Family Friendly Bike Rides
Queenstown and Arrowtown have their fair share of ‘big boys and girls’ advanced mountain bike tracks but it’s never been so well set up for family trips as it is these days. If you don’t have your own you can hire bikes for the family in Queenstown or Arrowtown. Bike hire comes with helmets and friendly advice on local bike rides to suit your family’s ability.
THE QUEENSTOWN TRAIL
A new initiative, the 100km Queenstown Trail will combine a series of biking/walking trails within the Wakatipu Basin, incorporating the wine area of Gibbston Valley, the goldmining town of Arrowtown, Lake Hayes, Frankton and Queenstown.
The walking / biking path runs from the entrance at the Queenstown lakeshore around the perimeter of the gardens. It’s totally flat, easy, and very scenic, with the lake on one side and gardens on the other. Lots of places to stop and play or have a
picnic on the beach.
FRANKTON ARM TRACK
This is a good add-on to the Queenstown Gardens track, starting a few minutes’ ride away, at the end of Park Street. Queenstown’s easiest and most popular walk or bike track, it’s about 6km to Frankton Beach; a great picnic or swim spot.
KELVIN HEIGHTS TRACK AND LOOP
Recently upgraded, this is a gorgeous track that’s perfect for all ages. Park at Bayview Road where there’s a toilet and playground. Take the left track towards the golf course and peninsula for a loop ride. Mostly flat, with a short, slightly trickier section that can be walked if not confident. Turn right from Bayview Road for a well-graded, easy lakeside track.
Either direction is 30–40 mins return or do both for a good 1 to 1 ½ hour ride. (Times based on riders aged 10 years and up).
This 8km track runs right around Lake Hayes. It’s varied and slightly undulating, yet easy for children. (There is a section with a fairly steep bank along the far side, so keep smaller children with you). The track is slightly easier clockwise and overall, while not completely flat, makes for a great family outing. Expect to take 45 minutes to an hour for riders 10 years and up.
There are many starting points around Lake Hayes, or it’s a 6km bike ride from Arrowtown.
MILLENNIUM TRACK, ARROWTOWN
An easy, circular route that follows the banks of the Arrow River and includes a couple of bridge crossings. Entirely flat, wide path. Allow about 40 minutes, or take your time, have a picnic or cool off in the river.
ROUND THE MOUNTAINS
Take the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak for a great biking day out. The track follows the lakeshore before heading inland. The entire circuit takes several days, so just ride for as long as you feel like before heading back to Walter Peak Sheep Station.
(Note: Outside Sports can organise a bike hire/steamship combo, or even a guided day excursion for this trip.)
JARDINES TO JACKS POINT
Well-graded, non-technical track that heads out of town, alongside the lake to Jacks Point (where there’s a café and lunch spot).
A few short, grunty sections make this more enjoyable for ages 10 years and over, of at least moderate fitness. Stunning lake views all the way along the track.
JARDINES MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK, KELVIN HEIGHTS
Perfect for kids and adults to improve your confidence and skills and have a play! There’s a BMX pump track circuit plus longer bike courses from 2–6km. Follow the sign on the right to the Jacks Point track. Playground, toilets and picnic area nearby.
OUR FAVOURITE HARDER RIDES
For the more adventurous, head out from Arrowtown on the 4WD track towards Macetown. It’s hilly in parts, with lots of river crossings and steep drop offs, but the track itself is wide and not technical. Allow a half to full day if going all the way, (about 3 hours solid riding return, if experienced and fit) or take a Southern Explorer 4WD tour one way, and bike back!
TWELVE MILE DELTA TO BOB’S COVE
This undulating, intermediate grade single track runs below the Glenorchy Road, starting from Twelve Mile Delta, 10km from Queenstown. Suitable for teens and adults with some experience. Lots of steep ups and downs as well as long, flat sections.
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