Motu Trails and Beyond

Best known is the Motu Trails, one of twenty-three Great Rides that make up the New Zealand Cycle Trail. Motu Trails offers everything from easy family riding to true back country escape.

The two main entry points onto the Motu Trails are Opotiki and Matawai, which is just one hour’s drive from Tairāwhiti Gisborne. Linking in, the Rere Falls Trail is mostly on quiet sealed and gravel roads, between Tairāwhiti Gisborne and Matawai.

Around Tairāwhiti Gisborne, there are many other options to ride. Multiple businesses serve the Motu Trails, Rere and other rides, including bike hire, shuttle transport, supported/guided tours, food, accommodation and more.

Click here for a copy of the latest Motu Trails brochure.



The Dunes Trail is the family-friendly section of the Motu Trails, starting in Opotiki. It meanders along a spectacular 10km stretch of Pacific Ocean coast to Jackson Road and the start of the Motu Road Trail. You get many panoramic views of the sparkling sea, and to White Island (Whakaari) and the East Cape ranges.



The Motu Road Trail follows the historic road from the Pacific coast to Matawai. This was part of the first through-road between Gisborne and the Eastern Bay of Plenty, with the first car making the journey in 1915. The riding is rated intermediate (grade 3). You’re passing through remote bush country and farmland. The trail can be ridden from either direction, with more downhill riding starting from Matawai (elevation 500m).



The Pakihi was first opened in 1914, as part of a horse track from Motu down to Opotiki. It is now a key part of the Motu Trails and is a sensational wilderness ride. The most popular way to ride the Pakihi is to get a shuttle from Opotiki up to the hilltop above the track start. You have no real uphills to tackle and the surface is generally well formed. However, the track is narrow with many drop-offs to the side. Often, there are small rock falls and rock debris — it is a back-country track in challenging terrain.



Rere Falls Trail stretches between Gisborne and Matawai, taking in mostly quiet sealed and gravel roads. This 103km ride is termed a Heartland Ride, as part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail. You can ride Rere Falls Trail in either direction. You begin your ride on riverside cycleway and across the plains, home to some of Gisborne’s finest vineyards and wineries. 35km from Gisborne, Eastwoodhill is the National Arboretum of New Zealand and has a stunning display of exotic and native trees. By linking Rere Falls Trail with the Motu Road Trail, you can create a stunning 170km (approx) ‘Coast to Coast’ ride, Gisborne-Opotiki. There are plenty of big hills, but it is a brilliant crossing of heartland New Zealand.