Queenstown is touted as one of New Zealand’s top mountain biking destinations where two wheeled recreation options are seemingly endless. Choose from over 120kms of trails, ranging from leisurely rides through Gibbston Valley vineyards and Lake Hayes Estate to fast paced downhill action from the Skyline Gondola or Cardrona. Spend a day biking out to Arrowtown for lunch, and bike back in time for a beer and the sunset.
NZ’s premier alpine resort has a mind-boggling range of things to do, and Queenstown is MTB heaven; from cruisy, flat trails to heli-biking, multi-day cross-country and extreme downhill rides.
I’m thinking that perhaps that last coffee was not the best idea; my nerves probably could’ve done without the extra stimulation. I’ve witnessed many a tall tale told ‘round the smoko room re-collecting epic days ridin’ the gondy. These did nothing to ease my mind today. I’m not a complete novice, but it’s the first ride of the season, and this is completely unfamiliar territory; undulating single track comprises the extent of my riding experience.
A family ride; that’s what we needed, an opportunity to take our 9 and 5 year-old children out and show them the pleasures to be enjoyed from the seat of one’s bicycle. We decided the Queenstown Trail is an ideal place to do that. This trail network has been a decade-long labour of love that boasts over 100km of trails throughout the Queenstown region. The terrain is easy, if you pick the right section of track, and the views are spectacular.
'The question is, which is the rut of doom and which isn’t?' Laura muttered as she lined up one of four choice ruts. The ruts had plenty of filling to make them more interesting: piles of loose schist, scattered with the odd rock the size of a baby’s head, all snuggled next to the saw-blade-like leaves of Spaniards. This track – winding down into Tuohy’s Saddle - isn’t a track I could think my way down – just look ahead, look ahead, and trust myself and my bike.
The Queenstown MTB club deserve some sort of award for services to humanity. The calibre of the trails they produce has probably significantly increased New Zealand’s national happiness ratings. Well, ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But seriously, these fellas and ladies know what they’re doing, and if you’ve got any sense, you’ll pack your chamois and your bike and go.
Queenstown. Renowned for its beauty and christened the adventure capital of the world, this area once attracted people from all over the world in their droves because of gold. Nowadays people similarly flock here from far and wide because of its beauty and the opportunities that this environment provides to pursue active passions with fervour.
Rolling into Queenstown, bike loaded on the back of the car, I was here for one reason and one reason only: the rad riding I’d heard so much about. Although there are a multitude of trail options for all types of riders in this District, my trail riding buddies had raved over the Gondola accessed Queenstown Bike Park (QBP), giving it a double thumbs up. Not my usual thing but I thought I’d give it a go. Why not, right?