Mountain biking

Kauri are under threat from disease, commonly know as 'kauri dieback' which can be spread through a pinhead of dirt. As you know, mountain bikes get dirty. But by carrying out some basic preparation, responsible mountain bikers like you are helping save kauri.

Photo of woman mountain biking in forest

How to guidelines

  • Keep a cleaning kit in your vehicle that includes brushes, an adequate supply of Sterigene (which is available from vet clinics), and plastic bags for bagging any gear that can’t be cleaned on-site. To avoid spreading contaminated soil inside your vehicle, pack a second pair of footwear for the drive home.
  • Carry a brush and disinfectant on your ride too.
  • Clean all soil off your tyres, frame (including recesses), clothing, bag, accessories and footwear, every time you enter or leave an area with native trees, and as you enter a new catchment. This is to avoid introducing the disease to a new area, or moving it from an area where the disease is. A pinhead of soil is enough to spread the disease. Do not use water (including stream water) to clean gear, unless it will be captured in a sewer, for instance – the pathogen that causes dieback is a water mould, and is activated by water.
  • Use disinfectant only after you have removed all the soil; spray it on all the areas that have come into contact with soil.
  • Only ride on designated mountain bike tracks. These should avoid going near kauri wherever possible (a kauri’s roots are extremely delicate, are susceptible to disease, and can grow outwards 3x as far as a tree’s branches). If an area has been closed or is protected by a rahui, do not use it. Closures are only made when the risk of spreading the disease from an area is extremely high, or because that area is at extraordinary risk.
  • Never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. Infected trees may not show it.
  • Spread the word within your networks about the need for mountain bikers to help stop the spread of kauri dieback, and be seen doing the right thing. Everyone has a part to play in saving kauri.

National plan to protect kauri

From 2 August 2022 ten new rules/regulations have been introduced as part of a national plan to help protect kauri from the Phytophthora Agathidicida (PA) pathogen that causes ‘dieback’ disease.

More information on the Plan and how it may affect your visit.

This resource will be updated in the coming months, with new resources to be developed. Last updated: March 2017.

The information in this guide is intended to be general information. It is not intended to take the place of, or to represent, the written law of New Zealand or other official guidelines or requirements. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this document is accurate, the Ministry for Primary Industries (and any of their employees or agents involved in the drafting of this guide) do not accept any responsibility or liability for any error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion which may be present, nor for the consequences of any decisions or actions based on this information.

The Ministry/The Kauri Protection Programme itself and on behalf of all the persons mentioned above, clarifies that it has no control over and is not responsible for the contents of any pages referenced or accessed from this guide other than pages provided by the Ministry/The Kauri Protection Programme. Any hyperlinks to other Web sites imply neither responsibility for, nor approval of, the information contained in those other Web sites on the part of the Ministry/The Kauri Protection Programme.