Next year the magic of Rotorua's forest in the colder months will be celebrated with the launch of a new event, the Winter Forest Festival.

Featuring a Winter Mountain Bike Classic and We Run the Forest, kids activities, an expo, food and live music, the festival from August 3-4 will replace the current Winter Mountain Bike Series which is in its 17th year.

Nduro Events director Tim Farmer said the new festival was a celebration of the forest featuring running and mountain biking events – the most popular recreational uses of the terrain.

"The festival encourages people to take part in events that inspire being fit and healthy with work/life balance, even in the thick of winter. Training programmes on our website will help people to prepare too," he said.

Nduro events co-director Belinda Farmer said the new festival would offer something for everyone with different levels of course options for all abilities.

"Entering a winter running or riding event is a perfect way to get a top-up of magic - both endorphins and the elusive something in the forest that fills you with happiness. We're just providing some inspiration with an event to commit to and get outside to train for," she said.

Tim said the popular Nduro Winter Mountain Bike Series had come to a natural end as their objective for the event was to give participants a different experience every year.

"There's only so many configurations for the varying course distances in the forest over three weekends, so we've become hamstrung finding new combos.

"We also believe after 17 years, the Winter Series has run its natural course.

"With the new Forest Festival, we'll be able to put the resource of planning three separate event weekends, into one, with more exciting additions to be announced."

This year's Icebug We Run the Forest Event on August 4 is already sold out and the Gloworm Winter Mountain Bike Series entries are currently open for the last of the historic series.

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