Just MTB Great Lake Trail Boat Shuttles Just The Ticket

Wednesday 25 May 2016, 9:58AM
By Beckie Wright

As the team at JustMTB say, “Delivering riders to unique locations is our speciality”, and their mounting biking trails are a great example, creating some amazing opportunities,  accessing the most remote land areas that would otherwise take days to ride to, and their boat shuttles across Lake Taupo are a case in point.

The boat shuttle takes in the scenic Lake Taupo, linking two sections of inaccessible trail. After three hours of winding singletrack, riders emerge onto a private beach, before boarding a boat and taking a trip around Taupo's northern shores. The Just MTB boat shuttle provides a unique experience viewing land from the water, under the sight of a snow-capped volcano, Mount Tongaririo.

The boat shuttles are part of The Great Lake Trail where riders traverse a picturesque 30km of singletrack to the pickup point at Waihora, with the trail ducking and diving through a mix of vegetation, from lush natives to arid and dry landscapes covered in Manuka, skirting giant rocks walls and boulders. Every now and then there'll be the glimpse of something spectacular, a stunning waterfall, or a vista over the lake.

When riders arrive at the boat pickup, they have a few extra minutes to swim and refresh themselves in the crystal clear water of the bay (which is clean enough to drink), featuring their own private swimming area. The boat skirts the side of the lake, taking in the giant rock walls that feature at the sides of this ancient volcano.

The boat shuttle concludes by dropping into Kinloch for lunch, ice cream and another swim. A quaint New Zealand holiday town, Kinloch is best visited in the shoulder seasons, where the lack of holiday- makers means riders get the whole beach to themselves. The final part of the ride climbs from Kinloch up to the headland loop. Springtime riding here offers flora unlike anywhere else, while the sound of the birdlife is amazing. The trail continues for another 20km over the headland and dropping down to the secluded Whakipo bay, which is perfect for a camp spot where you’d be lucky to see anyone else whilst perched on this stunning little beach area enjoying a beer post ride.

For more information on JustMTB and their fantastic bike trails and bike tours through New Zealand, please visit the website at