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Solo rider’s travelling guide for the Taupō region

Solo riding is reserved for those who love the thrill of adventure - just you, your bike and world-class trails around the Taupō region. And with a little bit of careful planning and preparation, the only bumps you’ll hit will be the ones on the tracks.

The Taupō region is the perfect place to ride solo. We’ve been building up our biking scene for years, and what you’ll find here now is all sorts of services catering to your needs as a solo rider in town.

Accommodation and transport providers who have space for your bike and know where to go? We got ‘em. Helpful and well-stocked bike shops? Got them too! Food to fuel your journey? Take your pick.

Here’s the lowdown on riding solo in Taupō:

Bike-friendly accommodation

Plenty of accommodation providers know that people love to bring their bikes to Taupō, so they’re ready and waiting to welcome you!

Based By The Lake Taupō is a backpackers located smack bang in the centre of town. Here you can choose from simple mixed or private single rooms, with bedding provided. There’s also free secure storage available for bikes.

Finlay Jacks is a YHA hostel where you can stay in a pod, dorm or private room. Modern, warm and comfortable, there’s a number of onsite facilities to make your stay more enjoyable, and who knows - you might even meet a few fellow solo riders here!

The Top 10 Holiday Park Taupō is another top spot in town for biking enthusiasts, with a dedicated bike maintenance bay onsite. Here you can stay in a motel room, self-contained unit or cabin, or for the ultimate outdoor adventure, why not bring a tent and camp?

If you’re looking for a little bit of luxury during your stay, check out the Baycrest Thermal Lodge. Ground floor studios have their own private thermal tub, filled from the natural underground geothermal spring. It’s perfect for relaxing at the end of a big day of riding.

Dining out

From a cheeky takeaway to a hunger-busting dine-in experience, Taupō township is dotted with many delicious restaurants and eateries.

Along the lakefront in town is Jimmy Coops Lakehouse, where you can enjoy the locally-brewed Lakeman Beer on tap, as well as devour a burger made with beef that comes from the same farm as the brewery. It’s an epic combo.

The Deck is another great place to grab a feed, and all meals come with a side of panoramic views across the lake and mountains. From pizza to burgers, mains, loaded fries and more, all your cravings will be taken care of.

For a unique dining experience, the Crafty Trout has delicious food and its own brewery out back! Or if you want to get your meal to-go, Pauly's Diner is well-known for their mouth-watering burgers, fried chicken and fries.


If you’re unfamiliar with the Taupō region or will need a ride back to your car after finishing a trail, you might like to jump aboard a local shuttle. There’s a number of awesome operators in town - FourB, Adventure Shuttles, Venture Beyond - powered by Taxicat and Taupō Kayaking Adventures (don’t be fooled by the name, they do bikes too!).

Run by locals with plenty of experience in and around Taupō, they’re not only a reliable set of wheels at the end of the long ride, but they have plenty of fantastic knowledge that they are only too happy to share.

Popular rides

There’s more than 220 kms of single-track riding in the Taupō Region, so you’ve got plenty of trails to choose from.

Some of the most popular ones include Craters Mountain Bike Park, River Side, Rotary Ride, Huka Falls to Aratiatira, W2K (Wakaipo to Kinloch), K2K (Kinloch to Kawakawa Bay), Orakau Trail, Otaketake Trail and Waihora Trai.

Note: If you are going to ride Craters MTB Park, you need to purchase a visitor pass.

It’s good to have a plan of how long each one will take, and their grade, to make sure it’s something you’re comfortable riding - especially being solo. You’re likely to come across others using the trail (both walking and biking), but this isn’t always the case.

If you’re wanting an overnight experience, you could head out to the Timber Trail and make the most of your trip with glamping accommodation through Camp Epic. It’s 85 km long and isn’t a loop track, so ensure all your transport and accommodation arrangements are made prior to starting your ride.

Or, for something truly spectacular, how about the Kaimanawa Descent? It’s a 22 km downhill mountain biking trail that’s designed for intermediate to advanced-level riders (grade 3). A helicopter drops you at Patutu Tops, and from here, you descend through Kaimanawa alpine tussock country, with the second half of the downhill twisting and turning through native mountain beech forest.

Gears and repairs

For all your biking gear and repairs, you can head to any number of retailers in town.

My Ride Taupo also has a full-service workshop, along with a team of staff who are experienced riders. They’re always up for a chat or to ‘geek out’ on the latest equipment from their major store brands.

Top Gear Cycles offer a range of services, as well as premium and quality bikes and biking equipment for an adventurous lifestyle. If you’re in town for more than a weekend, they do a weekly Wednesday ride that leaves from their store at 40 Runanga Street at 5:30 pm.

The Evo Cycles showroom is open seven days a week for bike servicing and all your equipment/accessory needs for some of the world’s largest brands, including Trek, Giant, Liv, Kona, GT, Polygon and Reid.

Pack & Pedal is locally owned and whether you want to buy a new bike, fix your old bike, or hire a mountain bike, the friendly team is there to help. They also have a great range of cycle accessories, helmets, footwear and clothing.

Torpedo7 Taupō has a workshop with a range of maintenance options, from a free bike safety check (if you’re a member of Torpedo7), to a full service. They also stock a wide range of bike clothing, protection and gear, so if you forget something or want an upgrade - head in store.

Staying safe

We want you to have an enjoyable experience when you’re here, which is why it’s important to stay safe when you’re riding solo in Taupō.

Here’s a few things to consider before you set off on your trail adventures:

- Know your ability level. While many of our trails are built for a range of riding experience, some are definitely more technical than others. You may wish to start with a cautious approach before moving on to something that requires more experience.

- Sharing the tracks. Be mindful that the other people will be riding and walking along the trails, too - sometimes in an opposite direction to the way you’re going.

- Map out your ride. Know where you’re going, how long it’s going to take and whether you’ll need a shuttle service to pick you up (or drop you off).

- Make sure someone knows your plan. From a family member to a friend, or even your friendly accommodation provider, tell someone where you’re going and what time to expect you back.

- Join a tour group. If you’re keen on some biking camaraderie, you could book a guided bike tour with one of our local operators. They know the trails like the back of their hand and could really take your time in town to the next level.

- Speak to a local expert. All the bike shops in town have knowledgeable bike enthusiasts behind the counter who are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

- Be prepared for all weather. Weather can change very quickly, from cold to hot and back again. So check the forecast before you head out, and take suitable clothing that will protect you from all the elements.

- Pack the right gear. A spare inner tube and pump is always a good idea, as well as a multitool for any ‘on the trail’ fixes. You also might want a personal locator beacon - just in case.

- Hydration and food. It’s hot and thirsty work out there on the trails, so take plenty of water and snacks to keep you going.


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