We were lucky enough to ride at the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park soon after it opened at the end of 2016 so imagine my delight when I saw that Zone 3 was open, which must have added about 10 more new rides. We happened to be heading up to Paihia for a big family catch up with my in-laws ( with all of those Aunties to babysit surely I could get out for a kid-free ride with my husband ) so the timing was perfect.
And so it was that after arriving on a Saturday afternoon and catching up with the rellies, we mentioned that we might pop out for a ride the next morning while our kids played with their cousins. Love it when a plan comes together and we were at the bike park brigh and early the next morning and it was awesome to see the mountain bike car park overflowing.
Even though Cyclone Cook had passed through a little over a week earlier, the trails were in great shape. I think this is a testament to the dedicated volunteers who had been out during the week clearing the tracks and laying gravel on the tracks in some sticky places.
To start off we rode up Hua Link and Taanes Climb to get to the high ground and after sharing cycling adventures with some American tourists we headed off to check out the new trails in Zone 3. First up was Magic Carpet, nice and flowy and an awesome downhill. We then rode Te Rangi Hononga back up to the top of the next mountain. There are lots of options from here with about 6 downhill tracks to choose from. We decided a long ride was in order so did Waaraki which was another great flowing track. So pumped with this ride so we decided another climb was in order to do it again. We took On The Up and Taanes Climb back up to the top at which point we thought we have better head back home to catch up with the family. So we blasted for home going down Ruarangi which reminded me of the awesome Kaiteriteri trails. All in all an awesome 20km loop.
The next day after a full on morning of fun at Adventure World with the kids, (a park for climbing, swinging, sliding, trapeze acrobatics and lots of bombing onto airbags) we were tempted to have a relaxing afternoon, but that mountain bike park was calling our name so we decided to head up with the kids for a ‘little ride’.
We did a 12 km loop with the kids taking in some of the new tracks we hadn’t done the previous day, even managing to climb Te Raawhiti which is a killer near the top.
The weather was better the second day and as the sun sunk low in the sky, the views out over the Bay Of Islands were magic. Every trail on the hill seems to offer views in different directions from Opua to Cape Brett.
The mountain bike park now offers more than enough rides to keep us all entertained whenever we are in the area and I think we will make an effort to be in the area more because of the mountain bike park.
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