5 Favourite E-Bike Trails

E-biking makes accessing some of our spectacular back country bike trails more achievable. E-bikes are perfect for people who haven’t done a lot of cycling or are looking for an easier way to complete the journey. Here our five e-biking favourites.

Great Lake Walkway to 5 Mile Bay
10km one way, grade 1

The Great Lake Walkway is the crème de la crème of easy e-bike trails in Taupo. Ride all the way from Taupo’s Boat Harbour to Five Mile Bay and return. The trail is paved most of the way, is generally flat and there are numerous parking options along the length of the trail, so you can start and finish wherever you like.

The path follows the lake shore past secluded bays, beautiful holiday homes, lakefront hotels and boat ramps. There are even hot spots in the water where you can dip your toes in. You’ll find coffee and ice cream stops on your ride too, so take a break and enjoy the view. Find out more about the Great Lake Walkway here.

Tongariro River Trail
Up to 15km, grade 2

The Tongariro River Trail is a great introduction to e-biking off-road. The trail follows the banks of the world-famous trout fishing river up to Red Hut and return.

Starting at the Tongariro River Bridge on SH1 in Turangi, the trail will lead you through native forest, past clear fishing pools and over bridges that offer stunning views of the river from above.

A great stopover is the Tongariro National Trout Centre where you’ll find a visitor centre and trout fishing museum, a freshwater aquarium and an underwater viewing tank. Take the pleasant walk around the centre and spend some time watching the anglers down in the river – this is a popular fishing spot – before hopping back on your bikes and completing the loop trail back to Turangi.

For après-bike replenishment, don’t miss Creel Café, a quaint little eatery tucked away near the river in Turangi that has great coffee, delicious brioche and a kitchen menu. Find out mroe about the Tongariro River Trail here.


Rotary Ride – Aratiatia
5.5 – 19.5km, grade 3

The ride will take you up and down over undulating terrain that follows the course of the Waikato River. You’ll get glimpses of the bright green, clear water before dropping down to Huka Falls, NZ’s most visited natural attraction.

From here you can choose to return to town or carry on the Aratiatia Loop to Aratiatia Rapids, famous for appearing in The Hobbit. Time it right and you’ll see the spectacular sight of the dam release.

This trail is rated grade 3 which is an intermediate trail, so while your e-bike will help you zip up the hills nicely, you will need some off-road riding experience before tackling it. Find out more about the Huka Trails here.


Craters Mountain Bike Park Outback loop
Up to 20km, grade 3

Starting at The Hub on SH5, pick up your Craters MTB Park pass and a map from the nearby Kefi Café ($10 for a 7 day pass) then head into the forest over the road. Inward Goods is the first trail you’ll hit which links you into Tourist Trap. Enjoy the leisurely ride and easy gradient before crossing a carpark and climbing up Tank Stand.

From the end of Tank Stand there is a network of trails that take you out the back of the park to Outback, one of the more remote but also the most fun trails in the area. You’ll ride uphill and some flowing downhill past steaming geothermal vents and through pine forest before making your way back to the start.

You’ll need some mountain biking experience to tackle Outback as it’s a grade 3 trail and some distance from the carpark. If you are less experienced, stick to the lower trails like Tourist Trap, SH Fun, Tank Stand and Coaster. Find out more about Craters Mountain Bike Park here.


Great Lake Trail – Orakau section
9 - 20km, grade 3

The Great Lake Trail is one of the hidden gems of the region, tucked away on the bush-clad western shores of Lake Taupo. The scenery is stunning and the trail leads to a secluded beach, offering an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

Starting on Whangamata Road in an area known locally as Chinamans, the trail leads you on a mostly downhill, flowing ride to the lake. Be sure to stop at the many lookouts on the way down for photo opportunities and listen for the native birdlife, especially around the wetland. Once you reach the lake, you’ll pop out at the beautiful and secluded Kawakawa Bay. Rock climbers can often be seen on the cliffs above, and there is a camping area and shelter here.

This first stretch of the trail is a great introduction to riding on the Great Lake Trail. If you want a shorter ride a water taxi can be arranged to pick you up at Kawakawa Bay, 9km from the carpark, and take you back to Kinloch. You can turn around here and ride back out the same way to Whangamata Road, or continue over the hill to Kinloch, 11km away.

Road shuttles are available to drop you off and/or pick you up if you want to ride right through from Whangamata Road to Kinloch. Find out more about the Great Lake Trail here.

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