The Motu Trails

Written by      

Jonathan Kennett

Now that the Bay of Plenty has three fabulous cycle trails, it is an excellent desti­nation for a biking holiday. The Motu Trails can be ridden individually, or combined into one long loop for cycling enthusiasts. The bay also has great bush walking, beach-combing and boating. There is something for everyone.

The Dunes Trail is an easy all-weather path, with iconic coastal scenery. Most people do it as a there-and-back ride, making the cafe at Tirohanga Holiday Park their destination. There are views out to smoking White Island (New Zealand’s most active volcano) and inland to the bush-clad peaks of the Raukumara Range.

Motu Road, the original coach road from the Bay of Plenty to Gisborne, is ideal for those with an appetite for exercise. It is a narrow gravel road with large hills and excellent scenery. In places, the native trees meet overhead, and on our trip we even saw a wild deer trotting along the road. For experienced mountain bikers, the Pakihi Track provides the icing on the cake. It’s a historic stock route, weaving through the beautiful Urutawa Conservation Area. This forest is home to many species of native birds, native bats, and the endangered Hochstetter’s frog.