/Motu Trails English
Motu Trails English 2017-07-10T13:07:48+00:00

Motu Trails

You won’t get bored

Care to join us?

Motu Trails

You won’t get bored

Care to join us?

Motu Trails

You won’t get bored

Care to join us?

intro

One of the most diverse trails

Motu Trails are a real joy to ride! You come across diverse landscapes. Besides beautiful beaches, amazing views and dense forest, you also find a lot of culture on your way. For example the impressive Maori statues and settlements. An awesome trail!

In this digital magazine you will find handy and practical tips, facts, useful links, but most off all our experience. And, of course, a lot of photos. No doubt you wil get a good idea of Motu Trails and what to expect. Enjoy reading!

One of the most diverse trails

Motu Trails are a real joy to ride! You come across diverse landscapes. Besides beautiful beaches, amazing views and dense forest, you also find a lot of culture on your way. For example the impressive Maori statues and settlements. An awesome trail!

In this digital magazine you will find handy and practical tips, facts, useful links, but most off all our experience. And, of course, a lot of photos. No doubt you wil get a good idea of Motu Trails and what to expect. Enjoy reading!

General info

New Zealand Cycle Trails consist of 5 grades:

1. very easy
2. easy
3. intermediate
4. advanced
5. expert.

We learned that grade 1, 2 and 3 is suitable for touring bikes. Take some steep climbs in account. Grade 4 and 5 are suitable for experienced and expert mountainbikers. The adventure stuff with obstacles, a lot of curves, hill climbs and steep drop-offs. Be aware, sometimes a cycle trail consists of several grades. Motu Trails is a good example: Dunes Trail is very easy, while the Pakihi Track is advanced.

 Did you know? 

Algemene info

New Zealand Cycle Trails consist of 5 grades:

1. very easy
2. easy
3. intermediate
4. advanced
5. expert.

We learned that grade 1, 2 and 3 is suitable for touring bikes. Take some steep climbs in account. Grade 4 and 5 are suitable for experienced and expert mountainbikers. The adventure stuff with obstacles, a lot of curves, hill climbs and steep drop-offs. Be aware, sometimes a cycle trail consists of several grades. Motu Trails is a good example: Dunes Trail is very easy, while the Pakihi Track is advanced.

 Did you know? 

General info

New Zealand Cycle Trails consist of 5 grades:

1. very easy
2. easy
3. intermediate
4. advanced
5. expert.

We learned that grade 1, 2 and 3 is suitable for touring bikes. Take some steep climbs in account. Grade 4 and 5 are suitable for experienced and expert mountainbikers. The adventure stuff with obstacles, a lot of curves, hill climbs and steep drop-offs. Be aware, sometimes a cycle trail consists of several grades. Motu Trails is a good example: Dunes Trail is very easy, while the Pakihi Track is advanced.

 Did you know? 

Nutshell

Motu Trails in a nutshell

Where
The Motu Trails start in Opotiki. From Auckland it is a four hour drive, 340 kilometer. With public transport it is about 7 hours from Auckland to Opotiki. If you arrive bij (rental) car, you can park it safely at the iSite for a few days. At night they close the gates, so your car and belongings are save. Don not forget to visit the iSite while you are there. The helpful staff can tell you all about bike rental, accommodations, the weather and the condition of the trails.

When?
You can ride the Motu Trails the whole year round. The trails are on the north island, which has a mild climate. But after rains the trails can get impassable, with the exception of the Dunes Trail. Always check the weather and the condition of the trails at the iSite in Opotiki. It wil save you a lot of hassle!

Here is where you find the Motu Trails!

Three separate trails or one loop
Dunes Trail: follows the coastline, wonderful views on Bay of Plenty, islands and hills.
Motu Road Trail: picturesquely hilly landscape, dense forest, broad views, rivers and sheep.
Pakihi Track: dense native forest, streams and rivers.
Loop: Dunes Trail, most part of Motu Road Trail and Pakihi Track.

Distances
Dunes Trail: 11 km
Motu Road Trail: 67 km
Pakihi Track: 44 km
Loop: 91 km

Grades Trails
Dunes Trail: easy, slightly hilly
Motu Road Trail: average, some long climbs (not steep)
Pakihi Track: advanced and for experienced mountainbikers, slightly downhill, narrow and rocky paths, steep drop-offs, sharp curves. (see our blog)

Amount of days
Dunes Trail and Pakihi Trail: 1 day
Motu Road Trail: 1 or 2 days
Loop: 2 days

Accommodation
Limited amount of accommodation (farmstay, hostels, (free) camping)

Transport
Shuttlebus start- and endpoint. Do arrange yourself!

Our tip
Challenge

Tip:
You can ride all of the trails separately, but also also as a loop. Count on two days. The total distance of the loop is 91 kilometer. Make sure to take your time on the Pakihi track. It can be tricky due to rainfall, fallen rocks, plants, trees and mud on the track. Note: if you are an experienced mountain biker and ride the Pakihi trail for sports (or don’t care for views ;), than you can easily do it in one day. If you opt to ride the trail(s) separately instead of the loop, make sure to arrange transportation back to Opotiki, before you head out.

More information

Where
The Motu Trails start in Opotiki. From Auckland it is a four hour drive, 340 kilometer. With public transport it is about 7 hours from Auckland to Opotiki. If you arrive bij (rental) car, you can park it safely at the iSite for a few days. At night they close the gates, so your car and belongings are save. Don not forget to visit the iSite while you are there. The helpful staff can tell you all about bike rental, accommodations, the weather and the condition of the trails.

When?
You can ride the Motu Trails the whole year round. The trails are on the north island, which has a mild climate. But after rains the trails can get impassable, with the exception of the Dunes Trail. Always check the weather and the condition of the trails at the iSite in Opotiki. It wil save you a lot of hassle!

Here is where you find the Motu Trails!

Three separate trails or one loop
Dunes Trail: follows the coastline, wonderful views on Bay of Plenty, islands and hills.
Motu Road Trail: picturesquely hilly landscape, dense forest, broad views, rivers and sheep.
Pakihi Track: dense native forest, streams and rivers.
Loop: Dunes Trail, most part of Motu Road Trail and Pakihi Track.

Distances
Dunes Trail: 11 km
Motu Road Trail: 67 km
Pakihi Track: 44 km
Loop: 91 km

Grades Trails
Dunes Trail: easy, slightly hilly
Motu Road Trail: average, some long climbs (not steep)
Pakihi Track: advanced and for experienced mountainbikers, slightly downhill, narrow and rocky paths, steep drop-offs, sharp curves. (see our blog)

Amount of days
Dunes Trail and Pakihi Trail: 1 day
Motu Road Trail: 1 or 2 days
Loop: 2 days

Accommodation
Limited amount of accommodation (farmstay, hostels, (free) camping)

Transport
Shuttlebus start- and endpoint. Do arrange yourself!

Our tip
Challenge

Tip:
You can ride all of the trails separately, but also also as a loop. Count on two days. The total distance of the loop is 91 kilometer. Make sure to take your time on the Pakihi track. It can be tricky due to rainfall, fallen rocks, plants, trees and mud on the track. Note: if you are an experienced mountain biker and ride the Pakihi trail for sports (or don’t care for views ;), than you can easily do it in one day. If you opt to ride the trail(s) separately instead of the loop, make sure to arrange transportation back to Opotiki, before you head out.

More information

4 Photos

Challenge

Not for wimps

From easy to average and ending with expert level. Sounds logical we thought. The Motu trails have a neat structure in difficulty level, but, as always, the sting is in de tail! We doubted for a long time if we also wanted to cycle the Pakihi Track: a mountain bike trail for the advanced mountain biker. One thing was for sure: that didn’t relate to us! Long distances; okay! Hills, gravel roads, harsh winds and rain? No problem! But experienced mountain bikers? Heck, no. Still, reading the route description, it seemed doable. Was it really that difficult?

No worries
To ease our minds we naturally did our research and asked knowledgeable Kiwis about the trail. And if Kiwis are good at one thing, than it’s in pep-talking. “Of course you guys can do that!, I did it myself, and do I look fit to you? You have good bikes, don’t you? No worries! My 65 year old sister just did it last Sunday.” To name just a few of the ease-of-minds we’ve got.

Out of your comfort-zone
Lit by the never ending enthusiasm, we decided on ‘just’ doing the Pakihi Track. We would just see. No worries, hey? After our first fantastic day over the Dunes and the Motu Road Trail, time inevitably arrived to head onto the feared track. A few well-meant instructions from our lodging address in the back of our minds we sat off. “Step out of your comfort-zone and make sure to keep up the speed.” With that in mind, we started the adventure. And an adventure it definitely was!

One of the many bridges on the Pakihi track

Crossing the pakihi stream 25 times, amongst one suspension bridge

Extreme concentration
In one word: nature was breathtaking! But the cycling was quite a challenge. This was a different ball game than relaxingly paddling through nature. 22 kilometers of utmost concentration, our noses touching the front wheels more than once and huffing and puffing all the way. Keeping up the speed, dodging rocks, narrowly passing steep drop-offs at high speed and getting off our bikes regularly to conquer rock debris.

Moral of this story?
We learned that the descriptions of the mountain bike tracks are sometimes a little bit on the optimistic side. Not only at the Pakihi track, but also on other trails. In real life they turn out to be just a bit harder and only suitable for the experienced mountain biker. Of you are one of those, you’re good to go. But if you are, like us, still practising a bit, make sure to get well informed and convince yourself that the track is suited for your skills. Talk to people who already rode it. Do ask thorough questions: what to expect and what exactly are the challenges. Gather and compare different sources (internet, travel guide, brochures, maps). So you won’t get in trouble and are assured of having an awesome bike ride and lots of fun!

Handy!
All bridges are numbered, therefore you always know at which point at the trail you are.

Important note

Balancing over fallen debris

Trail follows the Pakihi stream over small forest path

Photos

Pros and Cons

  • Deserted beaches

  • Magnificent views on Whale and White Island, New Zealand’s active volcano

  • Heaps of lovely smelling flowers and beautiful birds

  • Ice cream stop in the middle of the trail (Tirohanga Beach Motor Camp)

  • Beautiful picknick spots, also on the beach!

  • You have to get of your bike every now and then to pass narrow gates

  • Real wilderness experience

  • Fantastic valley vistas

  • 
’Wild’ horses

  • 
Unique opportunity to sleep on a farm in operation

  • Sometimes the climbs are pretty long, but doable for the fit cyclist

  • 
Keep in account the occasional car and therefore the eating of (some) dust on warm sunny days


  • Seize the chance if you spot a bench or picnic table; they’re scarce on the trail

  • Dense primeval forest

  • Follows the beautiful Pakihi stream

  • Mostly slight downhill

  • 22 kilometer of challenging mountainbike track

  • DOC hut midway the track is a good spot to refuel

  • 22 kilometer over gravel and tarmac

  • Steep drop-offs and chances of rocks, debris, trees, mud and plants on the path

  • No cell phone coverage. Tip: At the i-SITE in Opotiki you can rent a “personal locator beacon” for emergencies. This is an emergency radio.

Motu Road

Fantastic views over valleys

Pakihi Track

Steep drop-offs and chances of debris, rocks and trees or plants on the path

Navigating over fallen tree….

More than enough challenges on the Pakihi Track, but don’t forget to stop once and awhile to soak in the views!

What is there to do in the surroundings?

Time to spare? This is there to see in the surroundings!

What is there to do in the surroundings?

Time to spare? This is there to see in the surroundings!

East-Cape. Remote and rugged and beautiful area of New Zealand. Highly recommended!

Whakaari/White Island. Active volcano at the coast of Whakatane. You definitely sea dolphins on your way to the island.

Steam, bubbling mud modder and sulfur smells….

The official promo-video of the Hawke’s Bay Trails. Anticipation!

Mount Maunganui. This 232 meter high distinct volcano offers an amazing view over Tauranga, White Island and Whale Island.

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Tips, fun and handy details and advice to make your cycling holiday in New Zealand a succes

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We rode the Motu Trails in two days and stayed one night at the Toatoa farm. It was an unforgettable experience. Hostess and host Maxime and Bob are wonderful people and made us feel completely at home. Thanks to the amazing (British) cooking talents of Maxime, our second day of cycling got a huge kick-start! And Bob’s humor even now sometimes still makes us smile….

Toatoa Farmstay

Wow! What an awesome trail! The Motu Trails has it all. From dunes and beaches to dense forests, streams and rivers and serene valleys. With lots of Maori culture along the trail, which makes it even more interesting.

In one sentence
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