Five Things You May Not Know About Crankworx Rotorua

© Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

© Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

Crankworx Rotorua is just what’s needed to kickstart another amazing season of mountain biking!

The multi-stop international festival series launched this week as the best riders landed in Rotorua, New Zealand, to conquer its amazing mountains. 

Here are five things you may be interested to know. 

It’s the 5th Crankworx Rotorua

With four years under its chain, Crankworx Rotorua is returning for its a fifth run in New Zealand. The ‘Superbowl’ of mountain bike festivals was introduced to the southern hemisphere in August 2014; after the first event in March 2015, the locals were hooked and by the end of 2016, a 10-year contract had been signed. Crankworx Rotorua isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! 

The Rotorua crowd is huge 

This means the 39,000 spectators who attended last year’s Crankworx Rotorua can rest easy – along with the 1,037 professional athletes, 160 Kidsworx competitors, and 363 volunteers.  

Rotorua has a long mountain bike history 

It’s no surprise that the festival is embraced by locals and visitors alike. Rotorua is a heaven for mountain bikers – home to over 180 km of continuous trails and one of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country. Suitable for beginners and elite riders, all you need to do is start pedalling! 


At Crankworx, elite riders will be flying down the mountain, but if you pedal at a more leisurely pace you can enjoy some sublime scenery. Surrounding the southern shores of the town’s namesake, Lake Rotorua, Whakarewarewa Forest stretches over 5,600 hectares. With towering Redwoods and bubbling mud pools and geysers, the forest transports you and your bike into a world of your own. 

Influences of Maori culture 

The Forest’s lengthy name is just part of an equally long history that is heavily influenced by the Māori culture indigenous to New Zealand. While their number has significantly decreased since 1300, Māori culture and traditions are deeply rooted in this land – from the infamous haka dance to the Hāngi dinner. Even the name Rotorua – ‘ second lake’ – comes from the Māori language.

So, inflate your bike wheels, practice your haka, and make sure you’ve liked our Facebook page because we’ll be live streaming the action straight  from the mountainside this weekend!