Great Lake Trail Two Day Transport Package
Includes the essential shuttle and boat transport to ride the trail over two days. Bike hire is an optional extra.
$140 - $210 per person
- 1x One-way shuttle on Day 1
- 1x One-way shuttle on Day 2
- 1x Boat transfer on Day 2
- All the best information
See below for details, options & extras such as bike hire
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”. It has 3 major sections: the Waihaha & Waihora section, the Orakau to Kinloch section (via Kawakawa Bay), and the Whakaipo To Kinloch (W2K) section. This Grade 3 trail is challenging in its climbs but is generally not a very technical ride.
$210 per person if you book 2 people
$195 per person if you book 3 people
$180 per person if you book 4 or 5 people
$160 per person if you book 6 to 7 people
$140 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.
2x One-way shuttles
Each day we will meet you at the end point of the ride for the day. You will park your car and we will load you bike onto our high quality purpose built bike trailer. 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.
The Waihaha to Waihora Section (Day 2) ends at a remote beach with no road access. You will board a boat and be taken back to Kinloch where you will meet our shuttle again.
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
With this optional upgrade we will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation to shuttle you to the start of the trail each day. At the end of your ride each day our shuttle will take you back to your accommodation.
Round trip transport to ride any section of the Great Lake Trail is $40 – $80 extra per person per day. Contact us for details.
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.
Hard tail (front suspension only) $120 for two days
High-end full suspension mountain bikes $240 for two days
E-bikes (electric mountain bikes) are available. E hard tails $240 for 2 days, E full suspension $300 for 2 days.
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
8:00am or 9:30 am shuttle pick up times.
9:30 Shuttle pick up at the Whakaipo Bay Great Lake Trail Shelter
10:00 Shuttle drop off at the Orakau Car Park (Whangamata Rd)
10:15 Commence the 20km ride to Kinloch via Kawakawa Bay
12:30 – 1:00 Arrive in Kinloch for lunch/swim/coffee stop
1:30 Commence the 14km (or 23km) W2K Section over to Whakaipo Bay
3:00 – 4:00 Arrive at Whakaipo Bay
9:30 Shuttle pick up in Kinloch (14 Mata Place)
10:15 Drop off at the Waihaha Bridge Car Park, and briefing
10:30 Commence the 30km ride to Waihora Bay
3:00 Boat pick up at Waihora Bay
3:30 Boat drop off at Kawakawa Bay or Kinloch
Day 1: 34km (or 43km*) • Grade 3
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.
Day 2: 30km • Grade 3
Tread Routes will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation in the morning, and shuttle you 1hr to the other starting point of the Great Lake Trail at Waihaha. After a briefing the trail takes you along the dramatic Waihaha river gorge before following the lakeside cliffs to the beach at the remote untouched Waihora Bay. You will then board a boat for the 25min trip accross the lake back to Kinloch where you will be picked by the shuttle for the return trip to Taupo.
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 mountain bikers come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their tastes and budgets for accommodation. We will recommend some Taupo or Kinloch accommodation options.
A moderate to high fitness level is required for this tour.
The shortest day is 30km and the longest day is either 34km (or 43km (if you add the Headland loop on Day 1). You should expect to be on your bike for around 3-5hrs per day (this includes a little stopped/rest time on the trail).
You will need some mountain biking experience to safely complete this tour.
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 tour 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 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.
What if I only want to ride 1 of the 2 days?
No problem. Just let us know when you book and we will discuss details.
Which day is harder?
The second day is slightly longer, but the first day is slightly more technical and has some exposure to cliffs.
Is the boat ride on the Great Lake Trail mandatory?
Yes. The Waihaha-Wahora Section of the trail (what is usually Day 2 of the tour) ends at a remote beach with no road access, so the only way out is by boat.
Can I hire a bike from you?
Yes. We have hard tail and full suspension and E bike models available and will help you choose the right bike for the tour. 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.