Replace the busy city traffic with quiet backcountry roads around Rotorua’s picturesque lakes. Leave your road bike behind and grab your gravel bike or mountain bike for an extraordinary weekend riding experience.

On day one, ride at your own pace to your evening accommodation at Mātatā on the coast opposite Moutohora Island with Whakaari/White Island puffing quietly on the horizon. The next day return to Rotorua via Rotoma, Rotoehu, Rotoiti, Okataina and Okareka.

The support vehicle will be nearby carrying your bags, for bike repairs, refreshments or to skip a section along the way. Join us for an unforgettable cycling weekend designed for cyclists like you.

At a Glance…

Price: NZD $425 inc GST. Add $230 inc GST if e-bike hire is required.
Dates: Sat 2nd – Sun 7th & 8th Dec 2024 Reserve a place.
Time commitment: 2 days
Who is it for: riders capable of 80-100 kms of varied terrain riding each day
Ride starts at: 9:00 am Hamurana, near Rotorua
Ride ends at: 5:00pm Hamurana, near Rotorua
Total kilometres:  185 kms
Accommodation: 2-bedroom, quality, cabin accommodation with bathroom & kitchen.
Bring a towel and sleeping bag or blanket.
Best bike: gravel bike, hardtail mountain bike, e-mountain bike
Surface: sealed road, gravel road, and forest sections.
Max number of riders on the trip? 14

Daily Stages

Today you are east bound, heading toward the coast, and Matata. Ride past Hamurana Springs (opening hours on their Facebook page). The Okere Store is your last coffee stop before disappearing into the countryside of rolling green hills and remnant pockets of native forest. Before leaving Okere though, see the remains of NZ’s second hydro scheme at the Okere falls themselves, only 1500m from the Okere Store. Riding out Maniatutu Rd you will catch glimps of Lake Rotoiti on the right, before your turn left (east) towards the coast and pass the Kokako Ecosantuary and the Pongakawa Ecological Area. Passing very large kiwifruit orchards, you come out to the coast with a view of Moutohora Island close in and Whakaari White Island beyond. A short road stage on SH2 on a good shoulder brings you into Matata and your accommodation.

Hamurana to Okere, and out to the coast.

Your route today will take you past 8 of Rotorua’s 14 lakes! Heading northwest away from the coast your first lake is Lake Rotoma. Nearby are Hongi’s Track (ancient canoe portage between Rotoehu and Rotoiti), the amazing hidden gem that is Lake Okataina and the Western Okataina Walkway. The path also goes very close to the Buried Village and Okareka Reserve & Walkway, a track through a bird sanctuary that goes around to the lake’s outlet. From here you ride to Lake Tikitapu/Green Lake and to Lake Rotokākahi/Blue Lake and ride the isthmus track or gravel road between them on the southern section of the Whakarewarewa Loop track. You return to Hamurana on the Te Ara Ahi cycle trail and the Ngongotaha Cycleway, riding through Rotorua’s new lake front development and stopping at Kuirau Park to do some foot bathing in an open geothermal springs.

First half of second day to the Lake Lodge at Okotaina. See profile below for Western Walkway profile.

Map, Route and Points of Interest Pins

The purple map pins and icons are points of interest, cafes etc, click for information.

Special note about the Okataina Western Walkway (19 km section, black line)

Please see the map below. Strong, skilled and fit riders can ride this track in a north to south direction (see black arrows). Other riders with be shuttled around to Lake Ōkāreka. There is a section at the beginning (800 meres from the Outdoor Education Centre) that you will not be able to ride. You will have to “hike-a-bike” for the better part of a kilometre. If in doubt, do not start this section. Sit it out with Peter in the van. Only ebikers with a “walk” function should do this track.

The big yellow dot is a kilometre of hike-a-bike. The small yellow dot is a dismount section on the downhill required due to recent rains. Last reviewed August 2023.
Two day bike ride around rotorua shim

Highlights

Escape the city traffic and explore the tranquil backcountry roads by bike on this low-traffic route passing eight of Rotorua’s 14 picturesque lakes along the way. Refresh at Okere Falls Store or The Drift Cafe, stop at Hamurana Springs or Okere falls and the remains of NZ’s second hydro station, enjoy an invigorating lake swim or shinny dip at The Secret Spot, ride through glades and forest… among other points of interest marked in purple pins on the map above.

Best of all, this remarkable two-day adventure allows you to experience all of these highlights without taking time off from work. Get ready for an unforgettable cycling experience that combines scenic beauty, active exploration, and convenient scheduling.

Book your 2-day Eight Lakes Adventure here

Included

  • secure parking for your car at our Rotorua base
  • ride information & route notes
  • 1 night cabin accommodation on a twin share basis
  • meals. Day 1: dinner. Day 2: breakfast and lunch.
  • carry your overnight bags forward
  • support vehicle, near the riders about 80% of the time
  • basic mechanical support & first aid
  • e-bike hire

… what you provide: you ride, have fun, be awesome and see the less trod parts of NZ

Excluded

The tour price does NOT include:

  • travel to and from our base
  • optional activities
  • personal equipment (please bring a towel and sleeping bag)
  • bike repairs requiring parts
  • alcoholic drinks & random café stops
  • emergencies (if required, we will arrange evacuation by helicopter or ambulance for serious injuries, but the cost is to be covered by you).