Motu Trails

OverviewTrail Status: Open

Dunes Trail — Motu Rd Trail — Pakihi Track — Motu Trails Loop (1-3 days, 11-91km)

 

Alert: Pakihi Track closure extended – 11 December 2018

The Pakihi Track will remain closed until next week. DOC has notified that the slip by the suspension bridge has been largely cleared: but there is still overhanging rock that presents danger of falling onto the track. The rock will be blasted, the track will be closed till this work is completed. Apologies for inconvenience, but the closure is for safety.

 

ALERT: Pakihi Track slip – 7 December 2018

The Pakihi Track is closed until DOC clear it, should be early next week.  There is a new slip 40 metres below the Pakihi Track suspension bridge (broadly, half way down the track). The track is closed. This is DOC’s notification: A slip has come down onto the track approx. 0.500m downstream of the Pakihi Swing Bridge (# 14). We strongly advise, that you do not under any circumstances attempt to cross the slip, as it is still very unstable & unsafe.

If you know anyone intending to ride the Pakihi Track this weekend, please let them know. Repair will be actioned by DOC as soon as possible.

 

The Motu Trails have it all, as riders are set free with awesome riding along stunning beaches and through native forest.

With three trails to choose from (or the option of combining them all) the Motu Trails offer a range of cycling itineraries depending on your age, fitness level and riding ability.

You can ride for a few hours or a few days, with trails ranging from an easy ride along the coast through to an advanced mountain bike ride deep in the bush. The Motu Trails also link to the Rere Falls Trail from Matawai to Gisborne.

The Dunes Trail is an easy gravel path running parallel with the coastline of the Bay of Plenty for 10km. It’s ideal for all riders and there is a shop next to the Tirohanga Beach Motor Camp selling ice creams and drinks – just the ticket for a beautiful summer’s day!

The Motu Road Trail goes from the end of the Dunes Trail to the rustic settlement of Matawai, 67km away. It follows a quiet country road past scenic farmland and through forested conservation reserves. There’s a solid 3km climb after the settlement of Motu that requires reasonable fitness, but the views over Motu Valley are worth it.

The Pakihi Track is the third trail in the Motu trilogy, and although it is mostly downhill it includes Grade 4 (Advanced) mountain biking on a narrow trail through remote native forest.

The 91km Loop Ride offers you a taste of all three of the Motu Trails, starting and ending your ride in Opotiki.

Opotiki activities

Opotiki is at the confluence of two rivers and several long, safe, sandy beaches are nearby. Steep hills, fast rivers, and dramatic coastlines surround the town, creating opportunities for adventure and exploration. Down the coast from the town a collection of bays provide good snorkelling and deep sea fishing. Opotiki’s beach culture, new BMX pump track at Memorial Park and sunny climate are attractive features, but its real character is revealed in the artwork on the main street and joyful murals covering walls all over town.

Motu Falls

Take a 5km detour from Motu to visit the beautiful Motu Falls on the wild Motu River. From the swing bridge over the river en route look out for grand old miro and rata. Birdlife is abundant here, from fantails and North Island Weka to Kereru and Kaka.

Be Prepared

It doesn’t take long to plan. We’ve developed a guide with the NZ Mountain Safety Council to help you. Read and download the guide FREE and ensure you’re prepared for the following.

The Motu Trails traverse a remote area of New Zealand. If you're planning a long ride you’ll need to go well prepared.

Toilets are available at the Hikuwai Reserve on the Dunes Trail, Matawai, Motu and at the end of the Pakihi Track.

All roads are open to the public so expect vehicles at any time. Take care crossing fords after heavy rain. There are two fords on the Motu Road Trail. The Motu Road Trail requires a reasonable level of fitness.

The Pakihi Track is well formed, and with 25 bridges, the gradient is almost all gentle downhill, dropping over 400m altitude over 21km. The track is rated advanced because in places, there are steep drop-offs to the side. A mountainbike is advised.

The full 91 km Motu Trails Loop of the Dunes Trail-Motu Road-Pakihi Track takes most riders 6-9 hours, in one or two days. Toatoa Farmstay or for the adventurous, the Pahiki Hut, are good options to stay. There are no shops beyond Opotiki and Tirohanga. Another option is to link in the heartland ride of Rere Falls Trail to create a stunning two-five day Coast to Coast adventure from Gisborne to Opotiki (or vice-versa).

All trails are signposted. You can get a trail map at Gisborne, Opotiki and Whakatane iSITES. Motu Trails Official Partners also have the trail map. Or you can download a trail brochure from motutrails.co.nz.

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Coverage is very poor if not unavailable on most of the trails. You can get coverage on the Dunes Trail and coming back into town on the Pakihi Track.

DRINKING WATER: It’s recommended that you carry all your water. Tank water is available at Motu and water can be drawn from the river and streams along the route, however it is recommended that this be boiled (for 3 minutes), filtered or treated before drinking.

Weather Info

Take enough layers. The Motu Road Trail peaks at almost 800m altitude, and the start of the Pakihi Track is 600m altitude. At that height, it can get cool.

The Motu Trails offer you year-round riding. The Dunes Trail especially is warmed by the coastal Eastern Bay of Plenty environment. The upper sections of the Pakihi Track and Motu Road Trail can be cool in winter, but the riding surface is firm with little mud.

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

Majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. This ultimate 14 day adventure offers the perfect opportunity to ride 3 of the famous cycle trails allowing you to achi...

 

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Introducing Rob Miller, the new Partnership Specialist for the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. Rob joined Tourism Waitaki in mid October, which has been something of a homecoming having grown up on a farm in North Otago. For the last 29 years Rob has been living in the UK, working primarily in the event marketing and prom...
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Stellar reading in the latest issue of NZ Cycling Journal for anyone who wants to explore the Motu Trails Cycleway, and beyond. Hot off the press, the cover story for Volume 8 of the magazine describes a three-day bike-packing trip from Whakatane to Opotiki, and on to Motu Road and Rere Falls Trail. Liam Friary...

 

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By Bennett & Slater When you venture out on one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s Great Rides, chances are you’ll encounter one of the many environmental restoration projects that have flourished alongside the trails. They follow in the tread marks of Wellington’s legendary Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails (Pakihi Track) DATE: 20 July 2018 ISSUE:  The Pakihi Track is open again  A big thank-you to the DOC team who re-cut the track across the 40-metre-wide slip face, they have done a great job. The track over the slip is cut about 1-1.2 metres wide. The surface will take a wh...

 

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Motu Trails will benefit hugely from Aucklander Garth Barfoot’s $100,000 donation towards on-trail projects. Garth is a legend in the world of triathlon/IRONMAN, both for his many years of competing and for the major support he has given to the sport and to athletes. Now his support and generosity become a key ...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Pakihi Track  DATE: 15 June 2018 ISSUE: PAKIHI TRACK IS CLOSED The major slip on the Pakihi Track has now been inspected by DOC. The Pakihi Track is closed, as a large slip approximately 40m across in width and 100m in length, has come down and taken out the track sited approximately 3...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails  DATE: 9 June 2018 ISSUE: Pakihi Track Slip PAKIHI TRACK ALERT: We have been alerted that there is a big slip on the Pakihi. It is difficult to get across. Until the slip is inspected, the Pakihi Track remains open however please be aware you may need to turn around. Exerc...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails DATE: 6 June 2018 ISSUE: Slip on the Motu Road We have been informed that the Motu Road is blocked by a slip near Toatoa. Updates will be provided as they come to hand. Please ride carefully. Thank you.   Update:  12 noon 6.6.18 - We are hopeful the slip will ...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  Motu Trails DATE: 26 March 2018 ISSUE: Pakihi Track is now OPEN The Pakihi Track is again OPEN. DOC cleared the windfalls and some slips last week. Volunteers have done clearing on the lower track and at Boulders where the track has washed out. This Boulders solution is not perfect, b...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails DATE: 19 March 2018 ISSUE: Pakihi Track Closed DOC will be working on the Pakihi Track this week. To enable this work to happen safely, the track is closed for the week. We apologise for any inconvenience. The Motu Road, Dunes Trail and Rere Falls Trail are open. Thank yo...

 

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This Summer sees an exciting new addition for Motu Trails with the launch of guided tours on the Dunes Trail from 1 December.  Mighty Motu Bike Tours will offer guided trips on the popular section of trail and potentially beyond. Kenny McCracken of KG Kayaks will be running the tours.  As well as being local, he...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails (Pakihi Track) DATE: 27 November - 8 December 2017 ISSUE: DOC Contractors on the Pakihi Track Please note that between the 27 November and 8 December 2017 DOC Contractors will be carrying out work to the Pakihi Track section of the Motu Trails. Sections totalling around 100 ...

 

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Participants in the long-course of Sunday 29 October’s Rere Falls Trail Adventure Ride should perhaps give the Moutohora rail bridge a salute as they pedal by. The bridge, so long an icon of the Motu valley, was opened with great fanfare 100 years ago this November. It was part of an 8km section of railway line be...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE:  Motu Trails DATE:  7 July 2017 SH2 CLOSURE FRI 6PM: Please note that State Highway 2, Waioeka Gorge, is CLOSED due to a large slip. Also, to avoid a safety hazard, Motu Road has been CLOSED to non-essential traffic. Motu Road remains open to residents and essential traffic and open f...

 

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It doesn’t matter who you are, there’s a bike ride for everyone with the third edition of the Motu Special mountain bike event on Sunday 27 August; and the second Rere Falls Trail Adventure Ride following on Sunday 29 October. The Motu Special has five different races: Weet-Bix Tomtit Special, Motu Community Hou...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails - Pakihi Track: OPEN. DATE: 19 April 2017 ISSUE: Pakihi Track OPEN The Pakihi Trach has had a full scoping by DOC today. The track is now open. The top half is largely unaffected by the recent weather but below the hut there are areas of loose rocks and small slips. The Paki...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Motu Trails DATE: 12 April 2017 Please note DOC has closed the Pakihi Track until Tuesday. This is due to the severe weather forecast, which follows all the recent, so there's a significant risk of further slips and windfalls. The Dunes Trail and Motu Road remain open....

 

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The previously-announced logging operation in the Pakihi valley will commence the week of 16 January, with trucks rolling on the Pakihi road from the following week. This will be from a point about 3km from the road end, out to the end of the seal and up Otara road towards Opotiki. The operation will average 1-2...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Pakihi Track along the Motu Trails DATE: 26 November 2016 ISSUE: Pakihi Track remains closed due to a major slip. Unfortunately, the Pakihi Track will remain closed until a permanent reinstatement of track has been completed. This is due to the level of hazard due to the slip. The track...

 

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It was with great sadness this week that we learned of the passing of Richard Coates. Richard was a long time advocate for the Motu Trails, and on the Motu Trails Charitable Trust since the very early days. Richard's support and significant contributions were evident in his presence at almost every meeting of the ...

 

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RADIATA WOODLOT HARVEST - 626 PAKAHI ROAD Forest Link plan to start the harvest of a small radiata woodlot at 626 Pakahi Road in the next few weeks. Road signs will be posted prior to the operation starting. The harvesting will be small scale, only producing an average of 1-2 truckloads per day once underway. The...

 

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Please note the Pakihi Track on the Motu Trails has a slip between bridges 18-19, and there is some other damage. Until the track is inspected it remains open. Extreme caution is advised, and it would be prudent to consider delaying a ride until the extent of the damage is clear. ...

 

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We are pleased to advise the Pakihi Track of the Motu Trails is now fully open for riders to enjoy. ...

 

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** PAKIHI TRACK IS CLOSED ** Please be advised the Pakihi Track section of the Motu Trails Cycleway is now closed until further notice. On Friday/Saturday 28 November there was a slip at the Pakihi bridge. With safety in mind, DOC has decided to close the Pakihi Track until the slip can be fully assessed over th...

 

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*MOTU TRAILS SAFETY ALERT* Please be advised that a slip has come down on the Motu Trails Cycleway at the uphill end of the Pakihi suspension bridge, and there are more rocks threatening to come down. DOC has been alerted, however the situation needs assessing before any decisions are made. It would be sen...

 

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Fantastic news announced today with another positive boost confirmed for the Motu Trails Charitable Trust, with funding support from the Department of Conservation. The Trust, which promotes the Motu Trails and activities associated with them, will receive $15,000 funding under DOC’s Community Conservation Partnersh...

 

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Taking place this Saturday 10th October is Opotiki's 22nd Motu Challenge. It's one of the country's premier multisport races, and regarded as the North Island’s premium multisport event. Previous winners include Richard and Elina Ussher, and Sam Clark among many other top-class athletes who have competed. A gruel...

 

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Many of Nga Haerenga's cycle trails are steeped in history and folklore. These recently sited Maori Pou (or poles) are a vibrant addition to the Motu Trails Cycleway, and make quite an impression with their commanding colourful presence. The Motu Trails offer incredible biking along stunning beaches and through native...

 

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Chris Southwood - Cycling Author
Pakihi Track is one of the most awe-inspiring mountain bike experiences on the planet. Carved through pristine native bush, it clings to the sides of steep gorges before snaking along the edge of the emerald Pakihi Stream. CHRIS SOUTHWOOD – Co-founder at Flow Mountain Bike