“Boasts tight dropping corners, root-infested off-camber sections, and the occasional roll-over.”
— Ashwell Palmer
Once you turn onto Kataore there is a brief off-camber traverse that involves some pedalling. After that, there is hardly any pedalling required as you'll be on one of the more technical descending trails in the forest. Boasting tight dropping corners, root-infested off-camber sections, and the occasional surprise roll-over you'll need to bring your A-game for this trail.
Love it or hate it, riders are generally in one camp or the other, there is no in-between. If you've enjoyed riding Tuhoto Ariki, Hatu Patu and Tihi O Tawa then step it up a notch to take on Kataore.
If you (or someone you're riding with) prefers the likes of Split Enz and Eagle vs. Shark, then this trail isn't going to be your favourite.
Kurt Lancaster from Empire Of Dirt led the build, along with Rob Metz and Adam King - hand shaping this trail through D.O.C. native bush in 2014.
GETTING THERE: From the highest accessible point of the Whakarewarewa Forest at the summit of Tawa Road drop into the first section of Tuhoto Ariki trail. Tuhoto Ariki is a technical trail in its own right, with a wealth of roots and tricky sections to challenge your ability to maintain flow. It's a good warm up before the signposted turn off to Kataore.
Note - if you get to a grassy clearing, you've missed the turn-off and you're still on Tuhoto Ariki. Kataore is well marked, but the technical nature of Tuhoto Ariki means riders are 100% concentrated on their riding and it is not unknown for people to miss the Kataore turn-off.
GETTING OUT: The trail ends at a T-Junction on The Feeder track. This is a two-way, shared use track, so after high-fiving your mates to celebrate mastering Kataore it's time to cruise out.
Turn left and there is a short singletrack climb with some testing natural stepped root sections, then you're onto Windy road and can go to Hill road or Sidewinder to climb back up to access other trails.
Turn right and you'll be on a predominantly descending trail that exits at the Blue Lake carpark. From here you'll have a long drag on the road around to Tikitapu road to get back into the forest, or climb back up on the roadside verge towards Windy road.