Head deep into the east of New Zealand’s North Island and discover the Dunes Trail, Pakihi Track, Motu Road Trail, and Rere Falls Trail! Whether you are wanting an easy bike ride or walk with family or friends, a back-country mountain bike or trail run, or a multi-day bike-packing journey between Ōpōtiki in the Bay of Plenty and Tairāwhiti/Gisborne, you will find it here.

Motu Trails aims to bring economic and social benefits to the region — attracting visitors and also providing some fantastic recreation opportunities for locals. The trails are one of 22 Great Rides on Ngā Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trails.

With Ōpōtiki’s Dunes Trail, there is also a strong conservation component. The Motu Trails Charitable Trust, which is the governance hub of the Motu Trails, has a biodiversity management agreement with BOPRC. Over the last six years, close to 25,000 trees and plants have been dug in along the Dunes Trail, with three volunteer planting days most winters. Some planting days have seen upwards of 30 people turn out. Thanks to this impressive community support, the level of regeneration along the Dunes Trail is impressive. The next step is to roll out predator trapping.

Around Motu Trails, there are ongoing trail enhancements led by the Motu Trails Charitable Trust. In 2021, projects included a new shelter at the top of Meremere hill on the Motu Road, new signage and displays on the Dunes Trail and Rere Falls Trail, and new bench seats on the Dunes Trail and Pakihi Track. The new Motu Road shelter is the same design as all around Motu Trails. Motu Road now has five shelters like this and the Dunes Trail three. More are planned.

On the Dunes Trail, more pottery bird tile displays were installed in 2021, made by Cheddar Valley Pottery. While artistic, the birds are coloured realistically and are life sized, aiming to help trail users identify species they see while out riding or walking. Thank you to Ōpōtiki Lions Club who supported this project.

New bench seats were made possible by donations from 2020 and 2021 riders of the remarkable Kōpiko Aotearoa, cape to cape bike-packing event. Rider donations also supported trail maintenance. There’s plenty more being planned around Motu Trails in 2022.

Motu Trails Charitable Trust has eight volunteer trustees, from across the wider region. The trust works closely with Ōpōtiki District Council, Trust Tairāwhiti, DOC, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board and other organisations. There are other local volunteers who help, for example with track maintenance.

If you’d like to support Motu Trails Charitable Trust, please visit givealittle.co.nz/org/motutrails or donate straight into this account: Motu Trails Charitable Trust, 06-0637-0259896-00. Thank you!