Rotorua Eastern Lakes
Western Okataina Walkway
An old logging road, the Western Okataina Walkway ride starts at Millar Rd and follows an undulating track followed by a climb to Whakapoungakau junction. From here there's an option for a short ride to a trig which brings the ride to 12.5km with 560m of climbing. The trig site offers great views of Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti and across the wider Bay of Plenty. From the junction there is a 4.8km descent to the Okataina Education Centre and Waipungapunga car park. Four km of this section is directly down - it is a fun and fast track where you quickly lose 300m. The only problem with going down to the education centre is the fact you have to come back up and it is a steep climb up - the first 1km has gradients around 20-25%. Once back at the junction it is a fun trip back to Millar road as there is more down than up on the way back (from the junction there is only around 250m of climbing back to Millar Rd). Millar road is only a few kilometres from Lake Okareka which is a great spot to have post-ride swim.
Whakarewarewa Forest on the southern outskirts of Rotorua is New Zealand’s Mecca for mountain biking. With a network of more than 200km of master crafted trails, Whakarewarewa blends proximity to the city centre, with awesome riding surfaces, interesting topography and trees that have size and variety. The Redwoods is a trail system that has been growing since the late 1980s, and it has been designed to pack as much fun into a small area as possible. You can take a 2.5 hour ride without any repeated sections, while never getting further than about 2 kms in a straight line from the trailhead. Even when the car park is full, the mainly one way system keeps the forest from feeling crowded. The trails are ideal for introducing friends and family to the sport, as they are generally pretty mellow. But they have enough challenges if the speed is cranked up that expert class riders come back again and again. The trail system is continually being extended and enhanced so get a map and make up a route that suits your fitness and interest. Further afield there are heaps more trails than a fit rider can do in a weekend and various groups are always building new ones. Entrance is either via The Visitor Centre on Long Mile Rd or from the Waipa Mill Rd carpark just south of the city where there is a full range of services including toilets and bike hire.
Trail Map: http://redwoods.co.nz/bike/maps/