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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

Great Lake Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Lake Taupo, North Island

Planning on riding the Great Lake Trail? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip. Contact Great Lake Shuttles for transportation to/from the track start and Taupo. 

The Lake Track will follows the edge of Lake Taupo on an all-weather track through native forest. It is fantastically done, and provides for hours of riding on smooth, flowy, shared-used single track. Currently (as of March 2013) there is 32 kms of track open for riding. Once developed, the Great Lake Trail will run for 93 kilometres and will be suitable for riders of average fitness. Cyclists can expect stunning views across Lake Taupo to Tongariro National Park and a pumice soil surface track allowing for all weather riding.

We suggest starting that the Whangamata Road car park, some 45 minutes away from Taupo - there are a number of operators in the region that can bring you to the track start and collect you when you're finished - alternatively, you can ride the full 55+ kms back to Taupo. Theft is a problem at the Whangamata car park, so ensure your vehicle is locked with valuables hidden!

Leaving the Whangamata Road start, you have approximately nine kms of undulating single track that leaves you at Kawakawa Bay. It's a lovely spot for a swim, or if you wanted you could set up camp for the night. Leaving Kawakawa Bay, you have a well graded 4 km climb before the view opens up for stunning views out across Lake Taupo. Some thrilling downhill awaits that leaves you in the peaceful little village of Kinloch. Here there are a number of cafes where you can grab lunch or a coffee on the lake. 

Leaving Kinloch, you have another grunty but well graded climb - the track climbs for three or four kms before you have the option to turn off on the Headland Trail. This is an extra 9.5 km loop on more great single track - this appears to get slightly less use and was somewhat overgrown, but still a fantastic ride. The trail finishes with long, flowly downhill through more native bush and leaves you at Whakaipo Bay. 

Here you can get a lift back to Taupo, or alternatively ride the 15 kms back to town. This is a truly fantastic ride - arguably one of the best on the North Island. 

Photos

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  • Lake Track 7
  • Lake Track 2
  • KKB Lookout
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  • lake track 1
  • Lake Track 3
  • Lake Track 5
  • Lake Track 6
  • Lake Track 8
  • DSC0543

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Comments

  • Thank you, I add a site to my bookmarks.

    Posted by Uanic, 11/08/2014 1:33am (11 days ago)

  • Thanks, found a lot of interesting information on your site.

    Posted by Лічильник Для Газу, 29/07/2014 6:21am (24 days ago)

  • wow an elegant reticule which will make us to plan a trip Great Lake Trail. I think this is the most amazing place to enjoy the summer season with your friends. here, they will help you to develop the schedule and also to prepare an itinerary . Cheers!!

    Posted by visit, 21/07/2014 10:56pm (1 month ago)

  • Riding or walking the Great Lake Trail is free so by purchasing a map you are supporting the maintenance of the trail and facilities. I really love to take such rides with my friends. Even if I am alone I will go for such adventurous rides.

    Posted by Kerala holiday packages, 21/07/2014 8:46pm (1 month ago)

  • I am very glad to learn a lot from you this meaningful knowledge. From an article describing your unique way , we can see that you are an approachable, humorous person. Not only that, your article is rich with a lot of useful knowledge and helpful information. Keep up the great work. Thanks a lot!
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  • Did the return trip from Whangamata Road to Kawa Kawa Bay and it was great. A good track and I was pleasantly surprised on the ease of the climb back to the car park.

    Posted by Richard Rutgers, 31/12/2012 8:09am (2 years ago)

  • We would like more information about access to the water taxi to take a group of 14 riders to the new sections of the Great Lake trail. We are planning to return to NZ March 2013 for a week of mountain bike riding in your area.

    Kind regards
    Sharon

    Posted by Sharon Tucker, 11/06/2012 11:59pm (2 years ago)

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