Rotorua trails

Rotorua mountain biking is set in the Whakarewarewa forest on the south edge of town, not far from Lake Rotorua. This forest contains a variety of managed trees and some native varieties. The managed forest bit means that at any time there are compartments of the forest out of action because of logging activity (a bit like Sparrow Hill) but because it has the full support of the forest managers the trails don't stay out of action for long (and there are a lot of them so the loss is less keenly felt).
The hills are quite steep and fairly high (almost 400 metres of elevation gain from the parking lot to the summit). Almost all the trails are focussed on the descents - while there are a few like Frontal Lobotomy that go only up - the majority go down. Old Chevy and Rollercoaster both finish lower than they begin but have substantial climbs in the middle - these are the more XC oriented descents. All of the trails that start at, or near, the shuttle drop-off point are descent-only, DH bike-friendly trails (including the National DH course, Corners and Little Red Riding Huck).
The very top of the hills (over 600 m elevation for sure, possibly higher) have quite a different feel to the lower tracks. On Tuhoto Ariki and Te Tiwi O Tawa the change is dramatic - suddenly you hit the lower zone and the soil is instantly drier and the tracks have much more grip. While we did see some rocks during our stay, these tracks are mostly rich, fertile volcanic soils and the traction is abundant.
Trail naming convention is fairly usual for mountain bike areas - the trail starts and ends at a firetrail and the continuous section gets a name. Sometimes the trail crosses the road and continues while other times the track that picks up directly across the road was built by someone else or at another time (or has a completely different flavour) and therefore gets a new name. So the map contains about 50 tracks but in flow terms it is fewer (though you can put together an awful lot of routes). For example my favourite combo was Tuhoto Ariki > Split Enz > Pondy DH > Pondy New > Rollercoaster (which should have finished on Old Chevy, but I was running late for dinner so had to leave that for next visit).