Ride through a geothermal field with this series of tracks that connect to form a mountain biking loop.

Track overview

3.2 km loop

Mountain biking

3.5 hours Easy: Grade 2
Advanced: Grade 4

About this track


Deviate from Te Ara Ahi (part of the New Zealand National Cycle Trail) and make your way on foot past rainbow mountains steaming geothermal cliffs. On a clear day at the summit, you can see Mt Tarawera in the north, Paeroa Range to the west and the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park to the south.

The descent from the top is a challenging and techincal ride down Te Ranga mountain biking track.Open to mountain bikers only, this track was designed to provide an awesome ride in a unique setting. The track ends at Te Ranga (Kerosene creek), a naturally warm creek and a great place to enjoy a soak.

Connect back to Te Ara Ahi to complete your ride back to the start of the Rainbow Mountain Loop.

Getting there

Join the New Zealand National Cycle Trail from the Rotorua iSITE, Fenton Street. The trail will take you to the base of Rainbow Mountain.

Parking is available at the base of the mountain for those arriving by car. From Rotorua, follow SH5. The car park is on the left, just past the turning for Murupara township.

Nature and conservation

Rainbow Mountain is significant in botanical and scientific terms, containing a complex mixture of plant species, some of which are rare and unique to geothermal areas. Please stick to the tracks to avoid damaging rare geothermal vegetation which includes orchids, ferns and kanuka.

From its volcanic origins, Rainbow Mountain (Maunga kakaramea, meaning ‘mountain of coloured earth) has cooled over recent years. Though places are still smouldering, the native vegetation is regenerating.

History and culture

The summit and slopes of Maunga Kakaramea supported a large Pa. During times of battle women and children were moved to the summit area wheil the fighting warriers occupied more strategic slopes allowing them to engage in battle more effectively.

One of the last major battles in this area was when the Raukawa chief Rahuraha made an attack on the Ngati Tahui-Ngati Whaoa people. He was lured into this area where a large party of Ngati Tahu, Ngati Whaoa and Ngati Apumoana were waiting for him. It was in this battle that Rahurahu was finally defeated.


Rotorua Office
Phone:   +64 7 349 7400
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   99 Sala Street
Rotorua 3010
Postal Address:   PO Box 1146
Rotorua 3040
Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Phone:   +64 7 351 7324
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   1167 Fenton St
Postal Address:   Private Bag 3007
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