3-5 Days 186 Km


  • Majestic mountain/lake scenery
  • Wilderness adventure
  • Characterful country towns


Grade 2-3

Easy - Intermediate

Across Lake Wakatipu, through a secluded valley, and into lush countryside – this Great Ride is epic in both its scenery and scale.

Around the Mountains, Von Valley Biking, Southland

Serving up some of the most incredible mountain vistas of Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window), this long but largely leisurely cycling adventure begins with a scenic lake cruise from Queenstown. From there the eye-popping views just keep on coming as this trail heads around the mountains via the spectacular Von Valley, Mavora Lakes, and deep, green Southland where small, rural towns offer a warm welcome.

Taking time to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the trail, Queenstown

Ride experience

Although it heads through some remote and rugged country, the Around the Mountains(opens in new window) offers mostly easy riding on wide, gravel paths with plenty of scope for soaking up the vast views. 

Completing the whole trail will take 3–5 days, overnighting in a series of charming Southland towns. Local cycle tour companies offer a variety of day ride options and tours, including the stunning, remote Mavora Lakes section. 

It can be cycled in either direction, but is most commonly started from Queenstown. Rolling your bike onboard for the historic Earnslaw steamship cruise to Walter Peak Station is an exciting start to the journey. Leaving the lakefront, the trail heads through the beautiful Von Valley and past the secluded Mavora Lakes. With the sun on your face and the breeze at your back, you’ll feel like you are riding through paradise. 

The trail then tracks around the Eyre Mountains and along the Oreti River, passing through the small, rural towns of Mossburn, Lumsden, Athol and Garston. The blue waters of Lake Wakatipu greet you once more on the gentle descent down to the finish point at Kingston. 

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails Official Website

A detailed description of this Ngā Haerenga Great Ride, including maps and more information, can be found here.

Around the Mountains(opens in new window)

Station 2 Station Cycle Trail Couple having a drink stop.jpg, New Zealand

Need to know 

  • The trail is mostly graded 2–3 (easy to intermediate), following custom-made cycle paths with gentle gradients. There are, however, a number of sections on public roads where riders should be prepared to encounter traffic, and a long steep climb on the Mavora Lakes section. 
  • Riders wishing to complete the full trail – including the Mavora Lakes section – should be reasonably fit, experienced and self-sufficient. E-mountain-bikes are well suited and welcome, but riders should be properly prepared for the long distance and remoteness of the Mavora Lakes section. 
  • The trail is well signposted, and often in view of roads beyond Mossburn, but riders should still carry a map along with sufficient water and food, basic tool kit and cellphone (although reception will be patchy). 
  • There are toilets dotted at convenient points, plus cafes, accommodation and shops at reasonably regular intervals between Mossburn and Kingston. 
  • The weather around here can be extreme: hot and dry during summer with a lack of shade, and icy cold in winter although snow can also fall in spring and autumn. It’s essential to check in with the locals on the forecast and trail conditions, and be prepared for all possibilities.
Around the Mountain cycle trail, Southland

Transport & tours

Whether you’re looking for a short ride or the full, multi-day adventure, there are plenty of companies offering everything from bike hire and shuttles to full package tours with everything included. The trail’s official partners are listed on the Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window)land and Around the Mountains(opens in new window) websites. 

Getting to Walter Peak Station and the start of the trail involves a scenic cruise from Queenstown, sailing with the TSS Earnslaw(opens in new window) or Barge Services NZ(opens in new window).


Queenstown makes a great base for this Great Ride and the many other trails in the area. There are also numerous accommodation options along the trail at Mossburn, Lumsden, Five Rivers, Athol, Garston and Kingston, plus Mt Nicholas Station(opens in new window) beside Lake Wakatipu, and in nearby Te Anau

Accommodation between Mt Nicholas Station and Mossburn is limited to the DOC campsite(opens in new window) at Mavora Lakes. 

Accommodation providers partnered with the trail can be found on the Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) website, with additional options on the Southland Tourism(opens in new window) and the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail(opens in new window) websites. 

Useful links

Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails(opens in new window) 

Around The Mountains Cycle Trail(opens in new window)

Southland NZ(opens in new window)

Queenstown NZ(opens in new window) 

Great Rides app - Around the Mountains(opens in new window)

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