Mountain Bike Trails in New Zealand

New Zealand is globally renowned for its beautiful landscapes. The best way to experience the natural beauty is behind the handlebars of a mountain bike. This country offers hundreds of miles of off-road tracks to explore. Whether you want a nice beginner track for a relaxing holiday or a hair-raising expert black trail, there is something to suit your needs.

Best Mountain Bike Trails in New Zealand

The Great Taste Trail is an off-road cycling route through the stunning New Zealand landscape provided by The Gentle Cycling Company. The trail offers a unique experience for
200 km

New Zealand: Area Description

The type of experience you have will depend on when you visit New Zealand. It’s usually best to visit between December and March. This is the summer period, so you can get sunny, warm days. Here is what you can expect on your trip.

Geography of New Zealand

New Zealand is split across two islands, the north and south. Both offer exceptional trails for mountain bikers to explore. Generally, though, the weather is milder in the north, as the southern island blocks the winds.

One of the most exciting parts of New Zealand is that mountain bikers can experience a range of geological features. If you love mountain biking, check out the southern island, with the spectacular Southern Alps offering plenty of exciting tracks. If you want something more exciting, you can try riding the Volcanic Plateau on the Northern Island.

Land Area Size 103,590 square miles (267,710 square kilometers)
Minimum Elevation -6 feet (-2 meters)
Maximum Elevation 12,218 feet (3,724 meters)

Demographics of New Zealand

Total Population Size 5.12 million people
Population Density 47 people per square mile

Climate of New Zealand

Most people prefer to go cycling during the summer months, between December to March. This is when you can expect the sunniest skies. Plus, though there can be heat waves, summer tends to be fairly mild. If you don’t mind a cooler ride, you can visit during the autumn, between March and May. At this time of the year, you should still get plenty of sunny days without having to worry about tourists.

If you are a more experienced mountain bike rider, you might want to visit during the winter months, between June to August. This will allow snow to form on the mountain tracks. But these are the wettest months, which can force officials to close some trails.

The weather might vary a little depending on the island that you visit. Generally, the southern island will have colder temperatures, especially during the winter months. As always, though, it’s best to check the weather reports before you head out on your trip. This ensures that you can pack accordingly.

Month Average Temperature
January 66.4°F
February 67.5°F
March 65.1°F
April 61°F
May 57.2°F
June 52.3°F
July 51.6°F
August 52.3°F
September 54.9°F
October 57.6°F
November 60.3°F
December 64°F


The New Zealand government has several national parks that mountain bike riders can explore. These are compiled under the NZ Cycle Trail program. These tracks are all routinely monitored to make sure they are safe to ride.

They are all easy to access, with trailheads having a place to park your car. Or you can ride the paved public roads to get into the national park. Occasionally, though, the tracks will be closed for maintenance. The NZ Cycle Trail website will update you if this is the case. It’s also important to remember that rainfall peaks during the winter months, if you are riding during this time, watch out for flooding.

Sights and Landmarks in New Zealand

The gorgeous landscapes you’ll experience will depend on the type of trail you pick. You might take in some of the stunning coastlines and beaches that have made New Zealand globally renowned. Or you can enjoy views of the snowy-topped mountain ranges. Don’t forget to plan stops in the local towns that you find along the trail to try delicious foods and beverages.

F.A.Qs About Mountain Bike Trails in New Zealand

How Hot Does It Get During the Summer?

Most of the time, summer days are fairly mild, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Though, New Zealand has also been prone to heatwaves, where temperatures can jump as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit. So, check the weather reports before you head off.

 What Is the Longest Trail in New Zealand?

The longest Great Ride is the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. This stretches for over 195 miles and takes you from the top of the Southern Alp Mountain range to the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It is broken into multiple sections, so you can ride the whole thing or plan a series of day rides.

Can I Rent a Mountain Bike?

You shouldn’t find it too difficult to find a rental company that will loan you a mountain bike. If you are planning on bringing a bike into the country make sure to clean the wheels thoroughly to remove any dirt, ensuring that you don’t have any trouble with biosecurity.

City trails and maps in New Zealand