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The 120 kilometres of the Queenstown Trail combines a series of trails within the Wakatipu Basin incorporating the wine area of Gibbston valley, the historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown, Lake Hayes, Frankton and Queenstown.
The trail is technically very easy and suitable for all ages and abilities, however there are a few hill climbs and descents that may require some walking. While a keen cyclist could set off and ride the trail in its entirety in a day, most will choose to base themselves in Queenstown, Arrowtown or surrounds, and ride one or more of the shorter routes available at a leisurely pace.
The Queenstown Trail is a collection of seven stand-alone (but connected) rides. They vary in length so there is something suitable for everyone. They are listed below, along with their lengths and level of difficulty (grade)
Gibbston River trail - 9 Km, Easy
The Gibbston River Trail explores the lovely Gibbston wine region of the Wakatipu. Cycle amongst the vineyards, sample local Pinot Noir and take in the splendour of the mighty Kawarau River.
Lake Wakatipu ride - 15 KM, Easy
This ride sets off from downtown Queenstown and follows the shores of the lake around to Kelvin Heights. A wide shared-path, it is highly suited for families.
Arrow River bridges ride - 16 km, Easy
The trail from Arrowtown to GIbbston crosses five newly constructed bridges over the Arrow River and passes through quaint country lanes and paddocks. You'll cross the world-famous AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge before arriving in beautiful Gibbston Valley, via the Gibbston River Trail.
Lake Hayes circuit - 8 km, Intermediate
Complete the loop of this beautiful lake - one of the country's most photographed. Follow single track and boardwalks around the lake edge, passing historic cottages and plenty of iconic viewpoints. This short ride is a must-do.
Countryside ride - 12 km, Intermediate
This section of the trail connects the Shotover River with Arrowtown, while taking in the peaceful countryside of the Wakatipu. Throughout most of the ride you have views of The Remarkables and you pass the luxurious Millbrook Resort. The Shotover Bridge is also an attraction of its own.
Twin rivers ride - 26 KM, Intermediate
This section of the Queenstown Trail links Frankton to Gibbston Valley. Mostly following the vivid blue waters of the Kawarau River, it also winds up to cross the iconic Lower Shotover Bridge. The newly built cycle trail passes rolling farmland and native forest before climbing high above the river with sweeping views of the Wakatipu Basin and Remarkables. This track does have a couple challenging hills, but these can be walked if needed.
Jacks Point ride - 12 km, Advanced
This might be one of the most spectacular day rides in the Queenstown Region. It can be combined with the Lake Wakatipu Ride (above), or ridden separately. Following on from Kelvin Heights, there are some bigger climbs that might not suit beginners or children, but the views down Lake Wakatipu are simply stunning.