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  5. 7 family bike rides from the "crazy bike lady"

7 family bike rides from the "crazy bike lady"

No one knows how to get families riding together better than Cath Oldfield, founder of Kids Bike Taupo. Since 2012, she’s taught over 200 kids each year how to ride a bike and their families how to bike together! Now, Cath’s offering her best family-friendly rides in the Taupō region and her top tips for families biking together this holiday break.

1. Great Lake Pathway

If you’re an adult and you have a little kid, bike along the Great Lake Pathway. The birds and the lake and the mountains are there. And you can have a bit of a swim!

It's just a relaxing, fun, non-stressful release and a great affordable family thing to do.

Nothing beats that.

The Lion's Walk along the Great Lake Pathway

What to expect:

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Direction: Return via the same track
  • Access the Great Lake Pathway anywhere from Taupo Marina to 5 Mile Bay

2. Whangamata Stream Trail

For people who have little kids and who are just starting out this is a great ride!

With the waterwheel, under the creek, and the trees, it's beautiful.

With little kids, you’ve got to keep it as much fun as possible. So, you can come down to Kinloch, buy ice cream from the Kinloch Store and have a swim in the lake!

Autumn on the Whangamata Stream Trail

What to expect:

  • Distance: 3 km
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Direction: Return via the same track
  • Access off Whangamata Raod or via K2K from Kinloch lakefront

3. Great Lake TrailsOtaketake Trail to Kinloch

This is a great introduction for families on the Great Lake Trails because it's all downhill from Kawakawa Bay Road to Kinloch. 

Bike shuttle is the kindest option for families with capable riders or new mountain bikers.

Venture Beyond - powered by Taxicat can pick you up from Whangamata Road to the Kawakawa Bay section, or the Waihaha/Waihora section of the Great Lake Trails, which are more advanced sections. 

Taxicat Adventures will pick you up after your bike ride

What to expect:

4. Huka Trails

Taupō has got hills and families struggle with that.

If you have a family, it is called the Expressway that runs right along Wairakei Drive. So, you come up Gates Park in Taupō town and it will take you straight out to Huka Falls. There’s a concrete path on Huka Falls Road as well.

I’ll often say to families, park at the top of the control gates hill (at the carpark at the top of Wairakei Drive), and go along the Expressway and go to The Hub and to Huka Falls.

Huka Falls Lookout

There are various trails from Huka Falls if you choose to continue past the Huka Falls Lookout

What to expect:

  • Distance: 5.7 km (various distances)
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Direction: Suggested one-way
  • Access via Gates Park or carpark at the top of Wairakei Drive

5. Craters MTB Park 

The easy tracks are closer to Wairakei Drive, the hard Grades are further back in the park. The best way to support Kids Bike Taupō and Bike Taupō is to go to Craters MTB Park.

Just get a Bike Taupō Pass (purchase online); it helps support Kids Bike Taupō and you can go to Craters! 

If you’re there at The Hub, there’s a lovely track called the Honey Track, opposite Huka Honey Hive, which goes along the top of the Waikato River. That is a beautiful track.

Another one is the Cathedral Track that goes down by the road by Wairakei Drive. The pungas there are just stunning. It's called The Cathedral because one of our local ministers built the track. And it feels like a green cathedral. The pungas are up in the gulley above you and it's just stunning.

If you don’t want to bike out to Craters MTB Park, park at The Hub, you’ve got Kefi at the Hub and a main carpark with heaps of parking available and other amenities like a bike wash, trail map, everything you need.

And if you’re not sure where to go, bring the kids on a Thursday at 3:30 and I’ll show you the good entry-level tracks.

Biking through Craters Mountain Bike Park

Learn more about the ins and outs of Craters MTB Park and beginner-friendly tracks

What to expect:

  • Distance: 60 kms
  • Time: 3-8 hours
  • Access via The Hub carpark off Huka Falls Road or Wairakei Drive

6. Tongariro River Trail

It is such a beautiful, flat-track with the trees, the birds, and the fly fishermen in the river.

Major Jone's Bridge at the Tongariro River Trail

What to expect:

  • Distance: 15 kms
  • Time: 1-2 hour
  • Direction: Loop track
  • Access carpark off State Highway 1 near Turangi Bridge Motel or by National Trout Centre

7. Waikato River Trails

There are a couple of pinchy climbs between Mangakino and Whakamaru. But if you base yourself in Mangakino, down near the Mangakino Golf Club, that’s a lovely ride, it’s flat and somewhere different to go.

It's good for kids down there. There’s a boardwalk and go as far as you feel comfortable with and turn back.

Waikato River Trails near Mangakino

During the summertime, you go down to Lake Maraetai and have an ice cream!

What to expect:

  • Distance: up to 103 kms
  • Time: Various
  • Direction: Return via the same track

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  1. Home
  2. Discover
  3. Our stories
  4. Family-friendly biking tips from Taupō’s self-proclaimed “crazy bike lady”
  5. 7 family bike rides from the "crazy bike lady"