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Mountain Bike Blog



VIDEO: Return to the Redwoods Part I - We're Going To The Redwoods


The Rotorua Redwoods, otherwise known as the Whakarewarewa Forest, has some of the world’s most amazing mountain bike trails, certainly the best I’ve ridden. The forest is huge with 5 distinct peaks (Katore Rd, Direct Rd, Tawa Rd and Moerangi Rd and the largely unknown Lookout Rd) but despite the large number of existing single tracks new trails are regularly being built that open up whole new sections of the forest.

For this summer they opened up the back side of the shuttle zone with Eagle vs Shark and Kataore (black run off Tuhoto Ariki) as well as Kungfu Walrus which is up beyond Split Enz.

If you haven’t seen my previous blog posts and videos I encourage you to read and watch them first, you will be amazed at what I rode in just a day and half. (Rotorua - a Mountain Biker’s Journey and VIDEO: Rotorua Redwoods - Create Breathing Space)

This is my second trip the Redwoods and I've gone back in under a year – the trails are really that good!

This and the following three blog posts will be talking about some of the different types of trails you can ride in the forest. The videos are in fact chapters of a full length feature I will release with a 5th blog post talking about the overall experience of visiting Rotorua and riding the amazing trails in the Redwoods.

Return to the Redwoods – Part I


We’re going to the Redwoods and it’s going to be amazing” words spoken by Chris Southwood in the AMB Mag video “Mad If You Don’t”. They ring in my ears on a daily basis. Mad If You Don’t and the feature DVD “Trailnotes” were major inspirations for me as I stepped up from a supermarket bike to real mountain bike. However after visiting the Redwoods in January 2014 they took on a whole new level of importance as I fully appreciated what the Redwoods meant to MTBers.

In the lead up to heading back to Rotorua I remixed a version Spy vs Spy’s “Don’t Tear It Down” with voice samples taken from the videos mentioned above. This remix was the inspiration that drove me through painful rehab, kilometres of bushwalking and hours of stationary training as I chased a deadline to be ready to ride the Whaka Forest.

Apart from the inspirational power of “Don’t Tear It Down” the theme of the song is somewhat relevant as during my trip the area around the Genesis trail, the first trail built in the forest, was logged. A piece of MTB history disappeared forever. This is captured at the end of the video where the powers-at-be had closed the remaining 50m of the Turkish Delight trail in order to keep MTBers away from the felling zone.

Despite the obvious sadness of losing trails there are a number of facts we must consider. The forest is first and foremost a commercial timber forest and in fact we as MTBers are very lucky to be allowed to ride trails carved through the forest. The second interesting point is that in the last few years other trail areas have been logged which allowed the trail builders to come in and recut the trails. These trails have become some of the most playful trails in the forest because the trail builders have been able to carve out massive sections of flowy goodness. I rode two such trails featured in this video Tokorangi and Be Rude Not To 2, trails that ended up being some of my most enjoyed rides on this trip.

I am also happy to report that in the last week the RMBC has already mapped out new and improved trails for the Genesis area including 2 descents (a grade 3 and a grade 4) as well as a climb, due to be completed in the next few months.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the trail that’s featured most in this video – Corners. For most Australians, trails like Corners are very rare and I’m not aware of any Aussie trail of similar style that comes remotely close to the size and length of Corners. Regardless of whether it’s the sort of riding you typically like it is a trail that must be experienced to be believed.

Corners, it’s maybe a bit like Stromlo’s Luge but on steroids”

Enjoy ...

Click on the images to see full size photos

From about 3/4 of the way up Katore Rd. Pipeline Rd/Red Tank Rd down the vally to the left. Hot X Buns running through the dark forest in the middle. The next peak is the shuttle area, the one in the distance is where Split Enz runs and the bit to the far right is where No Brains is. Below in the felled area is Tickler, K2 climb and Be Rude Not Too

Beyond the top of Katore Rd is the top of Tokorangi and also the start of Corridor

A full 360° panorama of the view from the top of Tokorangi
(make sure you click to open then zoom in on the full size image)

The end of Tokorangi and the start of Turkish Delight

From Pipeline Rd / Red Tank Rd looking back up toward Katore Rd which runs along the far ridge in the centre left of the picture. K2 comes down through the pines on the right and back up through the clearing below. Paddys Run (A-Trail) and Katore Jumps come out of the patch of forest in the valley to the left. Ive climbed up K2 from the valley.  To the road to the left takes us up to the base of Hot X Buns, the start of Bunny Jugs, Be Rude Not To 2 and Dragons Tail.

During the week they have afternoon shuttles. The locals are very organised. They double park at the Waipa Carpark and get their bikes on the trailer, then they drive up the road to the 8 Mile Carpark before they get on the bus, that way when they come off the mountain they don't have to ride all the way back to Waipa. They have it sussed. This photo is taken about 5:10 and it's about to get real!


Return to the Redwoods Full Feature
Return to the Redwoods
Full Feature (Parts I, II, III & IV)


Whak-en Outrageous My Last Day in the Redwoods
Whak-en Outrageous
My Last day in the Redwoods
Return to the Redwoods 1 - We're going to the Redwoods
Return to the Redwoods - Part I


Return to the Redwoods 2 - Heavily Rooted
Return to the Redwoods - Part II
Return to the Redwoods 3 - XC Lower Mountain 		Pedally Days
Return to the Redwoods - Part III


Return to the Redwoods 4 - Eagle vs Shark
Return to the Redwoods - Part IV

Trail Centres and Trails featured in this blog



This website is brought to you by MTB weekend warrior Aaron Markie.
There are plenty of great websites out there with a wealth of information about Mountain Bike Trails,
however in my experience its hard to get a good mix of info, maps, photos and videos of trails I've never ridden.
The idea of this website is to tie those 4 elements together and give you a more detailed look at the MTB Trails I ride.
If you have anything to add then let me know.