Rere Falls Trail
By Jim Robinson
Jim Robinson lives in the eastern Bay of Plenty, near Opotiki. He got hooked on biking about 1980 and is involved in governance of the Motu Trails.
Thanks to a century of backcountry farming and forestry, and having low population, Eastland is stellar for gravel road adventure. One of New Zealand’s true gravel greats is the Motu Road, which has 48km of epic gravel, and was the first road to link Opotiki and Motu. Less well known, but also carrying genuine credentials, Rere Falls Trail is 100km of mostly quiet roads from Matawai to the Gisborne plains. Rere Falls Trail has 25km+ of gravel plus attractions like Rere Rockslide and Eastwoodhill Arboretum, where you’ll find 25km of walking trail. Opotiki to Gisborne or vice versa is about 180km, with around 3000 metres of elevation, and multiple options to add to that.
Good places to stay include Tirohanga Beach Motor Camp (Opotiki, tirohangabeachmotorcamp.co.nz), Toatoa Farmstay (Motu Road, toatoaaccommodation.co.nz), Motu Community House (Motu Road, see motutrails.co.nz directory), Eastwoodhill Arboretum (Ngatapa, eastwoodhill.org.nz), The Jolly Stockman (Matawhero, jollystockman.co.nz) and Portside Hotel (Gisborne, portsidegisborne.co.nz).