A Kombi-camping group of riders pull up under the stars and the watchful Mt Tongariro, Ruapehu, New Zealand. Photo: Camilla Rutherford

RideNZ.co is an all-new travel website that simplifies the mountain biking trails, networks and Great Rides of the Central North Island, New Zealand.

The first of its kind, RideNZ.co features a rider-matching trail selector, a geographical “explore by map” trail finder and a fully bookable itinerary builder.

The idea for RideNZ.co started more than two years ago with a desire and need to show the depth and breadth of trails and rides in the Central North Island.

“Nowhere else in New Zealand do you have the sheer number, quality and range of cycling and mountain biking trails, 365 days a year,” explains Tania Bui, chair of the Cycling and Mountain Biking Tourism Marketing Network for the Central North Island (CMB TMN). “There’s something for everyone here.”

Local rider Gabby Molloy floats over a trail as the sun sets at Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua, New Zealand. Photo: Derek Morrison

The rider-matching feature of RideNZ.co means people can select which type of rider they are; hardcore, adventurous, fitness freak, cruiser or family, to filter the available trails. This means adventurous riders can easily find the best adventure and backcountry trails, while novices can quickly filter down to just the trails that are best suited to them.

“There are so many world-class mountain biking and cycling trails in this region,” explains CMB TMN marketing manager Derek Morrison. “And the trail builders are working hard every day to add more. We wanted to present all the trails in a simple, easy to understand way and make them accessible to everyone – from those new to cycling to more advanced riders looking for adventure.”

Australian mountain bike journalist Chris Southwood rides beneath a fallen tree during a day ride on the Moerangi Trail near Whirinaki, New Zealand. Photo: Derek Morrison

Tourism New Zealand’s special interest marketing manager Tony Rogers has watched the development of the trail portal closely.

RideNZ.co does a great job of showcasing the depth and diversity of the cycling offering in the Central North Island region adding more strength to the overall appeal of New Zealand as an international cycling destination,” Rogers said.

Morrison said riding in the Central North Island was distinct in three ways.

“It has high-quality trails that can be ridden all year – even through winter,” he offers. “It has trails to suit all levels of riders and it has such a wide variety of terrain, from the buff flowing trails of Whakarewarewa Forest, to the epic adventure rides that are proving so popular with experienced riders. RideNZ.co makes it easy to discover them all.”

Morrison said the CMB TMN team recognised early on in their planning that mountain bikers liked to ride together and share their experiences and this was why they muscled up the sharing elements of the RideNZ.co platform.

Building an itinerary on RideNZ.co allows a visitor to then share this with as many people as they like – by email, or through social media – directly from the mobile-friendly website.

RideNZ.co aims to take people on that journey from discovery, to planning a trip, to booking it and actually embarking on their adventure,” said Morrison. “RideNZ.co connects the riders with everything they need to bring their cycling holiday dreams alive.”

A seasoned photojournalist in the world of mountain biking, Morrison was aided in developing the content for RideNZ.co by past Junior World Downhill Champion and Kiwi, Scarlett Hagen.

The orange-coloured Roger’s Hut is a welcome relief to replenish energy on the remote Moerangi Track, Bay of Plenty. Photo: Nick Lambert

“It is a fun project to work on – taking the best trails of the Central North Island, researching them and making it super easy for others to discover them, plan them, book them and ride them,” Hagen offers. “Needless to say, my own RideNZ.co itinerary is more like a bucket list – it’s going to take me more than a few days to tick these off.”

Hagen, who has raced on the best downhill tracks throughout the world, said she knew the Central North Island trails well, but discovered so much more through her work with RideNZ.co.

“Over the course of this project I’ve learnt that there are many amazing trails deeper into this region … and it sounds like even more will be coming online in the next few years,” she said. “It’s an exciting time for mountain biking tourism in New Zealand.”

RideNZ.co has been developed by the CMB TMN, which represents eight Regional Tourism Organisations: The Coromandel, Hamilton-Waikato, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, Eastland, Hawke’s Bay, Great Lake Taupo and Ruapehu. The CMB TMN is supported by Bay of Connections, Bay Trust, Sport Bay of Plenty, Motu Trails and Rotorua Airport Limited.

“The CMBTMN has been working closely with Tourism New Zealand to align what we are doing with TNZ’s ‘NZ Inc’ program, capturing what visitors want in what we are offering,” Bui said. “This is all about adding value and meeting a need.”

RideNZ.co can certainly add value to your next adventure in this mountain bike nirvana. Try this Ultimate Surf and Ride Adventure, or maybe this Dirty Weekend in Vegas is more to your liking … or build your own.

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