'Dig, ride, discuss, repeat' at the Trail Fund NZ conference

'Dig, ride, discuss, repeat' at the Trail Fund NZ conference


The annual Trail Fund NZ Conference and AGM provides an opportunity for volunteer and professional trail builders, land managers and interested mountain bikers around the country to come together and discuss all that relates to trail building – from land access to signage to safety obligations

This year, Trail Fund NZ is stoked to co-host its annual conference in Rotorua with NZ Professional Mountain Bike Association, a newly formed group that advocates for bike parks, guides and instructors in Rotorua on Saturday 22nd/Sunday 23rd September 2018.

On Saturday, we’ll have a chance to ride some great trails before the conference kicks off around 4:30pm.

Interested in instructing or guiding? The NZPMBA will be hosting some sessions at Skyline Rotorua during the day. More information to come.

Once the conference starts, we’ll spend some time hearing from trail builders, associated organisations and landowners about the economic impact trails can have, strategies to tackle land access issues, an update on the Backcountry Trust and more. We’ll also hear from NZPMBA about the Activity Safety Guidelines that are being developed for bike parks and the new NZ Qualifications for Guiding and Instructing. Each talk will be about seven minutes to ensure we can cover a number of topics, with plenty of time for questions.

The conference will end with another of our popular Trail Fund debates! We will be picking a team form each of our host organisations and the topic will relate to pros versus volleys.

If you’re interested in sharing some insight on trail building techniques, challenges or success, please get in touch at grants@trailfund.org.nz or trailcrew@trailfund.org.nz

Keen to upskill as well? On Sunday, Trail Fund will be running two of its trail building courses – Trail Crew and Trail Leader. Trail Crew is ideal for those who are new to trail building or those who need to induct new trail builders at a work party. Trail Leader is designed to help work party leaders become more effective in their role. For more info on what’s included, certification and cost, visit HERE. To register, visit our website.


Everyone from the MTB community is welcome, whether you are a professional or a volunteer, experienced, or new. We have kept the cost minimal, it just covers food and venue/equipment hire for the Saturday afternoon and evening.

Never heard of the NZPMBA? They are a newly formed group that advocates for Bike Parks, Guides and Instructors. Find out more about them on their website http://nzpmba.org.nz/

To take part in the discussion, or just listen in, join Trail Fund NZ in Rotorua to dig, ride and discuss the roles volunteers and landowners continue to play in developing NZ’s trail network going forward. There will be shuttles, craft beer, great riding and plenty of time for banter. Check out the full details below:

Saturday September 22nd

The indoor formalities won’t kick off until the afternoon, so there is time for exploring the forest. If the weather is fine, you can jump on the Southstar shuttle, or head over to the Skyline Gravity Park. We’ll organise some groups so people can choose what type of ride they’d like, including a women-only ride, a more cross-country low key option and an epic enduro adventure.

Interested in instructing or guiding? The NZPMBA will be hosting some sessions at Skyline Rotorua during the day. More information to come.

The talks and AGM will start about 4pm. The venue is Abracadabra Cafe and Bar, 1263 Amohia Street, Rotorua.

We will have a series of ‘lightning’ talks. Each speaker will present for a maximum of seven minutes.

We have a few lined up already, but if you are interested in presenting, please contact us at grants@trailfund.org.nz.

We also plan on bringing back the debate format from last year, so keep a watch on our Facebook page for when we publish the moot.

The Trail Fund AGM will take place after dinner.

We pride ourselves on keeping the formalities short – just a report on our year’s activities, and a chance to discuss opportunities for supporting volunteer-led track maintenance and builds. After this, we will stay on for more chatting, networking and potentially.

Sunday 23rd September

On Sunday, conference attendees will have a few options:

  • Trail Fund and The Rotorua Trails Trust will be running a Dig Day, where you can help out at a track work party
  • We will be running a Trail Crew course – this is a course for mainly newbie track crew, but old hands may learn a thing or two as well. Register HERE.
  • We will also be running a Trail Leader course – this is a course for current and potential project leaders, covering how to lead a trail project and manage others. Register HERE.

All sessions will end around midday.


By purchasing a ticket to the event you will also become a member of Trail Fund NZ and have voting privileges at our AGM. If you would prefer not to become a member then let us know when you order your ticket and we will make a note of that.

Your name will be on the door (super flash!) so you don't have to worry about printing anything out. If you are ordering for more than one person let us know when you are at the checkout via the "SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SELLER" box what the names are of the other people. Thanks!


$45 to cover the expenses of putting on nibbles and dinner on Saturday.  There will also be a cash bar (as in your cash).

Venue (for talks & AGM)

Abracadabra Cafe http://www.abracadabracafe.com/

Food Preferences/ Allergies

For planning purposes please tell us via your order selection if you are an Omnivore, Vegan, Vegetarian or Gluten Free. And if you have any food allergies, or any other dietary requests not listed, please let us know when you order your ticket via the "SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SELLER" box on check out and we will do our best to accommodate.