track is named after the respected and feared Tuhourangi tohunga (priest) that predicted the Mt Tarawera eruption. Built by the Rotorua Mountain Bike club, Tuhoto Ariki runs through the native forest of the Whakarewarewa Forest Conservation Park providing surroundings not otherwise seen on the rest of the Whakarewarewa trail network.
Rider enjoying the track
Head south on State Highway 5 from Rotorua city. 1km from the city limit on the left you'll find the Waipa Mill, the entrance to the Whakarewarewa Forest.
From the Waipa Mill carpark, ride up the Waipa State Mill Rd which will turn into Hill Rd.
Follow this for 5.5km until Moerangi Rd appears on your right, 1km on this and turn left onto Tawa Rd after 2.5km you'll be at the highest point in the forest and at the start of the track.
Mountain biking and cycling
Mountain biker on the track
Being grade 4 in difficulty means that Tuhoto Ariki has some excellent long downhill segments, but don't be fooled by the height gain at the start as this is a true cross country track with some technical climbs also. If an outback adventure is what you're looking for, this is the trail for you.
Linking up with trails like 'Split Enz' can provide some of the best riding in the country.
For the Whakarewarewa Forest Trail map visit:
Plan and prepare
You need to be well prepared when tramping on conservation land, especially on the longer day walks. Ensure you have strong, comfortable boots, warm clothing, a good raincoat, first aid kit, food and drink, a hat and sunscreen. It is also advisable to leave your tramping intentions with a responsible person.
Responsible mountain biking:
Mountain biking has dangers, proceed at your own risk and ride within your ability.
- Wear an approved cycle helmet and protective clothing.
- Stay on the designated mountain bike track or roads - do not take short cuts.
- Take out what you bring in - do not litter.
- Beware of vehicles when using the roads.Standard NZ road rules apply - keep to the left and give way when appropriate.
- Do not build new tracks or modify existing tracks.
Map of DOC trails in Whakarewarewa Forest (JPG, 769K)
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