THE HUKA FALLS LOOP (ROTARY RIDE)
Also known as the rotary ride, this stretch of bike trail starts in the Taupo township and heads all the way up to Aratiatia dam, following the mighty Waikato river.
Easy - Medium Difficulty
TRAIL HEAD LOCATION
The Rotary Ride track begins at the end of Spa Road in the Spa Thermal Park. You can leave your car here for your return, or be dropped off by a friend, family member or shuttle operator.
The track is a grade 3 trail, making it suitable for intermediate riders to enjoy.
Allow a leisurely 2-3 hours to complete the 5.5km trail from Spa Park to Huka Falls and back; or 5-6 hours if you choose to continue on to the Aratiatia Dam, which is another 7km along the river.
From Spa Thermal Park the trail follows the Waikato River north. A short climb up through native bush onto a ridge, leads to an area filled with tall pine trees and stunning views of the native bush and river below.
From there it’s a gradual downhill ride to Huka Falls, New Zealand’s most highly visited natural attraction. Here you can view the Falls from above, stop for a drink and a snack and of course take a few photos from one of several viewing points.
Upon leaving Huka Falls there are several options, you can be picked up by car or shuttle and returned to town (or your car); you can take the 2.5km long Redwoods Trail back to town (or your car); or if you’re feeling more adventurous you could ride a further 7km up to the Aratiatia Dam.
When carrying on to the Aratiatia Dam, there’s a short climb at first, but eases and is suitable for most beginners. In the summer months (October to March) the flood gates on the dam open every 2 hours between 10am and 4pm, showing you what the river looked like before the Aratiatia Dam was erected. It is a pretty impressive sight so time your ride appropriately. At the end, just head back the same way you came.