Great Lake Trail Orakau Shuttle & Bike Hire Package
This package includes bike hire, a one-way shuttle at the start of the day, and bike pick up at the end. Experience the beauty of the lake and discover the volcanic origins of this stunning environment.
$95 - $115 per person
- One-way shuttle
- Bike hire – hard tail mountain bike
- Bike delivery and pick up
- All the best information
Scroll down for details and optional extras.
Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.
About this Package
Experience the beauty of the lake and surrounding native bush, all the while discovering the volcanic origins of this stunning environment. On the Great Lake Trail you are riding the rim of a giant crater lake formed by a super volcano. Admire the lakeside cliffs and remote beaches, and on a guided experience you will learn some of the Maori and European history that helped shape the towns, villages, and countryside into what we see today.
Lake Taupo’s amazing volcanic history and rich cultural story provides a fascinating insight to the region that is best displayed and explained from the trail. Ask us about guided options for this tour.
The Great Lake Trail is one of the 22 Great Rides of the NZ Cycle Trail. It is 100% purpose built singletrack that crosses ridges an valleys around Lake Taupo’s western bay. The Great Lake Trail has been rated as “the best Grade 3 trail in New Zealand”. The sections of the Great Lake Trail included in this tour ar the Orakau to Whakaipo sections, via Kawakawa Bay and Kinloch. This Grade 3 trail is challenging in its climbs but is generally not a very technical ride.
$115 per person if you book 2 people
$100 per person if you book 3 people
$105 per person if you book 4 or 5 people
$100 per person if you book 6 to 7 people
$95 per person if you book 8 to 11 people
These are the inclusions of the base package. Also see the optional extras below and don’t hesitate to ask us about further customisation.
One-way shuttle from Whakaipo Bay to the Orakau Car Park
We will meet you at the end point of the trail. You will then be shuttled to the starting point of the ride where our staff will provide a briefing. You can then ride back to your car, taking as much or as little time as you like.
NOTE: Round trip transport (two-way shuttles) from Taupo town are available as an optional extra. We will pick up from any Taupo accommodation providers. Also, if you book round trip transport we will give you an Emergency Locator Beacon to carry during your ride.
Bike Hire – Hard Tail (front suspension) for 1 full day
Our bikes are high quality and are serviced between every use. They come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request. Full suspension mountain bikes and E Bikes are available (see optional extras).
Great service and accurate information
We know that communication is important in planing a cycling adventure. We also know you need accurate information about the trail itself. We are riders and guides so know the trail and the logistics intimately. We can answer any of your questions.
Round trip transport / Two-way shuttles
We will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation to shuttle you to the start of the trail each day. (the Taupo accommodation is not included in the tour, we like to leave this open for your preferences). At the end of your ride each day our shuttle will take you back to your accommodation. Also, if you book round trip transport we will give you an Emergency Locator Beacon to carry during your ride. Add $70 per person to the price.
Emergency Locator Beacon
We prioritise safety on our tours and make use of great technology. Each couple will be given a beacon at the start of the tour. Only available with round trip transport.
High-end full suspension mountain bikes $120 for one day
E-bikes (electric mountain bikes) are available in hard tail and full suspension models. Contact us for more details
Our bikes are high quality and are serviced between every use. They come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request
Having a guide is a great way to maximise the enjoyment of the ride. Our guides will not only show riders the way, they will also brief riders on upcoming trail segments. A guide can explain some of the history and geography of the area. Our guides know the emergency access points and where the hazardous parts of the trail are. Contact us for details and pricing.
Accommodation in Taupo
We can include the accommodation in Taupo for the night(s) in between and the the ride. A 15% booking fee than applies. Ask us for options.
We can pick up your group from Taupo, Rotorua, or Auckland airports. Contact us for pricing.
8am pick up, and 2-4pm finish depending on whether you ride the Headland loop
Tread Routes will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation around 8am. Any hire bikes booked will already be loaded on the shuttle. It is a 25min drive to the start of the Great Lake Trail where your driver will set up the bikes and provide a briefing packed with useful info. The ride starts in a rural setting before descending to the remote Kawakawa Bay which is on Lake Taupo’s dramatic western shores. Halfway through the ride is the holiday village of Kinloch which provides the ideal lunch or coffee stop. Enjoy the beach, and even a swim if the weather is warm. After climbing out of Kinloch the Great Lake Trail then descends to the quiet undeveloped Whakaipo Bay Reserve where you may have an opportunity to swim before being shuttled just 20min back to their accommodation in Taupo. * Fitter faster riders also have the option of including the 9km Headland Loop after passing through Kinloch.
Throughout the 2 days on the Great Lake Trail you will experience beautiful native bush as the trail crosses the ridges and valleys of the iconic Western Bay. Lake Taupo’s amazing volcanic history and rich cultural story provides a fascinating insight to the region that is best displayed and explained from the trail. Ask us about guided options for this tour.
This package does not include any accommodation. We allow you to book this yourself because we know that cyclists come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their tastes and budgets for accommodation. We can recommend some Taupo or Kinloch accommodation options.
A moderate to high fitness level is required for this ride
The ride is 34km and there is an option to add the 9km Headland loop on Day 1 which would make the total distance 43km of Grade 3 trail. You should expect to be on your bike for around 4-6hrs. (this includes a little stopped/rest time on the trail).
You will need some mountain biking experience to safely complete the ride
This tour is entirely on Grade 3 single track. If you are not sure what a Grade 3 trail is like, please visit our Trail Grades page. If you have no mountain biking or off-road cycling experience, this tour is not the best choice. In that case, you should consider our Cycle Trail Tour.
The group size for this service can be anywhere from 2 to 10 people
Singles will have to join other to make up the minimum numbers. Ask us whether we have others going on the dates you are interested in.
On self-guided tours you are not expected to ride with the other people booked on the tour. It is designed for “at your own pace” riding. You may simply like to catch up with the other riders and share some tales from the trail at the beach or at your accommodation.
On fully guided exclusive tours (where you have a guide dedicated to your group), the guide will informally structure the ride so the group can stay together as much as possible. After all, cycling is a social activity, and we help to ensure it’s fun for everyone.
Why is the Taupo accommodation not included?
We allow you to book this yourself because we know that cyclists come in all shapes an sizes, and so do their budgets.
Can Taupo accommodation be included?
Yes. We can book it for you at one of our preferred providers, but it will subject to a booking fee that is the equivalent of 15% of the Taupo accommodation price.
Can you recommend any accommodation providers in Taupo?
Yes. The Taupo Millennium Hotel, Beech Tree Suites Motel, and Huka Falls Resort are all great options. Taupo also has a great many holiday houses for rent that may suit your group. Check out www.bookabach.co.nz or www.holidayhouses.co.nz.
Can I hire a full suspension bike from you?
Yes. We have full suspension models available. We can also supply E-bikes. All our bikes are high quality and very well maintained.
Should I hire a guide?
It largely depends on your level of cycling experience and what you aim to get out of the ride. There are a lot of different elements packed into our guiding service: safety management, historical and geographical interpretation, riding skills tips, mechanical skills, emergency management, and more. We know how to help you get the most out of the ride. Contact us for more info.