Sticky Forest is an exotic pine forest plantation to the north of town centre, crisscrossed by more than 30km of trails built and maintained by Wanaka's mountain biking community. There are satisfying rides to suit all tastes, from leisurely cruises to white-knuckle downhills with insane drops and jumps.
A good starting point is the climb via Hoe Down and Easy Street to a ridgeline with awesome lake and mountain views. Follow this with a blast down Venus, a beautifully bermed intermediate trail dotted with fun jumps. From Venus Landing it’s possible to head back up to the ridge via Crankin Fine’s curvaceous switchbacks before whizzing back down via around a dozen other options. Highlights for more advanced riders include Yumpts’ technical switchbacks, and Stumpy’s swift, sweeping berms that terminate at the Hub along with nine other trails.
The riding surface throughout the park is normally dry and fast, although pine needles can reduce traction – which equals more fun, right? Manmade obstacles, gap-jumps and table-tops up the fun-factor even further, but these can easily be avoided by those wishing to play it safe.
With one stand of pine forest looking pretty similar to another it’s pretty easy to get lost, so download the park map from the Bike Wanaka website(opens in new window). Better still, pick one up from a local bike shop where you can also get the low-down on the latest trail conditions.
Multiple access points to Sticky Forest include the car parks at the end of Platinum Ridge and Infinity Drive. The park can also be reached off-road via the super-scenic Wanaka Lakeside Trails from town, or linked up with the Deans Bank Trail to make a meatier mission.