Waikato River Trails

Mountain bikers can explore a series of riverside trails along New Zealand's longest river - the mighty Waikato River.

The trails cover about 100 kilometres of previously inaccessible Southern Waikato land from Lake Karapiro to the Atiamuri Dam. The bike trails wind their way along a path that encompasses the magic and beauty of New Zealand native bush, exotic forest, historic landmarks, interesting rock formations and geological delights.

Be inspired as you cycle through grassed farmland, open reserves, boardwalks over significant wetlands, and expansive lake and river landscapes.

The Waikato River Trails are divided into five sections - the Karapiro section, the Arapuni section, the Waipapa section, the Maraetai section and the Whakamaru section. Theses sections can be ridden individualy or all together over three or four days.

Getting There

The Waikato River Trail, at both the north and south end, is only minutes from State Highway 1. The trail begins with the Karapiro section at Horahora Road and ends with the Whakamaru section at  Atiamuri Bridge

The trail is mostly flat with some short steep sections. It is made up of several intermediate to advanced trails that provide opportunity for day excursions. For more information on the trail sections and maps visit www.waikatorivertrails.co.nz.

The best time to ride the trail is September to May. The Waikato has a temperate climate so the trail can be ridden for most of the year.

Download the Waikato River Trails Map.

Key Information

 Distance  Up to 100km
 Grade  3-4
 Time Required   3-4 days
 Phone Coverage   Intermittent 
 Toilets  At various points along the trail.
 Shuttle  Yes (pickup and return to car services). Book shuttle services prior to departure. 
 See the shuttles and guides page for more information.

Download the printable PDF of this Waikato River Trail information.

Bike Deals & Packages

Bike Trails

There are bike trails for every level in Great Lake Taupo.

Trail Grades

Unsure about the difficulty level of a trail? Find out what the gradings mean.

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