While staying in Kinloch on Lake Taupo recently, Teresa and I explored the local trails including the W2K trail taking in the headland loop. Here’s what we thought of the W2K Headland Loop ride;
The W2K trail can be accessed in a number of ways. Mainly from Kinloch village by riding around the marina and over the bridge, then following the waterfront to the trail at the end of the road, this will lead you up to the second way to access the trail at Boojum Dell. The final way to access the trail is from the far end of the W2K trail in Whakiapo Bay from Mapara Road.
Kinloch Village has a shop with takeaways and anything you could need for the trails and the cafe next door makes a fantastic post ride coffee. The village has nice clean toilets that a plenty big enough to get changed in too.
As part of the Great Lake Trails network the W2K was I think the first section completed.
What is the trail like?
The W2K trail is set in beautiful NZ native bush with several lookouts offering views back to Kinloch, across the lake to the central plateau mountains and down to Whakiapo Bay. In summertime you will be overwhelmed with the roar of Cicadas, in winter, the birdsong will enchant.
As with most of the trails in the Taupo region, the trail surface is easy riding hardpacked pumice which offers good traction and drainage in the wet.
The trail is multi-use for both walkers and riders and is two-way so some caution and courtesy is needed out on the trail.
Other trail users will appreciate if you slow down and let them know how many other riders are in your party.
From Boojum Dell you have a gentle but steady climb with loads of switchbacks for around 5kms where will you get to the to the intersection which offers a turnoff to take the headland loop.
The headland loop section itself is about 9kms with a lookout spur near the start of the loop. The lookout offers views back to Kinloch but when we rode it, it was a little overgrown.
The Headland loop offers a few other lookouts with dramatic views, checkout our video for some of the highlights.
We clocked about 21kms for our ride which took us back into the village with the headland lookout spur, and taking into account our lookout stops, we spent about 3 hours on the trail.
For more specs and trail GPS coordinates, checkout the Trailforks link here.
Checkout our YouTube video of the trail below and let us know what you think, have you ridden the W2K headland loop trail? Did you enjoy it as much as we did?
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