Pakihi Track


Pakihi Track

  • GradeAdvanced
  • Time 3-6 hrs
  • Distance 20kms
OCTOBER 2023: PLEASE NOTE THAT DOC HAS CURRENTLY CLOSED PAKIHI FOR RIDING. FOR UPDATES PLEASE CONTACT US, OR, CHECK 'TRAIL CONDITIONS'. The Pakihi Track is downhill magic – it sweeps through a historic stock route in the magnificent Urutawa Forest, a journey surrounded by fern-filled forest and alongside pristine river pools. The advanced grade reflects that the track is narrow in places, with near-vertical drop-offs to the side. The track also gets rockfalls and windfalls on an ongoing basis. You need sound bike skills and you need to ride with real care. For riding, the track is one-way only, from Motu Road.

The Pakihi Track was first opened around 1906 as part of a rough track connecting Motu to Opotiki via the Otara Valley. From the early-1990s, it slowly gained a reputation as an epic mountain bike ride. After a massive restoration, the Pakihi Track reopened in 2012 as part of the Motu Trails. Today it's a beautiful journey through lush forest. 


The track starts from high on the Motu Road, 17 kilometres from Motu and 38 kilometres from the Ōpōtiki coast. On the Pakihi you have no significant uphills to tackle and the surface is generally well-formed. However, in places, the track is narrow with near-vertical drop-offs to the side. Especially on the lower section, in places, there is almost always rock debris on the track (on the lower track, we clear it off weekly). This is a back-country track in challenging terrain. 

You need sound bike skills and to take care. If in doubt, get off and walk any bits where you are unsure. E-bikers and those with panniers, be aware that in several places, you must lift or push your bike. If you are a nervous rider, you may wish to consider riding the Motu Road Trail instead or do the Pakihi as a walk. 




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    Proudly supported by

    • Department of Conservation
    • Tairawhiti Gisborne
    • Opotiki Coast
    • The New Zealand Cycle Trail
    • Whakatohea