Riding the banks of the Waikato River

Image: Destination Great Lake Taupo | ©


These two tracks along the banks of the Waikato River allow for stunning views of the river, and access to Huka Falls and the network of mountain bike trails in the area.


Track overview

6 km | 2 km

Walking and tramping

1 hr Easy: Walking track

Mountain biking

30 min | 20 min Easy: Grade 2

Dog access

Dogs allowed. Keep dog under control at all times.

About this track


Rotary Ride: Spa Park to Huka Falls

Time: 30 min mountain bike
Distance: 6 km 

This track is primarily a mountain bike track, but walking is not prohibited.

Starting at the carpark, follow the mountain bike signs through the gully and down to the Otumeheke Stream, approximately 200 metres upstream from the Waikato River.

After crossing the stream, the track meanders through gullies, twists around trees, runs alongside open farmland, crosses two bridged streams, passes through culverts and has great views of the Waikato River and open valleys. Mainly a two way track, it does split in a number of places to form a one way single track.

Return via the same track or link with other trails in the area.

Getting there: Access to Spa Thermal Park is on County Avenue, off Spa Road.

Waikato River Track

Time: 1 hr walk, 20 min mountain bike
Distance: 2 km 

This shared-use track starts at the Huka Falls carpark and ends at Otupo Flat. 

Five minutes down the track there is a grassed area with great views back to the falls. From here there is a short steep climb up to the road and cafe, then the track drops again to the river through the Totara Gully and ambles along through a variety of terrain and vegetation. There are several short side tracks to points of interest along the way.

For mountain bikers, the Cafe Track and Ferguson's sections are grade two, whereas Te Totara Gully and Gut sections are a challenging grade three with sharp climbs and descents.

Getting there: Huka Falls is just a five minute drive north of Taupō, off SH1 on Huka Falls Road.

Know before you go

For a complete map, and more information on the mountain bike trails in this area visit Bike Taupō.

These are shared-use tracks. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.


Taupo Office
Phone:   +64 7 376 0072
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   taupo@doc.govt.nz
Address:   37 Motutaiko Street
Taupo 3330
Postal Address:   PO Box 528
Taupo 3351
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