The Waipapa Trail

Begin at Bus Stop Café, enjoy narrow forest trails, see historic dam foundations, cross wetland boardwalks, and finish at Waipapa Power Station, featuring technical paths, steep sections, and stunning views of sandstone cliffs and the river. Ideal for adventurous riders seeking a challenging and scenic route

Begin at Bus Stop Café, enjoy narrow forest trails, see historic dam foundations, cross wetland boardwalks, and finish at Waipapa Power Station, featuring technical paths, steep sections, and stunning views of sandstone cliffs and the river. Ideal for adventurous riders seeking a challenging and scenic route

Trail Stats and Map

  • Distance
    19.6 Km
  • Time
    3 hr Cycling | 2 hrs Walking
  • Ability
    Grade 4 | Advanced
  • Trail Type
    River | Pumice | Dirt

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Elevation

Experience a varied ride from Waipapa Dam to the Jim Barnett Reserve. This section offers moderate climbs and descents, winding through dense native bush, pine forests, and farmland. With stunning river views, some tight turns, and a mix of easy and challenging segments, it's a great ride for all.

Elevation

Elevation | 518m

Climb | 8.6km

Descent | 18.4km

Flat | 2.7km


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Riding the Waippa Trail

The Waipapa Trail begins at the quirky Bus Stop Café at Mangakino Lakefront Reserve, a perfect spot to grab a coffee before starting your adventure. This trail offers a rugged journey through narrow, technical paths and steep sections. As you delve into the forest, you'll encounter remnants of the old Maraetai Dam foundations and an overgrown concrete batching plant, adding historical intrigue to the ride.

The trail features boardwalks through wetlands and leads to a viewing platform with spectacular views of the Maraetai dams. Riders will enjoy the sight of the largest hydroelectric station on the Waikato River. The trail concludes at the Waipapa Power Station, with views of sandstone cliffs and the river. The Waipapa Trail is perfect for those looking to push their limits while exploring the natural beauty and history of the area.

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Highlights

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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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Explore the Supervolcanic Trails Network

Whether you're tackling the Waikato River Trails or exploring more forest routes of the Great Lake Trails, the Taupō region offers unforgettable rides amidst supervolcanic landscapes and lush wilderness. With over 30 trails and more than 380 kilometers of riding paths, your adventure through this biking paradise is sure to be exhilarating and memorable.

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Bike shuttles, guides & tours

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  • 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

    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
  • Kayaking

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures Bike & Kayak Combo Tours

    Why not combine your mountain biking and kayaking trip into one fun adventure packed day? Enjoy the stunning scenery Great Lake Taupo and its surrounding area has on offer on both land and water.

    $120 - $510 Book now
  • Mountain biking

    Kaimanawa Descent (Heli Bike)

    The Kaimanawa Descent is Kaimanawa Alpine Adventures epic 23km Grade 3, purpose built heli biking trail. With the trail head over looking the volcanic plateau, descend through the Kaimanawa's with breathtaking views. It's a ride you wont forget.

    $350 - $450 Book now
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    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
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Adventure Shuttles

    Whether you want to hike it, bike it, taste it or just go see it Adventure Shuttles helps you get the buzz in the beautiful Central North Island.

    $30 - $1,000
  • Mountain biking

    FourB - Great Lake Trails 2-Day All Inclusive Package

    Part of the Super volcanic trail Network. Two nights B&B accommodation, meals and transport to mountain bike the Great Lake Trails over 2 days including the boat transfer from Waihaha on the first day and the K2K/W2K sections on the second day.

    $599 Book now
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Huka River Trail Guided Geothermal E-bike Tour

    Enjoy a scenic e-bike tour and learn about our breathtaking Huka Falls, the mighty crystal clear Waikato River, Aratiatia Dam & Rapids. Finish with a ride past an incredible geothermal stream in Wairakei. (previous MTB experience is good).

    $299 - $399 Book now
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