Taupo’s Great Lake Trail Leading Cycling Growth

Lake Taupo’s Great Lake Trail is leading a surge in the growth of cycle tourism in New Zealand. 40,000 people visited the trail in the last twelve months, with a significant and growing number of visitors travelling to the region just to ride the trail. This has prompted a need for changes to the marketing approach for the Great Lake Trail in order to meet the growing demand for information.

The stunning views from the Great Lake Trail

The first change has been the development of a new Great Lake Trail website – www.GreatLakeTrail.com, that is integrated with www.GreatLakeTaupo.com. This has been a joint venture between Bike Taupo and Destination Great Lake Taupo to create a one-stop shop for riders. The new site includes information on how to ride the trail, easy to follow maps, listings for accommodation, guided tours and shuttle services, and links users to other activities and information about the region.

Destination Great Lake Taupo general manager Damian Coutts of, says the rising popularity of the Great Lake Trail can be attributed to its spectacular scenery, well-built trails and accessibility.

“We’re fortunate to have such amazing track quality through the work of Bike Taupo, and the scenery on the Great Lake Trail is really something else.”

Coutts also said key points of difference for the Great Lake Trail are the water taxi which forms part of the journey between trail sections, the free-draining pumice soil which makes the trail rideable year-round, and the accessibility of the trail. He said some sections were only 15 minutes drive from Taupo.

The growth in numbers on the Great Lake Trail has also had a flow-on effect to other trails and parks within the region. Craters Mountain Bike Park saw over 100,000 riders on its trails in the past twelve months, a significant increase on previous years. Chair of Bike Taupō, Rowan Sapsford, said they have noted a 24% increase in annual memberships over the past twelve months, and an even greater increase in the number of seven-day visitor memberships sold. They expect this membership to continue increasing as cycle tourism gains momentum both nationally and internationally.

Taupo now has more than 300 kilometres of mountain bike trails, with approximately 200 kilometres of these maintained by Bike Taupo alone. Sapsford said that the growth in the district’s trail network means there is now a broader range of trails catering for all riders from beginner to more experienced adventure riders.

Great Lake Taupo’s cycling growth is in line with trends nationally, with Tourism New Zealand reporting the level of participation in cycling by international visitors increasing steadily since 2005. The report says cyclists spend more than the average visitor, and the largest international group participating in cycling is from Australia.


For more information, high res images and media enquiries contact:

Anna McLaren
Marketing and Communications Manager
Destination Great Lake Taupo
P: 027 315 6984
E: anna@greatlaketaupo.com

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