Top 5 Bike Trails In Queenstown
Our guide to the best bike trails in the Queenstown regionQueenstown has become the premier destination for both thrilling mountain biking tracks and gentler scenic biking routes. The jewell in the crown is the Queenstown Trail which features a network of inter-connecting tracks spanning over 130 kilometres of varying terrain. The trail allows cyclists to see the best scenery that Queenstown has to offer along with many places to appreciate the region's food, wine, architecture and art.
Our top 5 biking trails in Queenstown list includes a couple of rides from the Queenstown Trail but also a few that are fairly close by and equally beautiful.
1. Arrowtown to Gibbston Bike Trail: 4-6 Hours Return
A popular section of the Queenstown Trail is the 23km section which starts from Arrowtown and finishes in the wine growing region of Gibbston. The Arrowtown to Gibbston trail is a great way to take in the region’s wine, food and historic landmarks.
This easy ride begins at the Arrowtown River carpark. We’d recommend popping into Arrowtown first for a coffee and browse this charming historic town. Upon leaving, you will cross five bridges over the Arrow River, some of them suspension bridges over gorges, and wind through pretty country lanes and onto the home of award-winning wines of Gibbston.
The highlight for many is the impressive 80-metre Edgar Suspension Bridge where you can take in the view of the Arrow Gorge beneath you. You will end this section of the trail at the famous AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy. Close by are the wineries of Gibbston for a spot of lunch and wine tasting. This is a return trail, however transport is readily available if you decide you'd like a lift from Gibbston back to Arrowtown.
More info is our Arrowtown Trail Article.
2. Twin Rivers Trail: 2-3 Hours
This is our favourite section of the Queenstown Trail and we’d recommend hiring e-bikes given to make the ride easier and more enjoyable. The 18.5km ride begins at Kawarau Falls Bridge in Frankton. and winds alongside the Kawarau Falls Scenic Reserve down to the edge of the Kawarau River.
The trail winds along the willow lined river bank and onto the historic Old Lower Shotover Bridge. Crossing the bridge, you need to turn right (as you cross the bridge or left when you come under the bridge and face the other way now). From here, you’ll continue alongside the river, past the Shotover Country and Lakes Hayes Estate. This part is a joy to ride with view after view of the turquoise waters of the Kawarau River.
Further along and riding up Thompson’s hill (not a problem with an e-bike) - the longest and last hill on this ride, take in the view across the Kawarau River up to the Remarkables Mountain range and Rastus Burn. It’s then an easy descent through beautiful pastoral land surrounded by three mountain ranges. The Twin Rivers Trail ends at Morven Ferry Road.
More info is our Twin Rivers Trail Article.
3. Moke Lake Loop Track: 2 Hours
Moke Lake is a short 10-15 minute drive from the centre of Queenstown. As you drive along SH6 heading towards Glenorchy, you’ll see the lake signposted with a right turn off.
This popular hiking, camping (and biking) spot is an easy track that takes you right around the edge of the picturesque lake, through grassland and surrounded by towering mountains. After a fairly short climb, you’ll enjoy a stunning view overlooking the lake.
More Info and a short video in our Moke Lake Guide.
4. Lake Dunstan Trail: 4-6 Hours
The Lake Dunstan Trail connects the towns Cromwell and Clyde and is around 1 hour’s drive from Queenstown. The 42km trail offers cyclists and walkers a moderately challenging journey across beautiful landscapes so characteristic of Central Otago as it winds along Lake Dunstan, the Kawarau River and the Clutha River Mata-au.
The region’s pioneering and Maori historical stories are presented along the way, some of which are brought to life in the Clyde and Cromwell Historical Precincts. Soon after Cromwell you’ll pass through vineyards of Bannockburn which form part of the world-renowned wine growing region of Central Otago. It’s then onto a winding track that hugs the lake for a memorable ride. Along the way you can stop at Coffee Afloat, a snack boat docked, to enjoy one of the most remote coffees you’ll ever have.
As you near Clyde, take time to stop at the Clyde Dam before crossing the iconic Clyde Bridge and into the historical precinct of Clyde. There are a number of bike hire and shuttle transport services to get you to and from the trail.
More Trail Info in our Lake Dunstan Trail Article.
5. Hawea River Track: 2 -3 Hours
Lake Hawea is a short drive from Wanaka and covers 141 square kilometres, with calm, flat water reflecting the mountain peaks that surround it. The lake lies in a glacier valley and is approximately 390 metres deep, attracting small boats and anglers who are drawn to the area's natural beauty.
The 12km Hawea River Track is great for cyclists linking Albert Town to Lake Hawea. The track starts from Albert Town Recreational Reserve and finishes at Domain Road in Hawea. Along the way you’ll cross over the beautiful Hāwea River swing bridge then ride along a meandering track through kānuka shrubland and open flats before joining the riverside and following it upstream all the way to Domain Road.