Easy - Advanced
Explore and feel energised on these super-scenic trails taking in a range of popular attractions around the Queenstown region.
You’re spoilt for choice on this Ngā Haerenga Great Rides of New Zealand (opens in new window)network, which reveals ever-changing vistas on the way between Queenstown, Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley. A variety of terrain and trail flavours means there’s something for every taste – from easy lakeside rides and wine-tasting by bike, to cross-country sightseeing tours taking all day. You may even be tempted off your bike to do a bungy jump!
Hitting the Queenstown Trail is easy thanks to many access points and conveniently located bike hire. Out on the trails, clear signage and wide, smooth terrain means you can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
A grand tour of the whole trail will take 3–4 days, stopping overnight along the way. There are also endless day rides too, many of which are now classic Queenstown experiences up there with other must-do’s such as bungy jumping and jet boating.
A deservedly popular option is the Arrow River Bridges Ride that starts at the old gold town of Arrowtown and traces a beautiful river downstream. Highlights include various bridges, a rocky gorge, and pretty country lanes, along with historic Kawarau Bridge which is home to the world’s first bungy.
The bridge marks the gateway to the Valley of the Vines, where the Gibbston River Wine Trail passes a series of cellar door tasting rooms and restaurants. Another popular option starting at Queenstown Gardens, the lakeside Frankton Track follows a peaceful path to a brewbar and cafes, with a fabulous backdrop of the Remarkables.
Not officially part of the Great Ride, the new Coronet Loop is an excellent addition to the wider Queenstown Trails network. This 50km, grade 3–4 MTB trail is more of a backcountry adventure on narrow singletrack, best suited to fit, adventurous riders. Starting in Arrowtown and traversing historic water races, steep gorges and stunning mountain scenery, it’s full-day/overnight excursion, but well worth the blood, sweat and tears that make finish-line refreshments back in Arrowtown so much more refreshing!
A detailed description of the Queenstown Trail, including maps and more information, can be found here.
The Queenstown Trail is well serviced by local companies offering bike hire, shuttles and tours. These include Around the Basin(opens in new window), Adventure South NZ(opens in new window), Vertigo Bikes(opens in new window) and Black(opens in new window). Bike hire is also available from Arrowtown Bike Hire(opens in new window), Better By Bike(opens in new window), Charge About(opens in new window) (e-bikes) and BikeAHolic(opens in new window).
This trail’s official partners can be found on the Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) and Queenstown Trails(opens in new window) websites.
Queenstown and Arrowtown are both great bases for cycling adventures, providing a broad range of accommodation within short riding distances of the trails. There are also plenty of options near the trail throughout the Wakatipu Basin and Gibbston Valley, and within an hour’s drive in other popular bases such as Wānaka and Cromwell.
Accommodation providers partnered with the trail are listed on the Great Rides of New Zealand(opens in new window) and Queenstown Trails(opens in new window) websites.
Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails (opens in new window)
Queenstown Trails (opens in new window)