Long before we left Canada, Rotorua was on the radar to hit up. Between a review from my previous boss (Cam Sorensen – Bike Park Manager @ Silvestar Mountain Bike Park) and the Crankworx publicity, we knew Rotorua was going to be an all-time destination for mountain biking. What we couldn’t of planned for is just how much of an imprint this place would leave on us.
We started off volunteering at Crankworx, met some amazing locals, and from there it was good times right until we left. For the next 4 months we lived in and around this MTB community, living in our van, mingling with the locals, soaking in free hot springs on the regular, and shredding that famous volcanic Rotorua dirt!
Volunteering at the downhill and Slopestyle events was an all time experience. I was even able to snap some pictures on my breaks.
The carpark at the Whakarewarewa Forest (The Redwoods), and where we spent a lot of hours cooking, organizing, fixing bikes, mingling with locals/ travelers and sometimes showering. There was bathrooms, shower facilities, a bike wash station, drinking water fountains, and the best access to the trails.
When it rained, it poured! This shot is from the Moonride bike event I was invited to by some locals. In the afternoon of the event it rained about 100 mm in a matter of an hour. The rain unfortunately shut down the event, but people stayed and the shenanigans went on all night. Also, the Roto dirt is quite fine to shred in the wet!
The views from up in the forest of trails were a little like this.
The city of Rotorua has one of the largest aboriginal (Maori) populations per capita in New Zealand. They are super friendly people and the community does an excellent job of representing the culture that New Zealand originates from. This photo above is one of a few historic Maori buildings situated around the lake front.
This fine mans name is James and he was one of the first Rotorua locals we had the pleasure of interacting with. We met him while we were volunteering at Crankworx and it didn’t take long before we were biking together, having dinner, and letting us use his dad’s place to fix up our van. Your a legend James! The pictures above are some shots from James’ house overlooking Rotorua.
As mentioned above, hot springs quickly became apart of our lifestyle. The access to free springs was amazing! Here we are at Kerosene Creek with our vanlife/ mountain bike friend Ken after a pedal on the Rainbow Mountain trail that shares a carpark with the springs. Pretty good planning if you ask me!
We came for the biking and fell in love with the everything. Keep doing what you do Rotorua! Highly recommend this place to anyone who likes having fun on bikes and hanging out with cool people.
Posted by Mitch
2 thoughts on “Biking NZ Part 5: Rotorua (aka RotoVegas)”
Awe..sounds like you will have awesome memories. It has made me know get into biking again and I am excited. I think you site is an inspiration on how you should enjoy the beauty and what you do, and you will be able to take those experiences into your life- work and future. You will be more amazing human beings. Thank you for sharing and making us see the beauty of our world.
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Gyeah! We are a movement to do cool stuff 🙂