Newsletter June 2021


Kia ora and welcome to our latest newsletter!

It has been awhile since we have sent an newsletter to our members and we have certainly been busy over this time!  Biking is a huge growth activity in NZ and its wonderful to see all the bikes around town and on the back of cars now.  Bike Taupo is constantly working on improving the conditions and offerings available in Taupo for all cyclists and we are passionate about getting people on bikes.  We would therefore appreciate if you could take the time to complete the survey as below to provide us feedback on how we are doing.  We value our Members and Partners and your opinion is important to us for future growth.

Our good looking committee as below:- (from left to right)

Cath (Kids BT), Melissa (Administration) Lynette (Chair) Karyn (Treasurer), Rowan (advocacy guru) Clyff (IT & graph expert) Ian (the jewel in the crown!) Pete (trails and management) Mark (secretary)

Enjoy the reading and keep the rubber side down!  Cheers, Melissa.

committee 2021

Bike Taupo Survey

Completion of the survey gives us valuable feedback into what our members expectations are of Bike Taupo together with insight into our members understanding of Bike Taupo and our trail network.

Every person who completes the survey will go in the draw to win one of four great prizes:

2 x $50 Ground Effect vouchers

2 x $50 Torpedo 7 vouchers

Words of wisdom from our Chair


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Trackcrew Report

Things have been rocking along with the track network  in the last few months. The weather has been kind and we have seen lots of riders out and about.

We have tidied up parts of the Huka Trails around the poo plant in town and also the horrible little hill out by the bore field bridge near the Wairakei Resort. We are also about to realign the uphill section on the Rotary Ride opposite the Huka Lodge to make it more user friendly. We also plan  to repair the Spa Park end of the Rotary Ride which keeps getting washed out in the last gully.

In Craters MTB Park, we are still to finish off building Dier Straights which will be the link from the top of Zee Zee Top across to Waipuwerawera. The other new track under construction is a link track leading to the Connection which will mean you will not have to bike up and then down Tank Stand to access the tracks further out. These hopefully will be  all finished in the next three months. We have also been updating and putting in new signs around the park as well as doing some regrading of tracks so visitors don’t access tracks they don't want to.

Within the next 4 to 6 weeks logging is to start on the last section of trees over in the Steam Field area. This includes the trees around the Golf Course which will mean access from the Wairakei Resort will be closed as well as the bottom section of Sugar Daddy. There will be a short period where Outback needs to closed as well. We will keep you informed and tracks will be taped and signage in place.

The Great Lake Trail is generally in good condition We have just finished a tidy up on Orakau down to the tunnel and getting this winter's planting areas prepared. We are also planning on running a digger up the Whakaipo side of W2K this winter/ spring to re bench the track and give it a general tidy up. This may include running it around the headland.

Finally, a massive thank you to the "track fairies" who chip away building tracks and trimming vegetation in their own time and to everybody that sends tree reports into us. You are legends. This saves us so much time and therefore money and improves the tracks for everyone.


BT Craters Classic Logo Generic Version

Bike Taupo recently hosted the Craters Classic MTB event from the Wairakei Resort.  We had an awesome day with 650 competitors from all over NZ coming to participate in our event.  Craters Classic is a great opportunity for Bike Taupo to showcase our awesome trail network in a fun and safe environment.  Riders choose to race competitively for podium places or just enjoy the scenery and comradery. 

Check out the below video from Waero Tomlin from Palmerston North who joined us for the weekend......

2021 Craters Cassic

Kids Bike Taupo

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We are noticing a continuing interest in children and families getting into their bikes. I guess we are always
going to have new ‘customers’, unless people stop having babies! It is very useful to follow up the early
childhood sessions with visits into primary schools with their junior classes. Not everyone has seen Kids
Bike Taupō before they get to school, so these visits are very valuable.

A real highlight this year has been BMX for the Special Needs Unit at Tauhara College. I’ll admit that I was
a little nervous the first time, but the students loved the challenge. Just like everyone else, once they
learned how to control their speed the risk is reduced and they had a blast.
The Secondhand Bike Sale is always fun. We were at the Sunday Market this year, which is a great fit for
everyone. The rain scared away those made of sugar, but we made a little bit of money and the
networking is always worth it. Thanks to Bike Sale for the use of their racks and to Fiona and Rowan for
being there all day. It has been suggested that we do another one closer to spring/summer. Nothing
decided as yet.

Funding continues to be a thorn in our side. We do not charge for sessions, because we want no barriers.
Unfortunately, this seems to have created the feeling that we must have plenty of money. Melissa
continues to submit those applications and somehow we find money.
The Community Bike Shed in Spa Venture Park, at the top of Spa Road where the Taupō Cadets and Nuki’s
Gym are, still operates on a Wednesday afternoon from 3.30pm to 5pm. A big shout out to Preston for
taking over when Jonny went sailing around the Pacific with his family. We can use any reasonable bikes
that are a good brand and able to be recycled. We have been getting more discerning and would rather
not have to take care of other people’s rubbish. How do we stop people from buying bikes from shops that
sell 20,000 other things? If you know families looking for an affordable entry into biking, please send them
to Kids Bike Taupō.

It is great for our district to have a pathway for children and adults to get more confident riding as a
transport option. The Taupō District Council offers free Cycle Road Safety training to schools and groups
and adults through the Road Safety Teams ‘Pedal Safe’ programme. Check out -
There continues to be not enough of KBT to go around, especially in the summer terms. A good place to
catch Ricky Biker is at the after school sessions. Please tell your friends to come along, particularly if they
are not terribly confident about this whole biking thing. All sessions 3.30pm to 5pm
Mondays – BMX Track
Tuesdays – SPARK Trails in Spa Park
Thursdays – Craters Mountainbike Park

Nga Mihi


A Word from the Chair.

Lynette Photo BT

Tena koutou katoa

My name is Lynette Braithwaite, and I was elected as the Chair of Bike Taupo at the AGM held in March.  For those who do not know me, here is a bit of history on how I find myself on Bike Taupo.

I have been on many committees and event organisations over the years and joined the Taupo Mountain Bike Club in January 2011.  I enjoyed the comradery of both the club and riders, so soon took on the role of Secretary and eventually President as well as a multitude of other jobs along the way.  Little did the club know, when I first started with them, I had never actually ridden a Mountain Bike.   This proved to be quite interesting at the first few committee meetings when talking about tracks in Craters! I had absolutely no idea where they were talking about - it was like a totally foreign language!  Within the first few months I was encouraged (Ok – pushed) by my “keen as beans MTBing husband” John (JB), and I headed off into Craters for my first MTB ride and so my love of MTBing began. 

I originally joined Bike Taupo as the Liaison between the two organisations in 2016. I eventually stood down from the Taupo MTB Club in 2018, and then joined Bike Taupo, so I could be more involved with Bike Advocacy in the region.  I enjoy the “can do” attitude that seems to be the ethos at the heart of this organisation. 

I am proud of what has been built around the region from my predecessors, and know that this was largely due to huge numbers of community volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours hand building tracks.  It is a privilege to be part of this group that bring so much riding pleasure to so many people and help shape the future of mountain biking in the Taupo region.

I believe that I am approachable and open to new ideas.  With this in mind, Bike Taupo have recently held a strategic planning meeting, and will be sending out a survey with this panui.   Please take the time to fill out the survey, as this will give us ideas and show us what is important to you for cycling in the region and MTBing over the next 5 years. 

Help us to create urban tracks that will have meaning for you and your whanau, and off road track systems that will keep you riding for years to come. 

Kai kaha and happy riding! 😊


NZ Herald June 1st - Bike Taupo!

GO NZ: Cycling holidays and bike trails in Taupō

Sarah Bennet

Firstly, let's add Taupō to the list of towns that claims it has "some of the best mountain biking in New Zealand". There's a pattern emerging here.

But this tasty resort town shows it knows what side its bread is buttered on by spreading bike-love across all slices of life. "From scenic cycling and family fun, to technical trails and epic descents, Taupō has it all," the visitor guide states.

The optics are good. This is the home of the legendary Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge. It has a giant-sized 10-speed sculpture and bicycle art in the parks and gave birth to the national Big Bike Film Night festival. It's home to the Huka Trails, Craters MTB Park, pump tracks and BMX parks, as well as the Great Lake Trail. In all, it boasts several hundred kilometres of trail.

The lay of the land

A dramatic, volcanic mosaic shaped by fire and water, Great Lake Taupō has stacks of natural wonders and many grand backdrops for outdoor adventure. There's a lot to see.

The marketing bumf says: "There are few better ways to enjoy Taupō's epic landscapes than from the saddle of a bike." Looks like a fair call, because most of the town's main attractions can be reached on two wheels.

Getting your bearings

The excellent visitor website ( has a user-friendly trail guide (search "bike trails and parks"). The free town map features the main arterial cycleway across town.

Bike Taupō produces fab $5 maps for both Huka Falls/Craters Mountain Bike Park and the Great Lake Trail, and has interactive Trailforks maps embedded on its website (

Craters Mountain Bike Park, in Taupō's Wairakei Forest. 

A town tour

The must-do is the Great Lake Pathway, which traces the water's edge from town to Two Mile Bay, to Three Mile, Four Mile and Five Mile Bays. Despite these yardsticks, the pathway is actually 13km one way.

The trail was recently revamped as far as Three Mile Bay. It's wider, smoother, and just better all-round for all its different users. Messages etched into the concrete path read "Aroha atu, aroha mai – share with care".

Along the way are refreshment stops and picnic spots, and a lovely park and playground at Wharewaka Point. The trail gets a bit rougher from there but it's worth pedalling on if you like a leg stretch and lashings of late afternoon sun.

There are few better ways to enjoy Taupō's epic landscapes, like Huka Falls, than from the saddle of a bike. Photo / Todd Eyre

Further afield

On the edge of town, Spa Park is where you go for a free soak in hot springs. It's also the starting point of the Rotary Ride to Huka Falls, a leisurely 2–3 hour return ride along the Waikato River. Allow a whole day to go all the way to Aratiatia Dam and watch the spill gates open, a spectacle well worth seeing.

Craters MTB Park is close to Huka Falls. Constantly evolving thanks to solid community support, the park has around 50km of singletrack spread across a privately managed pine forest.

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The main entrance is the "the Hub" where the bike-mad FourB crew hire bikes and run shuttles, and offer local knowledge including suggestions for intro rides. They also issue the Bike Taupō membership necessary to ride the trails ($10 for a week).

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Our ride highlights were the fun features on Scraggs and the pine-flavoured flow of Mr & Mrs, but our top pick was the freshly dug Megalicious, a brilliantly crafted intermediate downhill flow trail that seemed to go on forever.

For more scenery and less sport, head to the Great Lake Trail. One of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails' 22 Great Rides, this 83km network has four tracks connecting for various day rides as well as a 2–3 day point-to-point featuring scenic boat transfers.

We recommend two-day rides, both of which start from Kinloch. The first is the Headland Loop, a 2–3 hour ride that climbs moderately strenuously to various lookouts over the lake.

The second is the K2K–Otaketake Loop, which is a couple of hours longer, more rock and roll, has superior scenery and a particularly fun descent.

Both make an even better day out when topped off with a tipple at Kinloch's Tipsy Trout.


Bike town rating

I bet Taupō folk are glad that highway bypass went in all those years ago. Cycling and walking around the CBD is pleasant, and there are plans afoot to make it even friendlier. And with the exception of the Great Lake Trail, it's also possible to bike to other places you want to go, off-road. Every time we visit, another path has been created or improved.

This isn't an accident, or reactive management. Taupō shows what you can achieve when you organise, collaborate, plan and execute with intelligence and foresight. There are benefits for everyone.

Update from Tack Crew May 7th 2020

Logging around connection is now completed and the logging crew is just cleaning up some windfall near the old chain link track so we will be rebuilding the tracks and catching up on Maintenance ASAP. Logging crews should be gone by middle of next week

All of Outback and Steamfields are open and so is access in out of the hotel grounds. The current track system takes you back to the old link road horse crossing. Then you are required to do a bit of road riding to get around the logged area just follow the signs but you can ether go down the road and out of the park or up the road and head for Waipouwerawera or cut out around the back of craters of the moon. It’s all sign posted – please read and follow the signs!

We will be rebuilding the tracks as fast as possible and just need to tidy up some tracks first. The current plan is Walters first, then Tank Stand Down-hill as that will give access to the connection. Later we will attack the rest of the tracks to get the routes up and running There is going to be a period of time when we have to use the road around the connection.

We are thinking of running a few working bees to get them open earlier as we have no PD crews at the moment but we have to wait until we know the rules on level 2 in regards to social distancing and then flick out a notice.

Waipouwerawera has a wee slip sitting on the track at the half way point but it’s all passable Bruce is giving the track a tidy up at present We were about to do this as we went into lockdown so it’s a bit overdue.

All the rest of the tracks seem to be OK and have seen lots of traffic but please keep reports coming in as it saves a lot of time and money being able to plan our response. To report an issue please use Trailforks, the BT website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2020 Destruction and Rebuild of the Connection Tracks

A year or more ago when they announced the gums around the Connection were coming down the boys and girls of Bike Taupo know it was going to mean a big mess and lots of work. By the time the last logs had gone it was a toss up between putting in a few trenches and doing a WW1 movie or rebuilding the tracks. Luckily, the tracks are restored but with obvious modifications. Rebuilding tracks on forestry slash is not ideal. We have done the best possible job with the time and resources available, but people will need to accept that the rebuilt tracks will take time and continuing work before they are back to the standard of the tracks they have replaced. Please be aware of slash hazards on and off the track. Our printed maps are due to be updated but, in the meantime, the online map on Trailforks has had a makeover and we will continue keep it as current as possible. Trailforks track reports are great as they go directly to our track crew enabling prompt response to any issues. Get the Trailforks app on your phone!



Changes you may notice:
After coming down Mr from Debs, the Mrs runs continuously to the Connection. So, as sometimes in life, the Mistress has become the Mrs.

The new tracks, Up2topte and Megalicious, are on the map, joining at the top of the hill at Old Farts Lookout. Pre-logging this area was accessed by Retro (up) and Luge (down). Watch for future developments here as a new track is planned heading west into the old horse paddocks.

Outback is now on Trailforks as one 11 km loop. It is split into six sections as shown on the map below. The last three sections have names – Outback and Beyond, Slalom and Jim Berm.



You can access the trailforks map here.


Tour of Aotearoa

toa2 2018 route shown - 2020 may have minor changes.

Tour Aotearoa is one of the world's great bike packing trips, stretching 3,000 km from Cape Reinga to Bluff it follows a combination of cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by the most enjoyable country roads available.

This is a self-supported 3,000 km brevet from Cape Reinga to Bluff. A brevet is not a race. It is a ride following a set course, via 30 photo checkpoints, which you must complete between 10 and 30 days – no more and no less.

 From Monday 17th of January 676 riders will start from Cape Reinga in daily waves of about 70. Each of these riders has donated at least $100 to a charity of their choice and Bike Taupo has been one of the charities to receive funding. In turn BT contributes by doing maintenance and upgrades on the trails on the route.

Check out the link below which is to the site providing information and progress of the participants.


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