Te Ara Ahi - Thermal by Bike

RIDING THE TRAIL

Rotorua to Waimangu Volcanic Valley, (Grades 2-3, Easy to Intermediate) 30km

From the Rotorua i-SITE, ride east on Queen St to the start of the trail at the Princes Gate Archway a few hundred metres away.

Follow the trail signs around the edge of Lake Rotorua for 6km to the historic Whakarewarewa Maori Village (the village entrance is 200m off the trail on your left).

Guided tours are regularly held through this historical village. From the turn-off to the village, continue following signs south past Te Puia, theNew Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, through Hemo Gorge to the entrance to the Whakarewarewa Forest for mountain biking (100m off the trail on your left). Here you will find a café and bike hire, etc.

From the mountain bike carpark, ride 150m towards the highway to the start of a concrete bike path, which runs alongside the highway for several kilometres of smooth easy riding. The trail then follows Waimangu Rd to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, which is 31km from Rotorua.

At Waimangu Volcanic Valley you can relax in the café or pay to go for a walk on a number of walking trails through one of the world’s youngest thermal areas.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley to Waikite Valley ThermalPools, (Grade 3 Intermediate) 18km

From Waimangu Volcanic Valley, continue along Waimangu Rd, past the Lake Okaro picnic area (camping sites available) and onto SH 38.

Take care crossing the highway and follow the off-road cycle path around Rainbow Mountain.

After passing a roadside picnic area the trail climbs further around the mountain and drops down to cross the gravel Old Waiotapu Rd.

Here you can turn left to go to Te Ranga (a thermally heated stream locally known as Kerosene Creek) or you can carry on straight ahead on an off-road trail all the way to Waiotapu.

Parts of the trail are steep here and may require walking. At Waiotapu you will find a hotel with accommodation, petrol station and a honey factory with a café and shop.

Only 2km from Waiotapu is the Waiotapu Mud Pool and the Wai-OTapu Thermal Wonderland (paid entry).From Waiotapu follow the Waikite Valley Rd for 6km to the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – there is camping and a café here.

Getting There

There are daily shuttles and organised tours from Rotorua to each of the geothermal areas as well as regular coach services between Rotorua and Taupo.

The Rotorua i-SITE can help arrange transport and shuttles.

Visitor Information

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Te Ara Ahi DATE: Commencing Tuesday 16 May for two weeks ISSUE: Tree Felling on the Hemo Section of the Trail We are advised that the Council will have contractors felling a stand of old pine next to Te Ara Ahi on the Hemo section from Tuesday 16th 8am. These are at the horse paddock/BMX end. ...

 

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TE ARA AHI - TRAIL UPDATE - The Rotorua Lakes Council have confirmed the Sulphur Bay section of Te Ara Ahi has reopened. This section was closed yesterday while crews mopped up and extinguished a number of sulphur fires resulting from Sunday’s scrub fire. Riders are advised to stay on the trail at all times and not w...

 

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There has been fire damage in a few places crossing the Te Ara Ahi Cycle Trail. There is no damage to bridges or infrastructure, however the Sulphur Point end of the Trail is currently closed. Riders are able to ride around the damaged area alongside the Te Ngae Road. Please ride safely and with caution until the trail...

 

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Todd McClay, MP for Rotorua
Te Ara Ahi Trail: Nowhere else in the world can you get on a pushbike and ride for 47km past four geothermal attractions. TODD McCLAY – MP for Rotorua