Enjoy easy access to a variety of grade 1 – 3 mountain bike trails from the Waipa carpark.

This side of the Whakarewarewa Forest Park is a popular mountain biking hub for both families and experienced mountain bikers with a wide range of facilities.

Waipa features easy trails which start from the moment you leave the car park, leading towards the central forest network, where more intermediate and advanced trails can be accessed. Waipa also has great facilities, cafés, bike hire and heaps of car parks making it a favourite start and finish point for many riders.


What Mountain bike trails can be accessed from Waipa?

  • Kids Loop, 428m – Grade 1
  • Kids Loop route – 8.3km. Starts with Kids Loop trail - Grade 1, continues on to Tahi – Grade 2, Dipper – Grade 3, back on to Tahi - Grade 1, finishing back by the carpark.
  • Tahi, 2.7km – Grade 2 
  • Forest Loop (mud pool link to Radio Hut Road) 1.9km – Grade 2. There’s a choice to do the entire Whakarewarewa Forest Loop from here, 31km.
  • The Verry Easy Trail, 2km – Grade 1
  • Hemo Gorge Trail, 1.5km – Grade 2 
  • The Log Yard Jumps at Rotorua BMX Club
  • Kids pump track

From Waipa, riders can use these trails to access the extensive central mountain bike trail network in Whakarewarewa Forest.


Eight Mile gate access

From Waipa, if you ride a further 2.5km down Verry Safe Trail or drive along the Waipa State Mill Rd, then down Waipa Bypass Road, you will find the Planet Bike base (bike rental, store, coffee). There’s a car park at this site with xx parks and from here you can ride further along the road to access the forest on the left.

Most people park here to ride to the central shuttle pick up point at the corner of Hill Road and Pipeline Road. The shuttle then takes riders up Hill Road to a wide variety of Grade 3 – 6 Downhill trails.

Trails easily accessible from the Planet Bike carpark include:

  • Verry Safe Trail - Grade 1
  • Puarenga, 1.7km – Grade 1
  • Ball and Chain, 562m – Grade 1
  • Yellow Brick Road, 974m – Grade 2
  • Chop Suey, 649m – Grade 3

What facilities are available at Waipa?

  • 12 toilets
  • Four showers with changing room space
  • Bike Wash 
  • XX carparks
  • Picnic tables 
  • Drink bottle refill water station
  • Forest maps and information board
  • Exercise equipment by the Hemo Gorge Trail 

Planet Bike area carpark: XX carparks


What businesses are based at Waipa?


Secret Spot

Mountain Bike Rotorua Trail Kitchen

Planet Bike

Discover a secret spot where you can soak in your own cedar hot tub, or dip your feet in the foot hot tubs while
you enjoy a hot or cold beverage.

Mountain Bike Rotorua provides bike hire, a retail store with bike
mechanics and manages the
Mountain Bike Shuttles.

A cafe specializing in casual dining. Grab a coffee, something to eat and enjoy it inside, on the deck or takeaway.

Planet Bike has  been renting out mountain bikes for hire in the Redwoods for years. Based at No. 8 Waipa Bypass Rd, via Waipa State Mill Rd.

  • Hot pools
  • foot baths (shinny dip)
  • café
  • Bike hire
  • Shuttles
  • Bike servicing
  • Retail store
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Bike hire
  • Bike servicing
  • Retail store
  • Coffee

Visit Website

Visit Website

Visit Website

Visit Website


Mountain Bike Shuttles

Keen to get in the most downhill time possible? You can purchase tickets for mountain bike shuttles from the Mountain Bike Rotorua shop at Waipa or Tawa. Tickets are also available on the main Hill Rd shuttle buses (Whaka Waka). Please note that the Tawa Waka does not have ticket sales available however it is a 200m walk or ride to the Tawa Shop from that particular pick up point.

The shuttle runs daily (weather, harvesting or event dependant). 

  • 9:55am: First pick up of the day is from Wheelhouse Coffee Shop (Te Puia Southern Carpark)
  • 10am approx: Waipa Mountain Bike Carpark pick up 
  • The shuttle then runs in the forest at the corner of Hill and Pipeline Roads 


  • 10am-3pm Monday-Thursday
  • 10am-6pm Friday
  • 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.

There is an additional service that operates weekends and public holidays 10am-3pm from the Te Putake o Tawa Carpark on Tarawera Rd.

Check the Mountain Bike Rotorua website for up to date information.


Rotorua BMX Club

Waipa is home to a world-class BMX facility developed by the Rotorua BMX Club. New members are welcome throughout the year, and the club invites visitors to the track on Thursdays from 5.30pm. If you would like to have a go on the Rotorua BMX track, the club requires riders wear the following gear:

  • Long sleeve top
  • Long pants
  • Gloves
  • Bike helmet

The club also have bikes and full-face helmets available to borrow, these are loaned out on a first-in, first-served basis. To get more information, visit the Rotorua BMX Club website, or check out their Facebook page.

The Club also has the Log Yard Dirt Jumps developed for everyone to learn and improve jumping skills. The jumps are only open at certain times, so follow the Facebook page to keep up-to-date on when you can head along.


How to get to Waipa

By Car

The Waipa carpark is off Waipa Mill Road, which is accessed from State Highway 5. The entrance to this road is just out of town, when heading towards Taupo. The carpark features a one-way road system, so after turning onto Waipa Mill Road, take the first left and follow the road arrows.


By Bike

If you are staying in central Rotorua you can access the forest from the Hemo Gorge Trail, 1.5km – Grade 1, that leads to the Waipa Carpark. It starts at the southern end of the Te Puia carpark and runs alongside the Puarenga stream. Continue along and you will arrive at the bridge to Waipa. Take the single-track to the left and you will arrive at the start of the trails. This is a shared trail that takes cyclists and walkers off SH5 for access to the Waipa mountain biking car park. It is part of the Te Ara Ahi Cycleway, that continues to Rainbow Mountain.