Video: Ride Rotorua Top Ten Trails #1 – Te Tihi O Tawa


Words by Flow | Images by Graeme Murray, Damian Breach

Could you name your favourite trail in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest? With hundreds of kilometres of the world’s best singletrack to chose from, picking one trail as top dog is a big ask.

Gaz Sullivan – the force behind Nzo clothing – has spent more time in the forest than most of the trees have. He nominated Te Tihi O Tawa as his pick of the bunch.

A lesser ridden trail, Te Tihi O Tawa was carved from the native bush by Richard Caudwell and a small band of trail pixies in 2011. It’s up high in the forest, way up top of Tawa, and in the wet it transforms into a supremely slippery, fun, flowing challenge. It’s one of the greenest, most outrageously alive trails we’ve ever ridden. The ferns, moss, creepers and vines seem to fill the air.

In the dry it’s a grade 3, like you see it in the video, wet, it’s a grade 4. Te Tihi O Tawa feeds directly into Billy T, undoubtedly another mainstay of the forest.

A big thanks must be extended to the Tuhourangi Tribal Authority and the Department of Conservation – particularly Simon Alefosio-Tuck – for the creation of Te Tihi O Tawa.

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