Kaimanawa Descent

The North Islands only private, grade 3, 22km down hill heli-biking trail

About the Trail

The Kaimanawa Descent is a 23km down hill mountain biking trail, designed to accommodate intermediate to advanced level riders (grade 3). The package begins with a helicopter flight from our base (South Taupō) to the trail head on the Patutu Tops (1673m). The first 15km will see you descend through Kaimanawa alpine tussock country, taking in the spectacular views of the entire Central Plateau and the towering volcanic peaks of the Tongariro National Park. The final 8km twists and turns through New Zealand native mountain beech forest, to finish back at our base on Waipakihi Road.  

The total ride descent is just under 2500ft! (800m), With 430m of climbing.

 The ride itself takes between three and four hours, allowing plenty of time to stop and soak up the views. 

Our helicopter transport e-bikes and regular bikes. We recommend an E-Bike for riders who are not bike fit.

See below for a cross section and birds eye view of the ride.

Please note we cannot take ‘Fat Boy’ Tyres as they do not fit onto our racks (max 2.8inch/7.1cm wide).

Also see below photos of our bike racks we use on our helicopter, all the bikes are secured in runner with padding between the bikes to ensure your bike is not damaged during the flight.

Please note pricing is valid until 30th June annually.


From May through to October we will be opening Saturdays weekly. However, we will require a minimum of 12 riders to go ahead with the booking.

We will notify you 4 days prior to your winter booking if minimum numbers have not been reached. In which case we will have to postpone or cancel. 

Click here for FAQ

Summer Ride Times

More information?

For groups of 15 riders or more contact us for reduced rates. 


 For more information about our trail  email or call our office

Kaimanawa Descent

$ 480pp 2 passengers
  • $400pp
    for 3 or more.
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These wicked photos below are thanks to the amazing Ann Hunn!

Trail Cross Section

We Take Safety Seriously

Here at Kaimanawa Alpine Adventures your safety and enjoyment is of highest priority. To ensure the safety of your ride, Stationed every 2.5km along the trail are track markers with PLBs, First Aid Equipment and bike maintenance equipment. Each party will be given a safety card to take with them on the ride explaining what to do in the case of emergency or break down.

Trail Birds Eye View

Check out how we transport our bikes!

Book your Adventure

To check availability please fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours