Day 281 on the Road
Riding the Dunes Trail
Today we are jumping on one of the Motu Trails in Opotiki, the Dunes Trail. If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities to add to your NZ bucket list, just head over to our awesome YouTube Channel!
Today we’re going to be biking over the Sand dunes of the Motu Trails.
This morning we’re meeting Hedley at the Motu Trails base which is gonna be setting us up with some awesome mountain bikes and going to be taking us in a shuttle to the beginning of the trail. It’s one of the best trails to do around the Opotiki area and we can’t wait.
I wear shoes.
It looks like it’s gonna be a trace against the weather today so there’s no time to wait around.
So it’s supposed to be raining today. Say what?
It probably will soon. So we should get going.
And you know me, safety first.
Always wear a helmet when cycling in New Zealand.
The Motu Trails offers a shuttle to the far end of the trail this is going to take us 22km away from the base and we’re gonna be biking our way back toward the base through amazing New Zealand coastal landscapes.
The track starts literally on the beach luckily there is some gravel and wooden pathways so the bikes don’t get stuck inside the sand but it’s an amazing way to start a mountain biking track. it’s absolutely unique. I’ve never seen a mountain biking track literally on the sand and it gives for an absolutely unique point of view.
The trail that we’re doing today is the Dunes Trail and it’s one of the three Motu Trails.
After cycling alongside some amazing coastal cliffs and across a quaint little footbridge we arrive at some amazing pouwhenua which are tall Maori carved poles. They reach up to 6m high and a little information panel section tells us all about the Maori legends behind the carvings.
One of the carvings faces east while the other one faces west to see the rising and setting sun and they’re called the Guardians of Tirohanga which the area that we are currently in. After reading about the history of the Maori settlers around the area we are jumping back onto our bikes to continue on the Dunes Trail.
The Dunes Trail is 22km in total and takes 2 to 3 hours to do a return trip or half of that time if you’re doing a one way trip like we are. It’s a grade 2 trail meaning it’s pretty easy going it’s got just easy uphill down hill gradients not too strenuous and one of the easiest tracks to do out of the Motu Trails.
It’s so easy in fact that there’s even signs encouraging you to relax so we do exactly that when we see this cute little shelter by the beach and we decide to have a little bit of a rest.
Our relaxing spot is right above Hikuwai Beach which is absolutely amazing. It’s a long stretching stunning beach front and on a clear day you can see Whale and White Island. And even if it’s very very clear you can see the steam coming out of the only marine volcano in New Zealand which is White Island.
By the way if you guys are interested about White Island which is an absolutely amazing place to visit hit the subscribe button right now because in only a couple of days we’re gonna head there and check it out for ourselves. We’re gonna take you to the heart of the only marine volcano in New Zealand and we’re super excited about that.
But we are heading back on the road because we are trying to beat the rain we can definitely see the rain coming right before our eyes so we need to rush.
Can see the rain on the back over there coming toward us and a super dark cloud so right here we’re just right on the sun it’s really bizarre. Really bizarre.
I’ve already mentioned that a little bit at the beginning of this video but I’m super impressed on the state of this trail. It’s so well maintained. The Gravel is perfect there’s board walks there’s gates for bikes that are easy to maneuver you just hop off your bike and get out of there. This trail is so well made and perfect for beginners or anyone looking for an easy cruisy ride.
So it’s getting really dark right now. We’re still on the Motu Trail we’re about 5km from the town so we hope we’re gonna make it before the rain comes if not well free shower right?
Yeah, don’t have to have one tonight.
This means we really need to pick up the pace to beat the rain but luckily we are only do one of the three Motu Trails. There are two others that we haven’t mentioned so far and that’s the Motu Road Trail that takes about 6 hours to complete it’s 67km long and grade 3 meaning it’s a more intermediate ride. There’s also the wilderness Pakihi Trail which 2 to 4 hours long and that is a grade 4 gradient meaning it’s little bit more for the adventurous and you can actually combine all three Motu Trails to make one large 91km loop.
But with 3km left to go of the Dunes Trail we are getting absolutely slammed by the rain. Instantly the trail gets absolutely covered in water so all we can do is keep on riding we keep on splashing through the puddles and it makes for a really fun end to a day on the Dunes Trail.
We’re quickly taking the time to dry ourselves and our clothes or actually just changing them cos there’s no way we can dry under this awful weather but it’s New Zealand so you know that after 30 minutes the weather turns to perfection. Look at this amazing sunny weather we have when we arrive at the Ohope Holiday Park.
This Top 10 Holiday Park is absolutely amazing it is gigantic there is space for a thousand people it’s crazy plus there’s heaps of facilities here they have their own swimming pool there own mini golf there own bouncing pillows it’s really awesome and you know us, we take advantage of everything which is available when checking in.
All those facilities are actually one of the reasons why we love staying in holiday parks rather than freedom camping. With freedom camping you get the absolutely amazing scenery but in holiday parks you have access to so many facilities for usually a very small fee.