There are two main gear options for people when heading out on a mountain biking adventure in Queenstown; bringing your own bikes or hiring your gear locally.
- Bringing Your Own Bike. If you decide to bring your own mountain bikes, helmets, and gear for your outdoor adventure, it’s good to know that many accommodation providers offer secure storage and may even help with any mechanical bike-related issues you may have. Bringing your own bikes means you can create your own itinerary and have a bit more freedom in your trail selection. If you are unsure of where to ride the local iSITE visitor center will be able to provide trail maps and local information.
- Hiring Your Gear. Queenstown is brimming with mountain biking rental companies who can provide you with all the necessary gear; including helmets, protective gear, repair kits, local expertise, and of course suitable bikes. Bike hire is a convenient way to explore Queenstown’s cycling trails without the responsibility of traveling with your own bikes.
There are many, many tour operators offering a wide variety of options to suit every budget, time frame, and request. Take a quick look through the iSITE website as a starting point, but it really depends on what kind of adventure you are seeking. Two options very popular with Downhillers that are worth mentioning are the Gondola-assisted and heli-biking rides.
Gondola-Assisted Bike Lift
Queenstown is home to New Zealand’s first Gondola assisted bike lift operating as part of the world-renowned Queenstown Bike Park. Experience the leisurely 450 m vertical rise in the Gondola, then gain easy access to one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike parks with over 30 world-class downhill trails on offer.
The Park provides varying terrain for all abilities, with half-day, full-day, multi-day, and season passes available. Trail maps are available online as well as booking and tracking information.
Queenstown has several providers offering awesome back-country Heli-biking options. With more than 400km of trails across five mountain ranges, Queenstown offers the most heli-bike options, in one place, in the world.
This has to be the most epic way to experience some of the best of the trails on offer, all while getting a scenic helicopter ride. The ultimate choice for serious Downhillers tailored tour options available. Popular heli-biking operators in Queenstown are Fat Tyre Heli Biking and Vertigo Bikes.
There are a huge variety of mountain biking trails available in and around the Queenstown area. The Department Of Conservation provides free access to a number of mountain biking trails ranging in difficulty from the easier; Bob’s Cove track with mixed terrain and only small climbs, following the shores of Lake Wakatipu to more intermediate cross country tracks in the Seven Mile Scenic Reserve which provides a network of fun trails incorporating berms, jumps and wooden log features.
Advanced and expert riders would enjoy the Lake Dispute Track; it takes in a steep high country climb through native Pittosporums to Lake Dispute, a popular fishing spot.
A good source of information on local Queenstown trails is The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club. They develop and maintain a wide variety of local mountain bike tracks that cater to all types of mountain bikers. The Club can provide a wealth of local advice and knowledge, helping point you in the right direction.
Top Six Mountain Biking Trails In Queenstown
- 12 Mile Delta Trail. Considered an easy to intermediate ride, the 12 Mile Delta starts at the DOC camping ground off Glenorchy Road and takes riders out to Bob’s Cove and back. The terrain is fairly flat most of the way and the ride covers 20 km.
- Rude Rock Trail. At 7 km it may not seem too daunting but the Rude Rock Trail offers riders a couple of steep and exposed sections just to get the adrenaline pumping along with some awesome views of Skippers Canyon.
- 7 Mile Reserve. Purpose built dual access trails designed with walkers and mountain bike riders in mind. Suitable for all levels with jumps, berms and banked corners to add to the thrills.
- The Queenstown Trail. Part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail, the Queenstown Trail covers an epic one hundred kilometres of tracks that wind their way through the Wakatipu Basin. While mountain biking is the main attraction, the trails are enjoyed by walkers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
- Gorge Road Jump Park. Hard-core freestylers can’t go past this professionally built bike park. The manmade jump park offers a vast selection of features from rollers and mini table tops, through to 7m gaps and vertical berms. This jump park has something for all ages and abilities.
- Lake Dispute Track. Add on the Moke Lake track and riders will have an awesome day ahead. The Lake Dispute track is classed as Intermediate but has some advanced parts along the way.
Always be sure to check out the difficulty ratings on your track prior to departure to make sure it will be suitable for your group and remember to respect any trail closures you may come across. Whether you’re looking for epic trail rides or extreme downhill adventures, Queenstown has it all! Whatever your choice, you won’t be disappointed.