The Family Grind: Stars Spokes and Tent Poles

Part of the Rotorua Bike Festival, 20-21 October 2018

The Big Idea

The idea of this event is to give kids and their parents a chance to ride an overnight bike ride to a place that normally can’t be accessed on a bike and spend the night on the shores on one of our stunning Rotorua lakes, Lake Okareka.

The full ride from the Redwoods Info Centre could be ridden by kids from about 10 upwards. For younger intrepid adventurers a second starting point will be the Air-Stream Cafe at the Blue Lake. We’ll be passing Acacia Reserve on the way to the farm so for the teeny-weeny explorers, a start from there is also an option. From the reserve, it’s about 3 kilometers to get to our destination.

The Route In (Saturday Afternoon)

The ride will start from the Redwoods information center at 4 pm on Saturday the 20th. We'll ride up Nursery Rd and turn left onto Red Tank Rd. This will lead us up to the clearing at the start of Rude Not to. From there we will head up Pipeline and Windy Rd all the way around to the climb up the hill to the blue lake. Planning to arrive at the blue lake somewhere between 17:00 and 17:30. From the Blue Lake, we'll ride down Okareka Loop Rd and turn right into Acacia Rd (and Acacia Rd Reserve, our second alternative starting point) to ‘Langford’s Farm’ entrance just before the Okareka Walkway.

Once on the Longford’s Farm, we'll ride to our camping spot near Silver beach at the far end of the farm. Langford’s farm is a working farm so we'll need to stick together and ride as a group to the paddock where we'll set up camp. Silver Beach is a lovely swimming spot to cool off after the ride and where we can relax have dinner and enjoy the evening and (hopefully) watch the first stars come out before crawling into our tents.

The Route Out (Sunday Morning)

After a refreshing morning dip and breakfast, we’ll break camp and head back to civilization. We’ll head up the other end of Okareka Loop Rd and back into the Whaka forest opposite the ’Black House’ where we’ll join up with Pipeline Rd. At the end of Pipeline, we’ll blast down Rude Not To and back on Nursery Rd to our finishing point outside the Redwoods Info Centre.


  • Redwoods info center to Blue lake = 10.5 km
  • Blue Lake to Acacia Reserve = 2 km
  • Acacia Reserve to Longford's Farm Entrance = 700m
  • Longford's Farm Entrance to Silver Beach = 2.3 km

Total distance from the Rotrorua Redwoods to Silver beach at the end of Lake Okareka = 15.5 km