A trail of lights sped through the Redwood forest on Saturday night on a mission for fun and adventure.

Learning about the night sky above them, whānau decked out their bikes in fairy lights for the first Matariki Bike the Night Ride in Rotorua.

Rotorua Lakes Council sustainable journeys co-ordinator Narelle Brown said bikes of all sizes were present and some people even showed up in costume.

"It's a whole new adventure having something at night time.


"Everyone had put lights on their bikes, we had fairy lights, Christmas lights, flashing lights on their helmets and glow sticks. We really had a point of difference from other riders."

It was easy for this little rider to be seen through the forest. Photo / Supplied
It was easy for this little rider to be seen through the forest. Photo / Supplied

Silver ferns that lined the forest path were also reflecting the glow from the bikes which made the forest come alive.

She said night riding was common for mountain bikers but her hope was families would feel connected and realise they could be active at any time of the day.

But that wasn't the only lesson whānau went home with.

"A big focus of ours is trying to incorporate as much te reo Māori in our bike skills as possible so this was a great opportunity to convey another message to not only the kids but the adults as well."

Once all the riders reached the top of the Mokopuna Trail, whānau enjoyed a Matariki story.

Safer Journeys active modes facilitator Georgie Griffiths studies te reo Māori in her own time and incorporates the reo at work and therefore was happy to lead the lesson.

"I thought a night ride for Matariki and getting together with family fits the whole Matariki celebration.


"It was awesome biking along and looking behind you at the trail all lit up."