Mountain biker in hospital with spinal injuries

A mountainbike rider is in Rotorua Hospital with spinal injuries after a fall in Whakarewarewa Forest.

The 16-year-old Rotorua girl injured her spine in a fall and had to be flown to hospital.

The Rotorua-based BayTrust rescue helicopter was sent to help ambulance crew at 3pm.

Due to the rugged terrain it was decided to airlift the patient out of the area.

"Obviously ambulance staff treat any spinal injuries pretty seriously," pilot Barry Vincent said.

"The idea of bouncing her along the road in the back of the ambulance was not deemed to be the right thing to do ... to prevent any possible further damage."

She was flown to Rotorua Hospital in a comfortable condition.

A Rotorua Hospital spokeswoman said the girl arrived in a stable condition and was awaiting test results.

Whakarewarewa is touted as having one of the oldest mountainbike networks in the country, with varying topography and fantastic scenery.

It has about 130 kilometres of trails for beginners and family groups through to ones suited to experts looking for extreme action.