Our Trails

Huka Trails

grade - easy grade - intermediate
Grade 2 - 3 Easy - Int
1days
33km

Ride along the banks of the Waikato River from Taupo to the famous Huka Falls, and continue on to the Aratiatia Dam.

This is a loop which includes trails on both sides of the river. It is scenic and fun riding, mostly in regenerating native forest. There are options for distance and plenty of great views of the river along the way.

Shuttle Options

Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.

grade - intermediate
Grade 3 Intermediate
13 km
grade - easy
Grade 2 Easy
20 km

This video includes information about the Rotary Ride section from Spa Park to Huka Falls only (not the full 30km loop). The rest of the ride includes more amazing trail and points of interest along the way.

About the Trail

The Huka Trails are a network of trails that link together seamlessly along the banks for of the Waikato River. They are also known as the “Huka Falls Loop” or the Aratiatia Loop”. You can ride along the banks of the Waikato River from Taupo town to the famous Huka Falls and on to the Aratiatia Dam. You can then ride back to town along the other side of the river on more trails.

The Huka Trails are both scenic and fun. Most of the riding is in areas of regenerating native forest, and there are lots of great views of the river, especially if you know where stop and to look!

In total there is about 40km of trail, however if you ride from Taupo to the Aratiatia dam and back, your loop will be about 33km. The entire Huka Trails network is two-way dual-use trail, therefore expect to see riders and walkers going in either direction.

There are a few optional sections of trail that make the loop shorter or longer, and easier or harder. The Huka Trails are mostly Grade 2 & 3, while there are a few short sections of Grade 1 and some optional Grade 4.

The easier sections of the Huka Trails are between “The Hub” and the Aratiatia Dam (the North end of the loop). The more challenging sections are between “The Hub” and Taupo town.

The Hub is a trailhead with a cark park, and cafe about 1km from Huka Falls itself. It is easily recognised by the giant helicopter outside The Hub Cafe. The Hub is also the primary entranceway to Craters MTB Park. There are 3 locations where the Huka Trails link into Craters MTB Park, therefore the Huka Trails are also very often used as a fun way to ride from town to Craters MTB Park.

To get to the trails by bike…

 

From Taupo town centre:

  1. Follow the bike paths north out of town from the roundabout (corner of Spa Rd and Tongariro St), down to Control Gates Bridge. Carefully cross the road at the crossing near the bridge, then look for the blue bike on a pole – below that you will find a map of the trails and beginning of the “Bungee Track”.
  2. Alternatively ride up Spa Rd on the cycle lane to County Ave which takes you into Spa Park. At the end of County Ave you will find a map of the trails and the beginning of the Rotary Ride section of the Huka Trails. Follow the Rotary Ride to get to Huka Falls and the rest of the Huka Trails.

 

From The Hub:

The Hub is a major trailhead. You have options, here are 2 good ones:

  1. To go to Huka Falls via the Cafe Track (watch out for walkers coming up the track!): Ride South on Huka Falls Rd for 100m, turn left onto Huka Falls Loop Rd, in 150m turn left in the Cafe Track. From Huka Falls you have options, a good option is cross the Huka Falls footbridge and ride Aratiatia Track to the Aratiatia Dam.
  2. To go to Taupo town: Ride South on the grass and find the entrance to “Junk and Disorderly” track. Follow this then the Redwoods Track to Taupo. Or go to Huka Falls (as per option 1) and ride to Taupo on the Rotary Ride.

 

 

Since the Huka Trails connect to town you can ride from any Taupo accommodation to the trails! No need to drive anywhere!

 

If you would like to drive to one of the trail heads, here are two options:

 

Spa Park – drive up Spa Rd, turn left into to County Ave. Park in the car park by the big jumps and pump track. Alternatively park in the car park at the end of County Ave.

 

The Hub – drive North out of Taupo for 5mins on Wairakei Drive. Park outside the The Hub Cafe (415 Huka Falls Rd) – you won’t be able to miss it, there is a huge blue and yellow helicopter outside the cafe.

All the Huka Trails are marked with blue plastic stakes in addition to signs with trail names and directions. You can buy a map from us, local bike shops, or The Hub Cafe. Another useful tool for navigation is an app called Trailforks. It is free to download and will give you your real time location on the trails.

 

There are also maps at several key locations on the trail network.

Here are 2 great ride options:

 

17km starting from Taupo town centre:

Bungee Track to Spa Park (from Control Gate Bridge)

Rotary Ride to Huka Falls

Western Bypass (out of Huka Falls Car Park)

Kev’s Track

Redwoods Track back to Taupo town

 

33km starting from Taupo town centre:

Bungee Track to Spa Park (from Control Gate Bridge)

Rotary Ride to Huka Falls

Aratiatia Track to the Aratiatia Dam

Access Track

Resort Track to the Hub

Junk and Disorderly

Kev’s Track

Redwoods Track back to Taupo town

Note: For an added challenge you can include Ferguson’s Gully track (Grade 4). You will pass the entrance to this track on your left between the Wairakei Resort and The Hub.

 

17km starting from The Hub

Cafe Track to Huka Falls

Aratiatia Track to the Aratiatia Dam

Access Track

Resort Track to the Hub

 

The Huka Trails form loops which can be ridden from any of the access points including Spa Park, The Hub, Huka Falls, etc, so most people do not use a shuttle service to ride these trails.

 

If you would like to hire a bike to ride one-way ride from Taupo to the Aratiatia Dam (via Huka Falls), contact us for pricing and options.

We deliver hire bikes to any Taupo accommodation.

No need for you to pick up bikes from a shop or transport them in/on your own car. We take care of the bike transport for you! Bike delivery and pick up is included in the hire price.

 

Hard tail (front suspension only): Specialized Rockhopper Expert ($1600 retail value)

$70 for one day

$120 for two days

ENQUIRE NOW

 

High-end full suspension mountain bikes: Specialized Camber Comp ($4000 retail value)

$120 for one day

$240 for two days

ENQUIRE NOW

 

Electric mountain bikes ($4000 retail value)

E bikes are available in hard tail and full suspension options. Limited quantities of Specialized and Haro models are available. 

$120 for one day

$240 for two days

ENQUIRE NOW

 

Our hire bikes come with a helmet, lock, spare inner tube, tire levers, pump, and multi tool. The bikes come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request.

For your enjoyment it is important that you hire the right size bike, so we are here to help. When you contact us to make your booking, we will gather the correct information to get you on the right size bike. Our hire bikes are high quality and you can be sure to have a great ride because they are cleaned, checked, and serviced between every use.

If you are planning a visit to ride the Huka Trails you can consider any accommodation in Taupo town. We recommend choosing accommodation that is close to the town centre or Spa Park so that you don’t have to ride far on roads to get to any of the Huka Trail access points.

 

Another great option is the Wairakei Resort. It is right on the Huka Trails and is less than 2km (by trail) from The Hub.