Headland Loop Trail (Great Lake Trails)

The Headland Loop Trail starts and finishes on the W2K Trail at the top of the headland between Kinloch and Whakaipo Bay.

Set off on the Headland Loop trail, beginning and ending on the W2K Trail atop the picturesque headland between Kinloch and Whakaipo Bay. Wind through the scenic Whangamata Bluffs, enjoying spectacular vistas of the Kaimanawa Ranges, Tongariro National Park, and the sparkling Lake Taupō. For a longer adventure, link up with the Kawakawa section and discover more breathtaking scenes.

Trail Stats and Map

  • Distance
    14.3 Km*
  • Time
    1 hrs Cycling | 3 hrs Walking
  • Ability
    Grade 3 | Intermediate
  • Trail Type
    Forrest | Pumice | Shared use

*Distance - includes riding part of W2K to access The Headland Loop


The Headland Loop trail consists of steady climbs, thrilling descents, and flat stretches. Beginning on the W2K Trail, it rises to the headland's peak, showcasing panoramic views of Lake Taupō, then loops back down. Experience the trail's mix of smooth surfaces and challenging rocky sections as you connect with surrounding trails.


Elevation | 426m

Climb | 3.7km

Descent | 3.9km

Flat | 651m

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Riding the Headland Loop Trail

Embark on the enchanting Headland Loop trail, a delightful 9.5 km journey that begins by riding 6 km of the W2K trail from either Kinloch or Whakaipo Bay. This scenic adventure loops along the Whangamata Bluffs to the headland's tip and back, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged Kaimanawa Ranges, the dramatic Karangahape Cliffs, and the iconic Tongariro National Park to the south.

As you ascend through lush native bush, the trail shows amazing views across Lake Taupō and across to the Tongariro mountains. Enjoy the thrilling descents to Whakaipo Bay or opt for a reflective journey back along the same path. The Headland Loop captivates with its natural beauty and peaceful spots.

For those looking to extend their ride, the Headland Loop connects with other trails via Kinloch, including Kawakawa section, offering opportunities for a full day of exploration. A short lookout trail off the main loop provides picturesque views of Whangamata Bay, perfect for a pause or a photo.


Supervolcanic trail details

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Explore the Supervolcanic Great Lake Trails

Whether you're tackling the W2K & Headland Loop trail or exploring more forest routes of the Great Lake Trails, the Taupō region offers unforgettable rides amidst supervolcanic landscapes and lush wilderness. With over 65 individual trails and more than 330 kilometers of riding paths, your adventure through this biking paradise is sure to be exhilarating and memorable.

Other Connecting Trails Other Great Lake Rides

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The Great Lake Trails are proud to be part of Ngā Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trails network.

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Bike shuttles, guides & tours

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  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    FourB - Timber Trail All Inclusive Package

    Timber Trail 2-day all inclusive package. One night in Taupo, one night in the Timber Trail Lodge, meals and luggage transfers ex Taupo.

    $649 - $799 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures - Bike Tours & Bike Hire

    Biking with Taupo Kayak Adventures is not the only way to enjoy the stunning scenery the Great Lake Taupo region has to offer. Join our professional guides on our many bike trails. We have an unguided option which includes bike hire and shuttle.

    $100 - $400
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Supervolcanic - Waihaha - Road and Boat Transfer Package

    Got your own bike? Supervolcanic. Ride the Epic Waihaha section of the Great lake Trail with this transfer package from Kinloch.

    $149 - $159 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Tree Trunk Gorge Guided Mountain Bike

    This is a short but beautiful track that weaves its way through native forest and includes a short steep climb, a picturesque river ford and some wooden bridges. This is an intermediate trail with lots of fun to be had.

    $115 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    FourB - Waihaha Road & Boat Transfer Package

    The Great Lake Trail Waihaha-Waihora section Including return road transfer, scenic boat transfer and bike hire to enjoy one of the best one day trails in the North Island. Some previous trail riding is important as it is an intermediate trail.

    $295 - $325 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Overnight e-Bike Adventures

    Join us for the ultimate private mountain e-biking adventure in the Central North Island and stay in a luxurious remote lodge for the night. You will experience a truly private, wilderness adventure, with your very own on-site accommodation and host.

    $595 Book now
  • Custom transfers

    Mangakino Shuttle Service

    Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery of the famous Waikato River Trail as you Bike or walk in an ever-changing, Breathtaking landscape, for just a few hours, or travel more of the trail over 2 to 5 days. Shuttle, Bike Hire and accommodation available.

    $20 - $60
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Chris Jolly Outdoors - Guided Biking

    Take a tour of the Biking Capital of New Zealand with Chris Jolly Outdoors. Lake Taupo offers some of the most stunning scenic bike trails, and a guided bike tour is the perfect way to enjoy the experience.

    $1 - $1,800 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    42 Traverse Guided E-Bike Ride

    Known as one of the best adventure mountain bike rides in New Zealand. A 46km Grade 3 guided mountain e-bike tour through the Tongariro Forest. The 42 Traverse takes you into sub-alpine New Zealand with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

    $299 Book now
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