Waikato River Trails

This a fantastic ride, walk or run which travels along near the Waikato river. It is one of the New Zealand Cycle Trails.

You will find a great deal of information, including maps, on the official website Waikato River Trails

This trail runs for 103kms from Atiamuri in the south to Karapiro in the north. You can ride it in either direction.

We can drop you off and collect you at a number of different places along the trail. It depends on how far you wish to ride, and which sections you wish to ride. We can drop you off by Helicopter (wow!) or shuttle. We can collect you by Helicopter (wow!) or shuttle. You can be collected from Rotorua.

Our favourite option is to Helicopter you from Rotorua to the Whakamaru Dam (big day) or to the Waipapa dam (not so big day). Then we collect you from beside the famous Rhubarb cafe  at Arapuni. We then Helicopter you back to Rotorua. Fantastic day!


“Accessed from … the Waipapa Dam this 36km section is the most varied on the Waikato River Trails. The section is certainly challenging, graded advanced, but the rewards are numerous.
Like the Waipapa section to the south the 16km from the Waipapa Dam to Waotu South Road is quite remote and has no alternative routes off the Trail.
From the Waipapa Dam end the Trail quickly hits the Tumai steps, this set of steps (sorry to say!) means you need to push your bike.
The reward at the top is some awesome views down the lake. 9km from the steps is the 80m long Mangarewa suspension bridge which is 42m above the stream below.
Another 5km ride you will find arguably the most arduous section of the whole Trail.
The 2km ride from the lake to the top of the Waotu Road is a constant up hill with numerous switchbacks. The reward at the top is a predominantly 15km downhill ride on sealed country roads to Jones Landing.
A bonus on the road ride is a ride through the Jim Barnetts Reserve.
Some of the most scenic trail is directly out of Jones Landing on the 5km to Arapuni Village.

Trail Grade Info

The Arapuni section has been graded as 4 (Advanced):

Grade 4 (Advanced) – Off road trails are narrow with steep climbs and unavoidable obstacles. Poor tractions in places. Walking may be required. Off Road trails have moderate vehicular traffic.” Courtesy of the Waikato River Trails Website

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