Top Family Bike Spots to Explore in Taupō

Top Family Bike Spots to Explore in Taupō

Thank you to our guest author: Ceana Priest from Outdoor Kid 

Love Taupo

Image credit: Love Taupo

Grab the bikes and head to Taupō for an amazing array of kid-friendly spots to whip the trainer wheels off and go adventuring. Stick around town on the Great Lake Walkway and cool off in the turquoise waters of Lake Taupō, or head to Huka Falls to see millions of litres of water erupt from a rock channel.


1. Great Lake Walkway

Great Lake Walkway

Image credit: Love Taupo

Voted New Zealand’s favourite urban ride in 2017, the Great Lake Walkway is bike riding at its most basic. Even tots testing out training wheels will love this ride. Beginning at the Taupō boat harbour this walkway hugs the lake’s edge. Getting hot? Jump into any of the secluded bays to cool off. It ends past the Three Mile Bay boat ramp. This is an accessible adventure for newly minted riders.


Time: 1 to 3 hours.

Distance: 10 kilometres one-way or as short as you’d like.

Grade: 1 Easiest

Location: Start at the harbour where Redoubt Street meets Ferry Road.

Toilets: Plenty along way.


2. The Rotary Ride

Rotary Ride

Image credit: Love Taupo

Follow the Waikato River from the hot springs at Spa Thermal Park to the spectacular Huka Falls. From Spa Thermal Park the trail follows the river north. A short climb up through native bush onto a ridge leads to an area filled with tall pine trees and stunning views of the native bush and river below. From there it is a gradual downhill ride to Huka Falls. There is a picnic spot approximately halfway along. Snacks available at Huka Falls.


Time: 45 minutes one-way.

Distance: 5.5 kilometres one-way.

Grade: 3 Intermediate

Location: Start at Spa Thermal Park off Spa Road.

Toilets: At Spa Thermal Park and Huka Falls.


3. River Side Trail

Riverside Trail

Image credit: Love Taupo

Enjoy an easy ride beside the beautiful Waikato River between the Control Gates Bridge and Spa Thermal Park. This dual walking and cycling path follows New Zealand’s longest river as it winds past Cherry Island and through the Riverside Reserve. The Waikato River is 425km long and begins on the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu. The final section of this trail climbs up behind Taupō Bungy and into Spa Thermal Park. Jump into the free hot pools!


Time: 15 minutes one-way biking

Distance: 3 kilometres one-way.

Grade: 3 Intermediate

Location: The Control Gates Bridge on Tongariro Street.

Toilets: At Spa Thermal Park.


4. Craters Mountain Bike Park

Craters of the moon

This purpose-built mountain bike park has more than 50 kilometres of single track trails and is only a few minutes north of Taupō. The best spot to tackle these kid-friendly trails is from the main car park off Karapiti Road. The range of trails within this Crown-managed forest include children’s entry level through to more technical cross country. So, there is something for kids of all abilities to tackle within the pine and eucalyptus plantations. The volcanic pumice soils allow for year-round riding because of the free draining soil. Visit for information on purchasing visitor passes.




Ceana Outdoor KidAbout the Author: Hamilton mum Ceana Priest has explored the best ways to get kids away from devices and get them outside in her guidebook The Outdoor KidInitially she launched as a resource for other parents and grandparents to find local muddy adventures, trees to clamber over, critters to discover or a place where kids can tear around on their bikes. Outdoor Kid is all about getting you and the kids off the couches and devices, and outside into nature!

Looking for more spots to explore with your family? Jump over to Outdoor Kid’s website for free kid-friendly walks and activities.

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