Grade
Advanced mountain biking trail
Distance
20 km
Walking
7 - 8 hours
Cycling
3 - 6 hours
No dogs on this trail
Information for this trail was last updated May 2024

The Pakihi Track, starting near Motu and ending 20km from Ōpōtiki on Pakihi Road, is an advanced (grade 4) mountain biking adventure of downhill magic. It is also a well-used tramping track. A Department of Conservation hut is located about halfway along the track. When mountain biking on this track, you must ride in the downhill direction towards Ōpōtiki. 

The track suits mountain bikers with good off-road riding skills and considerable riding experience. It features 25 bridges and a 32m swing bridge. There are no significant uphills and the surface is generally well-formed. In places, Pakihi Track is very narrow with near-vertical drop-offs to the side. 

The Pakihi Track is part of Motu Trails, one of the country’s recognised 23 Great Rides.

History of the trail

The Pakihi Track follows an historic rough path that has connected Motu to Ōpōtiki via the Otara Valley since 1906. In the 1990s, intrepid cyclists started using the track as the ultimate adventure ride, heaving their bikes over fallen trees and gingerly along cliffs.

With the advent of Ngā Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trails, in 2010-2012, the Department of Conservation restored the Pakihi Track to become part of the Motu Trails Cycleway.

Tips & Logistics

The Pakihi Track starts from high on the Motu Road, 17km from Motu and 38km from the Ōpōtiki coast. 

The track is a suitable family tramping track with the Pakihi Hut, a standard DoC hut halfway through. Hut tickets can be purchased from Gisborne's isite.

If mountain biking, this is a track for experienced mountain bike riders only. There are no significant uphills and the surface is generally well-formed. However, in places, Pakihi Track is very narrow, with near-vertical drop-offs to the side. You need to have the skills to manage accurate line choice and to control braking on loose surfaces. Respect the track and ride within your abilities. All riders will need to walk some sections, sometimes carrying or lifting their bike.

Do NOT ride up Pakihi Track from Pakihi Road end. However, if walking or running, you can go both directions.

Always be prepared to meet other trail users and track workers, and pass with care.

Motu Trails or Rere Falls Trail are great alternative trips for intermediate (grade 3) riders. They are significantly less technical but still have fantastic views and plenty of challenge.

The ride is mapped on the Great Rides App, download the map before you begin.

Visit Motu Trails website for more.