Aotearoa - New Zealand Road Trip Part 2 - North Island.

Apr 10, 2013 at 23:00
Apr 10, 2013
by Big Mountain  
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This is part two of an epic 12-day New Zealand road trip from Queenstown to Auckland led by Kiwi local Dan McMullan. Leaving the South Island in picturesque Picton, we crossed the feisty Cook Straight and arrived in Wellington, NZ's capital city. Welcome to the North Island, home to nearly 80% of the country's population, some staggering landscapes and a whole bunch of truly amazing riding.

Photos: Chris Winter (unless otherwise noted).

Robbie Davidson dropping in on Wellington's perfect urban mountain bike park, Makara Peak. Every city needs a bike park.

A sweet stretch of trail off Te Mata Peak, high above Hawkes Bay, one of NZ's driest parts that's famous for it's fine wine. Photo: Thomas Falconer.

Early morning sunshine penetrating the forest canopy in Waipatiki Beach. Photo: Thomas Falconer.

Fresh dinnertime. A speared kingfish caught by Dan McMullan and Dave 'Dingo' Gordon. Photo: Thomas Falconer.

A very stoked Glenn Richards in his backyard on the W2K trail on the shores of Lake Taupo near Kinloch. Photo: Thomas Falconer.

A sweet morning shuttle on glassy Lake Taupo, NZ's largest lake.

Entering Taupo's Craters of the Moon XC bike park that features 50 km of singletrack in exotic pine and eucalyptus plantations.

Post-ride soak in one of Taupo's thermal hot pools. This one had a cold river flowing near it which made for epic relaxation.

Our host in the hills near Rotorua. One of the many characters that we met along the way.

Portland-based Kevin Higgins, a master of the wheelie, doing what he does best on a foggy morning.

Colorful Maori kids on their way to school.

Mr. Higgins escorting the kids to school.

Definitely one of the best shuttle services anywhere. All aboard Southstar Shuttles in Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest.

Rotorua's trails will make you want to go fast. Sometimes faster than you should.

Trailbuilder Malcolm 'Whero' McHale and Rotovegas local Richard Caudwell chatting about improvements to the already super sick trail network in Rotorua.

The dirt in Rotorua is absolutely perfect. Many of the trails ride like a perfectly sloped pump track and the forest is straight out of this world.

The crew from this year's trip just before wrapping up their adventure.

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Want to go to NZ yourself? Big Mountain Adventures will be running another New Zealand trip in 2014. Stay tuned!
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  • + 2
 Makara Peak. I remember those trails, fantastic fun. A nice warm-up ride from Wellington city centre and then some fun on the trails before heading home - mostly downhill too - great memories. Makes me want to move back there.
  • + 1
 visited New Zealand 8 years ago, didnt have a bike then, just surfed...beautiful country and beautiful people, would love to go back one day and ride, surf, ride, surf.........
  • + 1
 Lived there for a semester abroad and I'm so sad I hadn't gotten into mountain biking yet! Great times, but not as good as if I had a bike and a way to the trails... love that land and hope I can get back someday!
  • + 3
 So stoked that the trails i helped build(Makara peak) are in a video on the Pink Bike homepage, Awesome!
  • + 4
 NZ = badass
  • + 2
 love it!!! show cases our little patch of the world just right!
  • + 1
 Disappointed to not see any pics from Wainui trail park. It would be plain wrong to visit Wellington without riding there!
  • + 1
 the track at te mata peak is stuffed up, i should know, i used to live at the bottom
  • + 1
 The trails been tweeked and theres a few more tracks on Te Mata peak now, the place is just getting better for bikes !
  • + 2
 NZ and BC are the two places I sure want to go some day to ride bikes!
  • + 1
 Part two!! I just got over part one! Ha ha cheers boys. :p
  • + 1
 built that trail up te mata peak.
  • + 0
 such a fun track,! which part bro?
  • + 1
 Had I known you were coming I would've baked a cake...
  • + 1
 from around that ski jump near the redwoods.
  • + 0
 Lion red represent! And a sweet roadie
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