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You can’t really come all the way around the world to New Zealand and miss Queenstown, but unless you have a dirt jumper or downhill bike then it’s best to keep your stay to three days.
The town is lively - as you would expect with a town who proclaim the title of adventure capital of the world - and full of a solid community of bikers from all over the globe who come to season it, or live it up.
Queenstown does not contain as much singletrack as other areas throughout New Zealand, but the newly opened to bikers gondola is the current draw card. The singletrack there is great but you will expend it rather fast if you are a keen hunter.
Day one: Start the trip with some easily earned laps on the newly opened gondola that zooms riders up the hill right from the centre of town; the only in New Zealand.
Ride the gondola accessed trails of Skyline in the morning, banging out lap after lap, then use your last ride up to gain elevation for an up and back Fernhill ‘Loop’ - which is a rooty beech leaf litter blast - before skidding right into town and stuffing your face with a Fergburger.
Day two: Time for a big ride that will take you into the pristine pleated ridge country of the one time gold prospecting landscape.
Ride the Moonlight trail from Arthurs Point to Moke Lake, turn off to Lake Dispute, drop down to Bob’s Cove and link up Seven MIle and Sunshine Bay tracks to get you back to town where you should reward yourself with a Fergburger with blue cheese.
Day three: More mountain landscapes and bomber singletrack from both the old and modern trail building legacy of the area. Some of the same trails that Gee and Stevie light up in Follow Me; Coronet and Skippers Pack Track.
Coronet is a berm-filled flow country trail made from ego dirt. Start at the Coronet Ski Field base building and climb up the trail. Once at the top take in a deep breath of the view, looking south west to fiordland and over Skippers Canyon - where you will be later on - before turning on your tail and carving the trail down.
Afterwards cruise down the road a few kilometres, turn into Skippers Canyon and ride down the pack track on the right of the road.
The trail is short (5 km) but the views will keep you stalled from time to time. The ride down and back up the road will take about an hour. To really make the most go with someone who knows the history of the area.
The stories of brothels, frontier shenanigans and construction of the gold rush towns and roads is scintillating stuff. Vertigo Bikes offer guided shuttles in the canyon which will provide you with some entertaining background on the area.
Afterwards go for an emergency Fergburger and try the chips (you may know them as fries) with wasabi mayonnaise.
For trail maps, directions, advice, rent a bike, buy some new shorts, fix up the beaten bike or book a guided trip, stop in at Vertigo Bikes located right in the centre of town opposite Fergburger. 4 Brecon Street, Queenstown. 0800 VERTIGO vertigobikes.co.nz
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