Post UNICON Muni tour of NZ

Hello everyone,

I have given myself a week in New Zealand after Unicon to get out of Wellington and ride some of the awesome terrain New Zealand boasts. This thread is an open invitation for anyone who is interested to join me, or to suggest locations that would make for good riding.

The more i am thinking about it, i will probably only be bringing my KH24" Schlumpf to NZ (while i love racing on the 36 it is just to big to lug around the globe) so i want to make the most of my time over there and get some serious Muni done.

I am a little unsure at the moment as to how i will be getting around- but if someone wants to join me who is old enough to rent a car then we could split the costs and have a really good time, otherwise it might be a case of using buses/trains/ hitchhiking etc.

As for the riding i’m into- I love my technical DH but also am quite partial to covering some big distances in a more XC setting (get to use my second gear you see). So if you are into the same sort of thing, have some time up your sleeve and want to tag along then lets start organising!

Ok cheers everyone,

Hi Mark
Sounds like you will have a great time!
I live in the North Island, Auckland and would really like to travel around NZ for Muni, but unfortunatly I won’t be able to then. I also love Technical downhill to! I would be keen for a ride if you go to Auckland.

In Auckland there is Riverhead Forest (I have only been here around 3 times, there is a collection of trails that are clay based and can be very slippery/muddy. I havn’t riden here enough to have seen manyof the trails. One I went one was steep and it had some technical bits)

Woodhill Forest (Sand based trails, varying in difficulty. There is also wooden structures that are cool. This is were I ride MUni most. You need to pay around 6NZD to ride here.)

And Whitford forest (I have ridden here once and it was great, the trails are clay based I think. The trails I rode on were steep and technical at places. It may be a good idea to go with some one that knows the trails if you ride here.)

At these places the riding is mostly under Pines trees, Woodhill is fine for riding all year round, Whitford and Riverhead is best riden when it is not wet. I recemend Woodhill and Whitford for Auckland riding

Heres some sites you should check out -Not cheap but looks like great fun.

Hey Mark, I would love to but unfortunately I won’t be able to make it due to not being able to take any more time off work. Sounds like a great adventure though, and have fun! I’m keen as hell to do muni adventuring so if you ever do it in the future let me know!

See you at unicon.



you should get the Kennet Brothers Mountain bike book - it lists a good percentage of the legally rideable trails in New Zealand. You basically want a copy if you want to go mountain biking in New Zealand.

This one (or whatever the latest edition is).

The biggest, best riding is on the South Island. If you only have a week though, you could easily do Nelson / Picton riding (just across the ferry from Wellington), but you might be pushing it in terms of travel to ride much further South unless you get an internal flight. There is also some good riding on the North Island listed in the book.

Be aware that you will need someone with a car to get to many of the trails (for some you need two people with cars to shuttle them), and distances between places are very long, roads are really small, and New Zealanders drive very slow, so expect to spend a fair amount of time on any car journey.


lol What makes you think we drive slow? And It is similar cost to fly to Christchurch than take the ferry to Picton then drive to Nelson.

Trust me, compared to taking a motorway in most countries, driving from Picton to Christchurch (or from Christchurch to Mount Cook etc.) is very very slow. On the South Island, you don’t have big roads, you have low speed limits, and the roads are mostly pretty bendy. It takes a whole lot longer to go a similar distance in New Zealand than it does in the UK or the US.


Palmerston North has a good downhill track. Its called K-loop its a nice ride and fast. It has a lot of tenkal parts and Alax could tell you :slight_smile: and for transport you could get cheap bus fares of this website/bus service it has really good service.

I’m keen to come if I can afford it. another great bike park is in rotorua redwood forest.

lol I assume you mean technical parts Alex (me) could tell you? lol Well yeah there were some good tech parts but it was nowhere near as tech as some of CHCH’s tracks. Still a nice track though.

Woodhill in Auckland is all you need.

Definitely! Classic NZ MTB rides is the bible of NZ mountainbike trails. It’s put together by a three brothers from Wellington who are pioneers of mountainbiking in NZ. They started up the Karapoti Classic, the oldest mountainbike race in NZ, and also the oldest and toughest Muni race in the world. If you are still around in March, it’s a must do event!

Speaking of Classic NZ MTB rides, you should be able to get it at most bike shops or bookshops when you arrive in NZ. Or you can order from their website.

The latest edition came out last year, but the best is the 7th edition (because there is a unicyclist in it :smiley: )

Also, there is another Unicyclist in the 3rd edition, but that is pretty outdated now.



I have very little plans after Unicon at this point, but at the moment I’m thinking of heading to Aukland potentially and maybe a couple other places. At the very least I might be interested in a ride or two in such other places, and potentially sharing accomodations or rides.

Heli biking sounds hella cool!

I might be interested if you are going on the South Island but I still don’t know if I will be travelling with my 24" or my 36". I have planned to spend a couple of days in each of those cities: Nelson, Greymouth, Queenstown(BUNGEE!) and Christchurch.

You may find this link helpful:

It is a bunch of ride reports from unicycle rides around NZ (some offroad, some on).

The Otago rail trail in the South island is a nice ride too (although more a road ride than a muni ride). Also there is a new single track trail in the Whirinaki forest (90km from Rotorua in the North Island). It sounds fantastic if you want something challenging that could be explored over the course of a day or two. It has 40km of single track with huts you can camp in on route.

I could be up for this, I currently plan to be in NZ for ages after UNICON and would like to explore some of south island. I am probably taking my 29er and like riding more XC than super tech downhill.

Dan K

hey everyone, thanks for the info and interest. I’ve ordered that MTBing guide book and will probably lay off making any big plans untill i have given it a good read.

I have not finalised my flights yet either so if i need more time to get around to do all the riding i want to then that should be no problem. Might give myself 2 weeks after unicon so i can get a proper look at the South Island.

One of the big issues i see for something like this is transport. I doubt i would be able to drive a hire car (not on a full license and the age issue) but it seems as though it is a must to get the most out of something like this.

So i guess this is a bit of a feeler- if you are interested in a 1-2week muni adventure mainly in the south of NZ after unicon and are able to drive a hire car then i want to talk to you! Looks as though some others might be interested already- kapoute, ntappin, lowlight

Keep the ideas and trail recomendations coming!


With my pending move across the Country out to Colorado, I am going to see how that goes first and how settled I get. I am waiting till mid-late November to buy my plane ticket because I am now up in the air about going to Unicon.

With that said…I would definitely be up for this if I was in NZ. I can hire a car with no problem, although I guess driving on the left side would be odd. If I did go to Unicon/NZ I would be staying for at least a month and a half, so I would be doing a lot of riding/touring.

THE ride to do would be the Queen Charlotte Track right across from Wellington on the South Island. I hear there is a lot of great riding out near Queenstown as well.

Hey Siafirede,

Let us know what your thoughts are about Unicon when you’ve made your mind up (i’m biased but think you should definitely come!). I was looking at the Queen Charlotte track just the other day and think it would be a great ride (maybe even make it an overnight one just for kicks). I’ve read that only 2/3rds of it is open in the peak season (when we would be there) but it is still a decent 44km or so track.


Napalm- I think you can hire a car OK at 21, although extra insurance tends to be a bit cheaper if a little older. I can hire a car OK anyway and am fairly used to the left hand side of the road thing :slight_smile:


It is a jolly nice ride, amazing scenery, beaches etc. although I would warn you, it isn’t really a proper muni ride - it is very much on the easy end of things. Is okay on a 29er, but to be honest it wasn’t very challenging even on that. I did it on my geared 29er. The bit that is open in peak season is easily doable in a day - I did out one day (on the road from Picton), then bivvied on the trail, and rode back the next day, I got a ride back from some random person when I was half-way back to Picton on the road, which was nice, as the ride back into Picton is pretty dull. If you do the QCT in a hurry, take plenty of water - not many water stops, and it is pretty hot in the sun there.

Some other trails I remember being worth the trip:

Craigieburn - 7km of (easy fireroad) ascent, then 10km or so of singletrack descent. On the edge of a ski-field, sort of near Christchurch. Some technical bits.

Christchurch trails - there are tons of very nice trails in the Port Hills at Chch, from full on downhilling, to an awesome singletrack all the way along the top of the ridge for about 40km, and some great downhill singletracks that are lovely and 29erable too. You’d need a local to show you round, the Kennet book is useless because they change too often.

Wharfedale Track - this is an out and back ride, with a hut in the middle where you can sleep over. A big climb and a big descent. 29er-able stuff, quite a laugh to ride, not super technical, but more so than the Queen Charlotte.

The ones in Wellington (Makara Peak?) - I’m sure you’ll be riding them during the event anyway, but they are nice.


I’m also in NZ for two weeks after UNICON, and haven’t planned out what I’m doing yet. I want to see some South Island, and visit a friend in Dunedin, but that’s about all my plans.

I’d like to do some mini (couple of days) road touring/bivvying and see some mountains. Maybe some XC too. I don’t know if I’ll just have my Schlumpf 36 though.