Queenstown Mountain Biking Guide
Queenstown has a reputation for winter action and adventure. But when the snow melts, that doesn’t mean things slow down. Following the lead from other ski resorts around the world like Whistler, Queenstown is making the most of its mountain landscapes all year round. There’s been an explosion of mountain biking activity in Queenstown in recent years.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure in Queenstown during the warmer months, look no further than mountain biking for plenty of action and plenty of fun. Queenstown’s range of tracks and trails are suited to any ability or age. There are extreme downhill options but there are also hundreds of kilometresof gentle, scenic trails. With plenty of options available, you can choose to take it as slow or as fast as you like.
With so many options for mountain biking in Queenstown, we’ve broken it down into three categories - Gentle, Scenic and Extreme.
GENTLE BIKE RIDES AROUND QUEENSTOWN
For a gentle way to start your Queenstown bike riding experiencegrab a bike and get on the Frankton Track. You can start from the Queenstown Gardens, or from Spinnaker Bay and follow the gentle lakeside track to Frankton or further around the lake to Kelvin Heights.
The Queenstown Trail
Opened in 2002, the Queenstown Trail is a spectacular network of trails around the district offering visitors and locals easy, scenic riding. Mostly gentle tracks, The Queenstown Trail is a network of over 100 kilometres of trails around the Wakatipu Basin. You can choose to ride a small part of the trail, or you can set out on a full day adventure. The Queenstown Trail passes through many of the scenic highlights of the district including the vineyards of Gibbston Valley, the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown or the stunning scenery of Lake Hayes. Set off from Queenstown or Arrowtown and choose the best trail for you. The trails are technically easy and suitable for all ages and abilities.
SCENIC RIDES AROUND QUEENSTOWN
Arrowtown to Gibbston Valley
When in wine country.... The Arrowtown to Gibbston River Trial takes you through Gibbston Valley, known as the Valley of the Vines. The 12 kilometre trail takes you to the district’s iconic wineries to cycle amongst the vineyards and indulge in a few Pinot Noirs along the way. Journey over picturesque bridges along the Arrow River, through farms and paddocks before stopping to take in the screams at the AJ Hackett Bungy Bridge. Then take your time through the vineyards of Gibbston Valley.
History and Scenery
With gentle tracks meandering around Lake Wakatipu there are a number of options to see the historic and scenic highlights by bike. Look out for the Old Shotover Bridge track as part of The Wakatipu Trail network, or the Kelvin Peninsula loop that takes you past some of Queenstown’s most beautiful gardens.
ADRENALINE RIDES AROUND QUEENSTOWN
For those wanting to get the adrenaline pumping, Queenstown offers some of the best downhill mountain biking in New Zealand.
Attach your bike to the Skyline gondola and enjoy the 450m rise to the top of the hill to access bike tracks with enviably the best views in town. High above Queenstown, take your pick of 25 world-class downhill trails that make their way through the pine forest. Mostly suited to experienced riders, there are some options for beginners.
The ultimate mountain biking adventure in Queenstown! Ditch the uphill slog and put your bike on a helicopter for VIP delivery to a mountain top location. After you have savoured the jaw-dropping mountain views, the downhill fun begins. There are a number of companies that offer half day and full day mountain biking experiences. It will be hard to do just one run.
BIKE HIRE AROUND QUEENSTOWN
As the popularity of biking grows, there are more options available for bike hire in and around Queenstown. You can pick up a basic bike for cruising the trails or a full-suspension downhill bike with all the protective gear. There are a number of sports stores and dedicated bike outlets in town, as well as bike hire at Skyline Gondola. If you like the idea of biking with a local guide, there are a range of guided bike tour options available, including bike taxis, bike wine tours and downhill shuttle services.
Whether it’s extreme downhill or gentle lakeside trails, Queenstown has plenty of options for bike adventures. No matter your age or ability, it doesn’t get much better than seeing the sights by pedal power.