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Great Lake Trails

The Great Lake Trails are a journey of volcanic discovery through lush native forest, past sparkling waterfalls, over deep gorges and down to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupo. Ride all the sections of these flowing, purpose-built mountain bike trails in one epic day or make it a multi-day mountain biking adventure.

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The Great Lake Trails are one of the 22 Great Rides in New Zealand and part of the Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Ride the rim of a supervolcano

The Great Lake Trails are a journey of volcanic discovery around the rim of Lake Taupo, a supervolcano that was formed after one of Earth’s largest known eruptions. The volcano ejected pumice over the land, gifting the area with free-draining soils perfect for all-seasons riding.

Flowing, purpose-built mountain bike trails will take you through lush native forest, past sparkling waterfalls and over deep gorges. Striking rock formations depict the area’s fascinating volcanic history and a stop at Echo Rock will have you thinking you’re standing near a waterfall. Ride to elevated lookouts with spectacular views of snowy volcanic peaks and down to secluded swimming beaches to cool off in the crystal-clear water.

Consistently rated highly for rider experience, the Great Lake Trails boast exhilarating downhills, fun switchbacks and cambered berms to deliver true singletrack heaven for riders. The trails were built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers, realising the pipedream of a community that lives and breathes cycling.

The different sections can be ridden in one epic day or as a multi-day mountain biking adventure.

The pretty lakeside village of Kinloch acts as a hub for the Great Lake Trails. Three sections are directly accessible from the village and a fourth section starts 45 minutes drive away. Many riders base themselves in Kinloch to take advantage of holiday home accommodation with lake views, the nearby luxury lodge, the beautiful swimming beach and marina and the quality food, craft beer and coffee on offer at the local café and store.

Great Lake Trails map

The Great Lake Trails traverse some of the most remote areas of the lake shore on a stretch of land between Waihaha Bridge in the west to Whakaipo Bay in the north. A boat shuttle links the different sections of the trail, providing pick ups and drop offs from various picturesque bays along the trail.

The Great Lake Trails will take you into a truly ancient area that is interwoven with Maori history and stories from a time past. You can feel the history surrounding you as you ride into the forest and the landscape unfolds to reveal stunning views across the water to the majestic volcanic mountains of the Tongariro National Park. Dramatic scenery combines with serene lake views, powerful waterfalls, native bird song and incredible trail quality to deliver an unforgettable experience.

The Great Lake Trails are proud to be part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail network.

Bike shuttles, guides & tour deals

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