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One of the 22 great rides of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail

Discover the heartbeat of Tairāwhiti and experience first-hand the legendary Motu Trails. With four key trails to choose from and other side trails you can add-on or connect to, the Motu Trails is a deep dive into stunning wilderness, rich history, and the early settler life of the region. From easy to advance trails, there’s a network of dream rides for every biker along the Motu Trails.

 

Dunes Trail -Easy/Grade 2

Distance: 10 km each way

Ride time: 1.5-3 hrs

Access points: Memorial Park, Ōpōtiki, Hukuwai Beach, Tirohanga Beach Road and more

Mobile phone coverage: some intermittently

The Dunes Trail is all about family fun. Beginning at the iconic Pakowhai ki Otutaopuku bridge in Ōpōtiki, you’ll head out east for 10 km to connect with Jackson road and the Motu Road Trail. Discover wide, undulating gravel trails, coastal vistas of the brilliant Pacific Ocean and the far ranges of East Cape on this popular short ride the whole family will enjoy.

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Motu Road Trail - Intermediate/Grade 3

Distance: 67 km (38 km from Jackson Rd to Pākihi Turnoff)

Ride time: 5-7 hours

Access points: Jackson Road (end of Dunes Trail), Matawai, Motu

Mobile coverage: none

Follow the journey of 100 years along the epic Motu Road Trail– which was the only formed road between Motu and Opotiki from 1915-1929. This multi-day journey traversing bush country and historic farmland can be ridden from both directions with unique accommodation options along the way ranging from the Motu Community House, Toatoa Farmstay and camping at DOC’s Whitikau Forks campsite.

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Rere Falls Trail - Intermediate/Grade 3

Distance: 100 km, on-road trail with 28 km of gravel road.

Riding time: 1-3 days

Access points: Gisborne, Matawhero, Te Wera Road and Matawai

Mobile phone coverage: none

All on-road and classified as a Heartland Ride on the New Zealand Cycle Trail, the Rere Falls Trail can be ridden from either direction as you explore the diverse landscape between Gisborne and Matawai. Journey along quiet country roads and take in stunning natural gems including Rere Falls, Rere Rockslide and Eastwoodhill Arboretum. Experience some genuine East Coast hospitality at Portside Hotel in Gisborne or the Jolly Stockman Hotel at Matawhero for a meal or accommodation.

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Pakihi Track - Advanced/Grade 4

Distance: 20 km single-track + 23 km gravel/sealed road and Otara River Stopbank

Ride time: 3-5 hours

Access points: Cyclists start at Motu Road, 17 km from Motu, one-way track

Mobile phone coverage: none

The Pākihi Track is the ultimate backcountry adventure and takes you through lush wilderness with majestic ferns, nikau palms, and twenty-five scenic bridges - including a suspension bridge above the pristine Pākihi stream. This century old trail was originally part of a horse track connecting Motu to Ōpōtiki and is an advanced level due to the rocky banks and drop-offs along the track so having a personal locater beacon (PLB) with you is advised. You can ride the loop from Ōpōtiki over one or two days or take a shuttle to a high point along Motu Road to enjoy 9km of exhilarating downhill fun. Motu Trails Ltd Hire and Shuttle offers both shuttle and bike hire services.

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