Top 5 Mountain Biking Spots
Winter may traditionally be the time to rug up and stay indoors, but outdoors in Hawke’s Bay beckons with mild temperatures, blue skies and wide-open spaces. If you’re a keen mountain biker – or even a beginner- we’ve got some good news: Hawke’s Bay has over 100 kilometres of tracks that’ll be sure to have your adrenaline flowing.
The Pan Pac Mountain Bike Park is just 10 minutes drive north of Napier. With a 78km network of trails and a variety of trails ranging from Grade 1-5, there is riding for all abilities. See stunning views of the Bay across Mahia Peninsula, Napier Hill, Cape Kidnappers and Te Mata Peak.
Te Mata Peak, set 399 metres above Havelock North offers well-established trails and you can guarantee that your legs will be burning on the climbs and your eyes popping on the fast descents. Te Mata Peak Park is open to walkers, runners, unleashed dogs and riders, so make sure you stick to the mountain biking trails.
Stretching out in both directions from Russell Park to the Swing bridge in the East to Lindsay Bush in the West, the Tukituki mountain bike tracks run alongside the limestone cycling trails in the Tukituki River berm. Weaving in the shade of the willow trees this grade 2 track is a great introduction to mountain biking.
Two years in the making, Hawke's Bay's newest mountain bike park is located on a 26-hectare site on the Southern edge of Wairoa township. The track incorporates 7km of trails and is loosely based on Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Red Woods Mountain Bike Park. Riders can enjoy a mix of grade two, three and four trails, with other grades four and five trails to come at a later date possibly.
A walking track along an old logging route at the base of the Ruahine Forest Park is also open for mountain bikers. This is an intermediate-grade track with several sharp, steep climbs that are narrow in places and can be very muddy with deep ruts. Allow at least 45 mins to reach Ellis Hut and 30 minutes to return to the car park with the 17 km loop taking 2 - 3 hours. *You will need to cross the Makaroro River first. Expect wet feet.