Bay of Plenty
Whakatane sits in the spectacular Eastern Bay of Plenty of New Zealand, right beside the Pacific Ocean. The region has plenty of mountain biking on offer. Whakatane itself provides some great family rides and even better trail riding for intermediate to advanced riders. Heading south down the coast you’ll find Opotiki and the start of the simply epic Motu Trails.
One of NZ’s sunniest regions, with beaches galore. From Whakatane, visit White Island - an active volcano, and Tauranga’s the gateway to exciting marine adventures (and Orcas sometimes swim into the harbour!)
By Brigitte Masse
If you’re staying in Whakatane or Ohope, Burma Road makes for a boomer of a ride. Imagine ‘horse and dray’ as, when you’re riding parts of Burma Road, you’re on the original eastward route from Whakatane.
By Jim Robinson
Riding the Motu Road gets you into the groove. It’s narrow, winding, and overhung by forest canopy. Maybe you’ll see a car. Maybe a wild goat or pig. Or a deer. Even after hard rain it never gets very muddy; there's just the sound of water music everywhere
Poverty Bay Herald, 1913
“For over twenty miles the new coach road passes almost entirely through virgin country, and some splendid scenic attractions exist amongst the high bushclad ranges,” they enthused. “In the interest of future generations it is to be sincerely hoped that the Lands Department will set aside substantial areas for scenic and meteorological purposes.”
Otipi Road snakes off from the Motu Coach Road, to the wild Motu River. Today, it’s known as a stunning mountain bike adventure ride, but 50 years ago, the road was built to access a proposed hydroelectric power scheme.