North of Wellington near Otaki, the Waiotauru Valley Trail in the Tararua Forest Park is one tough trip, but the scenery is great. If you do not mind a few kilometres of tramping you ll love it.
To reach the mountain biking trailhead from Otaki, head south on SH1 to Waikanae. Turn left heading southeast on Akatarawa Road to the saddle (525m). Start riding east on 4WD logging road into Tararua Forest Park for 8km. Ascend another saddle (820m). Continue northeast down 6km on rough route to Waiotaura Hut. Continue northeast over logging bridges for 4km to Waiotauru Forks. Look for a sinletrack on the left crossing a swingbridge. Follow this difficult route to Otaki Forks. From Otaki Forks, follow the road northwest for 15km back into Otaki.
Overall, Waiotauru Valley Trail is the 4th most popular mountain bike trail of all 41 mountain biking rides in New Zealand.