Keen mountain bikers will flick on their headlamps and head into the Whakarewarewa Forest for Rotorua's iconic Nzo Moonride this weekend.

The popular event has been running for 22 years in Rotorua and sees participants ride for up to 24 hours in the forest.

The event, which starts at 10pm tonight, is based at Waipa carpark and includes a 9-kilometre circuit. Teams can take part in the six-hour, 12-hour or 24-hour events.

Event Promotions general manager Murray Fleming said: "It is definitely worth coming down and having a look. It is a real party atmosphere and a really colourful event.

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"It is all about the enjoyment. The mountain biking is just the excuse to come and have a good time."

He said about 150 teams entered this year with the most popular discipline being the 12-hour event, which starts at 10am tomorrow.

Mr Fleming said it was a great opportunity for families to ride together, with teams made up of two to five riders.

"We do have quite a few family groups. One family entered this week from Canada and just arrived in the country."

A Rotorua family, the Shallards, have taken part nearly every year and will race in memory of the late Michael Shallard this weekend.

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