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Coming mountain biking at Cardrona this summer? Here’s everything you’re gonna need for a day out in the Bike Park!

Packing for a mountain biking trip can be one heck of a mission. So we thought we’d make you a definitive list of all the gear you’re gonna need for a day on the Cardrona trails - but remember, if you do forget or don’t have a piece of kit, then we can help you out with our on-mountain rentals or retail shop...

trail riding mtb at cardrona bike park

Mountain Bike Gear


This one’s the most obvious, but you’re definitely gonna need a bike. Because the Cardrona trail network is mostly lift-accessed downhill, we recommend a good dual-suspension or downhill bike. Our on-mountain Rental fleet is made up of Trek dual-suspension & DH bikes, so pop in & see the team if you want to try one out!

mountain bike and helmet at cardrona bike park


Here at Cardrona we advise wearing full-face helmets, but regular bike helmets work too.

Goggles or Sunglasses

Some eye protection is a definite must-have up here! Either a pair of MTB goggles or sunglasses will keep dust out of your eyes so you can charge hard all day long.

Safety Padding

We strongly recommend wearing both knee & elbow pads at Cardrona Bike Park.

Bike Tools/Parts

We do offer an on-mountain bike workshop, so if you forget any of this stuff & you need some running repairs, head in & see the team!

cardrona mountain bike park workshop and repairs


Bring your multi-tool for any of your common bike issues, so you can get up & running out on the trails without having to do the “roll of shame” back to Base.

Bike Pump

Cos nobody likes a flattie...

Patch Kit

Just in case of a puncture – but remember you can also get back up & running at the workshop!


ladies mountain biking wearing mons royale at cardrona bike park

Bike Shorts

A decent pair of bike shorts is worth the investment! You shouldn’t be sitting down much when you’re riding the Bike Park so padding isn’t essential, but a good pair that moves well & breathes is highly recommended.


We recommend something that breathes well but can be a warmer under-layer if there’s a cold breeze (which can happen often on the mountain!). 

Wind/Waterproof jacket

A decent waterproof windbreaker is an essential addition to your mountain bike wardrobe if you don’t already have one! You want something lightweight, breathable & fully-sealed, to keep you dry while you’re out in damp conditions. 

Spare Mid-Layer

It always pays to keep a spare mid-layer in your car or backpack when you come up to Cardrona. Our Base Area is at 1620m & the top of the mountain at 1860m - the weather can change really quickly so be prepared with something extra to put on in case it gets cold.

Full-Finger MTB Gloves

To protect your fingers from vibrations, cold, friction, & any tumbles you might take!

MTB Socks

Get yourself some merino, you won’t regret it!

MTB Shoes

Make sure these fit well, ideally have a stiff sole & a catch-free lacing system.


Lift Pass

Don’t forget your lift pass! We’ve got a couple of options - you can either wear a Bike Park wristband with your pass linked to it, or carry a physical card. If you do forget your pass, pop in & see the Guest Services team to get a new one.

lift gates rfid at cardrona bike park nz

Water Bottle or Bladder

Not 100% necessary - you can always pop into The Lounge to grab a quick drink before heading back onto the trails again!

Phone with Strava Installed

If you’re competitive, get Strava on your phone or smartwatch & see if you can take out the top trail times (lots of them are held by some of our staff). It also pays to put the Dirt Patrol phone number in your phone in case you (or someone else) needs them - +64 3 443 1576

Wallet & ID

If you’re finishing your day with the Peak to Pub, don’t forget to carry your wallet with ID so you can grab a cold one at the famous Cardrona Hotel! You’ll also need it to grab lunch on the go from The Lounge, or to devour the barbecue on TGIF late-night Fridays…

Now you've got the list, get packing! We'll see you up here to ride the Bike Park soon...

About the Author

Jen Houltham


Jen is Cardrona's resident word nerd. She's out & about on the mountain most days; a big fan of carving groomed runs, powder hunting & laps through Lil' Bucks!