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7 reasons why you should ride in Taupō this winter

As if you need another reason to ride in one of the North Island’s best mountain biking regions. We've got seven.

Friends mountain biking - Sunset picnic at Kinloch - by Todd Eyre
Kinloch beach near the Great Lake Trails


Winter is only the beginning of a rad mountain biking season in the Taupō region. So, get the inside scoop on exhilarating sessions and local secrets for an exciting winter mountain bike getaway.


1. Recovery hot pool and polar plunges

Taupō’s ancient volcanoes gift us Lake Taupō’s gin-clear waters and surrounding geothermal hot pools.

The volcanic underbelly heats natural hot springs – perfect for warming up after a winter ride.

Some of the best hot pools are within biking distance of beautiful trails.

Local two-wheeled fanatic and FourB Bike Tours, Shuttles & Hire owner, Jonny, says a ride “around the Wairakei Thermal Loop and finishing at the Wairakei Terraces is just the ticket!”. For an extended outing, the tranquil Wairakei Terraces is but a 3-minute ride from Craters MTB Park. And the free hot springs, Otumuheke Stream, is at the start (or end) of the popular Rotary Ride.

The hot pools at Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa

Your legs will thank you as they sink into the bubbling hot springs. After a hot pool soak, you will be renewed and keen for another epic ride.

For those more adventurous, Jonny suggests a polar plunge into Lake Taupō. “You've just gotten sweaty (because you are wearing more layers) and burned some extra calories. So, diving into a cold Lake Taupō means you'll recover faster (burn even more calories) and feel super fresh and ready for a craft beer afterward!"


2. The best of both worlds

Speaking of craft beer and hot cuppas, the epic café culture here rivals those of big cities.

The best of both worlds, the café and MTB culture, is at play in Taupō. You won’t be surprised to see mountain bikes lined up outside the cafes and eateries right off the bike trails.

Two Mile Bay Sailing Centre

Local riders and visitor mountain bikers conglomerate together for a hearty pre-ride breakfast or a post-ride bevvie and a yarn.

Taupō has so many great eateries that are easy to access before, during and after your ride that we’ve made a dedicated list of our top picks.


3. It doesn’t get cozier than this

It's no secret Kiwis love a comfy stay, and we do it so well!

We’ve got heaps of acclaimed lodges and award-winning B&Bs specialising in inclusive mountain bike packages.

So, ride and play all you wish this winter season!

Grab your mates for an extreme mountain biking adventure in the backcountry of Poronui Lodge. Thanks to Poronui’s fast trails and expert guides, you will be in pure trail nirvana only topped off by the luxury rooms. Or wanting to ride the Timber Trail? FourB's two-night inclusive package makes your Timber Trail adventure easy. With hearty meals, cozy rooms and bike shuttles, all you have to do is enjoy the ride!

The cozy, carefree packages don’t stop there...

Whakaipo Lodge's cozy rooms

Whakaipo Lodge is the ultimate winter MTB stay to experience the scenic and remote Great Lake Trails. After an 87km ride of volcanic landscapes, lake views and waterfall vistas, tuck into the cozy stay right by the Great Ride.

The Taupō region offers some of the best all-in-one experiences, from cozy warm accommodation to guided bike tours and shuttles to the best North Island trails.


4. Ride more than one way

We all love the state of flow when we hit the perfect trail.

But why stop there!

Taupo Sailing Adventures - Cruise to Maori Rock Carvings
Sail around Lake Taupō

With scenic cruises across Lake Taupō and thrilling jet boat rides on the Waikato River, there’s more than one way to ride in winter here.


5. Come on...look at those views!

We cannot say it enough...but look at those extraordinary views.

Between the vibrant blues of Lake Taupō on a still winter day and the bold whites of Tongariro’s snow-capped peaks, it takes your breath away.

View of Tongariro National Park from Whakaipo Bay

A favourite of avid mountain biker and owner of Whakaipo Lodge, Garth, is a leisurely visit to the iconic Whakaipo Bay “with its beautiful beach and majestic 200m high ignimbrite cliffs.

“This is also the beginning or end of the W2K section of the Great Lake Trail. If you don't feel like riding a whole section, ride for 20 minutes up the track to the first seat. It rewards with superb views over Lake Taupō, Tongariro National Park and its three majestic volcanoes."

Believe it or not, winter elevates Taupō’s incredible landscapes to the next level!

And the bike trails like the Great Lake Trails, Craters MTB Park, the Huka Trails, and the Timber Trail are all amazing places to see them.


6. Riding conditions all-year round

“Winter is coming” doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of the Taupō mountain bikers (maybe a few Game of Thrones fans, though). There’s a reason they call it the “Winterless North,” and for mountain bikers, it’s no exception!

Waihaha Section of the Great Lake Trails

Riding through a mud-ridden trail is the worst. For mountain bikers, this signals the end of riding season.

But not in the Taupō region. The region is famous for its volcanic, pumice, "free draining soil. The pumice is the facilitator and allows the free draining of extra rain we tend to get. So even if you're unlucky enough to catch some rain, most trails remain in great condition” - Jonny from FourB.


7. These hot winter mountain biking specials

Discover epic winter deals that guarantee quick and easy planning and an amazing mountain biking trip.

Thanks to inclusive bonuses like bike shuttles, free entry to the hot pools, guided MTB tours and cozy winter accommodation, booking your next winter MTB trip has never been easier. And winter riding has never been better!

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  4. 7 reasons why you should ride in Taupō this winter