New signage at Ōtanewainuku Forest
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


New signage has been installed on some DOC tracks in the Tauranga District reminding the public of the regulations around mountain biking in the area.

Date:  26 June 2018

Ongoing trail damage from mountain biking in a prohibited area of public conservation land near Te Puke has prompted DOC staff to increase messaging and encourage better trail etiquette. 

Ōtanewainuku Forest and Otawa Scenic Reserve tracks are not developed for mountain biking. In the past few years, there has been evidence of vegetation trimming and tyre tracks through this area. 

Craig Summers, Senior Recreation Ranger in Tauranga, says there are more appropriate places to mountain bike in the Bay of Plenty. 

“We encourage mountain bikers to visit the established mountain biking parks and trails around the Bay. These trails are formed and maintained for mountain biking and can provide a similar outdoor experience as Ōtanewainuku and Otawa forests.”

Additional signage has been put in place at the entrance of Otawa Scenic Reserve, Otawa Sanctuary, and Ōtanewainuku Forest.

DOC is reminding mountain bikers to ride only where it is permitted. Regulations are in place to help preserve tracks and ecosystems, avoid annoyance to other visitors, and help protect native wildlife. There are many alternative parks and trails developed for mountain biking in the Bay of Plenty as well as numerous DOC trails around the country.

Mountain biking can pose safety hazards for trampers who are not expecting to share the narrow trail with a biker. It can also cause structural damage, such as erosion from ruts and the reduction of drainage, leading to more muddy areas and a less enjoyable experience for everyone.

Ōtanewainuku Forest and Otawa Scenic Reserve are home to kiwi, North Island robins, fantails, tūī, tomtit, grey warblers and other native birds. Respecting the trail etiquette can help our species thrive and ensure these places are preserved for future generations to enjoy. 

Additional information

Find mountain biking grade tracks in your region.

No dogs allowed in Ōtanewainuku Forest or Otawa Scenic Reserve.


Tracy Mezger, Community Ranger, Tauranga
Mobile: +64 27 536 6839

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