A guide to the best mountain biking tracks in and around Ohiwa Beach

A holiday at Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you like. If you’re after the latter, you’ll most likely be the kind of person who can’t go anywhere without their mountain bike. If that’s the case you’re in luck, mountain biking in Ohiwa is diverse and exciting.

Whether you consider yourself an avid mountain biker or you’re just starting out, there are tracks for all abilities nearby. Although the Eastern Bay of Plenty is a hub of mountain biking activity, we’ll focus on those that are accessible from Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park.

Let’s take a look at each track.

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Whakatane-Ohope Cycleway

This roadside shared-use cycleway is a sealed six-kilometre track between Whakatane and Ohope. Beginning at the Mokorua Gorge, the trail travels all the way up and over the hill to Ohope. Although you’ll need to be mindful of traffic, this is a relatively safe and smooth ride.

If you’re keen to extend this ride and make it a little more adventurous, nip down Otarawairere Road once you reach the top of the hill between Whakatane and Ohope. Here you’ll meet the challenge of gravel road as you make your way to the historical Kapu-te-rangi Pa. You’ll be well-rewarded with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, Whale Island and White Island.

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Motu Trails

For an authentic mountain biking experience, you can’t go past the Motu Trails. The trails are so good that they’ve earned a place in NZ’s 22 Great Rides.

The Motu Trails make up three free-access cycle ways ranging from 10km to 90km between Opotiki and Matawai. All three trails are accessible from Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park.

The Dunes Trail

This nine kilometre (18km return) purpose-built track is a popular attraction in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. As a great place to cycle with kids, this is the kind of trail that allows you to go at your own pace. The Dunes Trail is undulating the whole way, making it more exciting than your standard flat track and there are also several access points to the beach. You can stop for a picnic or carry on the whole way through.

Pakihi Track

If you’re looking for a challenging ride, you’ll love the Pakihi Track. As a grade four/advance mountain biking trail, the Pakihi Track is suited to riders who really know what they’re doing.

Although it’s not overly technical, it covers rugged terrain and narrow tracks. Many mountain bikers find the steep drop-offs intimidating, so if you want to get a feel for the track, you are welcome to walk through it first. The full walk takes about five hours.

The Pakihi Track is an exhilarating ride through the Eastern Bay’s back country. Once you’ve done it, we know you’ll be coming back for more.

Motu Road Trail

The classic Motu Road Trail will take you through a substantial part of the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Although the ride comes with an intermediate-level grading, you’ll need to have a good level of fitness to achieve the 67 km distance.

Some people complete the trail in four hours, others space it out over two days. There are various starting points: Matawai, Motu, or a link track from the Dunes Trail. With little mobile coverage along the way and no shops to stop at, you really need to be prepared when taking on the Motu Road Trail.

This is an amazing experience and one all keen mountain bikers should add to the bucket list.

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Burma Road Loop, Ohope

Ohope delivers another great mountain biking trail on the Burma Road Loop track.

This track can be enjoyed by the whole family and begins at Ohope’s Maraetotara Reserve. There is a short, uphill climb on an unsealed road as you make your way through to bush-lined Burma Road. 

After cycling through bush and farmland, you’ll reach the main Ohope-Whakatane highway. From here you’ll enjoy a lovely, sealed cycle track on your way back down the hill to Ohope, completing your ride at Pohutukawa Ave on the beach front.

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Onepu Mountain Bike Park

If you want to impart some of your mountain biking skills onto the kids, Onepu Mountain Bike Park is the place to go.

A 50-minute drive from Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park, Onepu Mountain Bike Park is worth the trip. There are four main tracks that range from beginner to intermediate level and, with only a gentle climb here and there, the tracks appeal to even the littlest rider in the family.

Not everyone has to be an avid mountain biker to enjoy Onepu Mountain Bike Park. Enjoy a walk through the Onepu wetlands if mountain biking isn’t your thing. The walking tracks are lined with boardwalks for a light, easy stroll.

Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park is set among some of the best cycle ways and mountain biking tracks in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Bring your bikes and experience the tracks for yourselves.

The bustling summer season is over but the weather is still warm. It’s the perfect time to come and stay with us, so call us today to book!

Nola Morgan