The colours are ablaze in our region form March through to May.
Fun fact: 95% of all New Zealand’s natives trees are “ever green”, but thanks to the gold mining history of Central Otago and the number of early settlers who introduced deciduous trees for nostalgic reasons, we experience what can only be described as an an epic Autumn display.
Best seen by bike
Queenstown itself puts on a fair display, but it is Arrowtown that can’t be missed. Luckily for you, this is where most of our tours begin. We shuttle you form Queenstown out to Wilcox Green (pictured below). Wilcox Green is a favourite location for Autumn pictures, but this is just the beginning!
Arrowtown in Autumn
From Wilcox Green
Make your way into Arrowtown proper and check out the main street, with it’s beautifully preserved gold mining history, complemented by the fiery autumn foliage.
Colours along the trail
Ride your way from Arrowtown to the Gibbston Wine Region and see even more of the Autumn beauty! Or take any of the trails that wind through the region exploring and discovering a new view around every corner.
A typical view of Queenstown in Winter… snow on the Mountains, but not in the town or on the cycle trails.
I know summer is an epic time of the year, the weather is warm and biking makes sense to me.
But in the winter… Surely there is snow coating the streets and people are skiing and ice skating to work, right? Not in Queenstown!
Here you can ride the cycle trails all winter long, May through to September!
Sure, Queenstown is a ski town in the winter, but we are lucky enough to have a very positive relationship to the snowy months and that’s because we seldom get snow falling in the town, and when it does, it’s a beautiful novelty. No shovelling snow out of driveways for us! Most of the time, if it does snow down to the lake, the whole town shuts down, as driving the steep mountainous streets becoming a rather adventurous endeavour. People build snowmen, ski jumps in the back yard and generally don’t go to work or school. This happens roughly 5 days each winter… on these days you usually can’t even get up to the ski fields.
“it gets cold, but not Arctic in Queenstown”
With an average high of 9 degrees celsius in June (middle of winter), it gets cold, but not Arctic in Queenstown and this means biking is still seen as a very attractive option. Because the trails are a gravel surface cold weather and even freezing conditions mean that the trail actually bonds together better than it does in the dusty dry of summer. Imagine loose rocks with tar bonding them, in comparison to loose rocks with dust between them… the cold temperatures act like tar, holding the pebbles of the trail in situ.
Did I mention the views?
The pristine crisp and still weather that is typical of a Queenstown winter makes you feel alive and is a pleasure to explore by bike. You have to see it and feel it to really know what I mean… it’s invigorating and inspiring.
The great thing about Winter in Queenstown is that it is generally cold and dry. This means that if you chuck on a puffer jacket and some gloves, you feel great. We don’t have many days where it is wet and cold… the type of weather that gets into your bones.
A great valley based activity
There are days in winter when the weather does come in and wind and cloud attack the mountains. You’ll be surprised to find that more often than not, the valley is still quite a comfortable place to be. Shuttle out to Arrowtown, drink a hot coffee at Provisions Cafe and then ride to the wineries based in the Gibbston Valley. Dance venue to venue, with wine tastings and biking to keep you warm and happy. And did I mention the beer tastings and cheese platters? Or the wood-fire pizza available at the Gibbston Tavern?
The Top 3 Winter Rides
1) Bike The Wineries: Catch our shuttle to Arrowtown and ride through stunning countryside, downstream, to the Gibbston Valley, the home of 7 wineries, a tavern, micro-brewery and a “cheesery”.
2) Arrowtown to Queenstown: 35km of stunning purpose bulit trail. Shuttle to Arrowtown and ride your way back to Queenstown.
Wow, where has this year gone!? Winter is at an end and we are already well into spring!
So, what have we been up to and what’s new?
It’s brilliant to see how much our Queenstown Trail is growing and improving. We are excited to see a new section of trail that now connects Tuckers Beach to the Old Shotover Bridge. This section provides fresh views and adds options, both as a ride starting point, and as a way to extend a ride.
We have also seen significant improvements in trail connectivity, the highlight here being the new underpass near the Karawau River road bridge. This is opening soon, and will allow rides to sneak under the road to and from the Wakatipu Lake edge without crossing a busy road.
The trail is also now marked even more clearly with colour coding. We have adapted our map to show these colours. Riders can explore the trail network with ease, confident they are on the right track.
New trail development means exciting options for new products! We are stoked to announce a new half day product this spring called the “Beach to Bay” This utilises the Tuckers Beach trail and follows the Shotover River, then connects to the Kawarau River and onwards to Lake Wakatipu. A truely scenic section of riding, great for all abilities. There are cafe options, such as the famous Boat Shed located along this lovely section of trail.
This winter our team have been busy pursuing all the good things that Queenstown has to offer. Biking, skiing, paragliding, trail running, kayaking and the rest… we are all stoked to live in this town and play in this inspiring environment.
Let’s hope the weather is half as good as it was last year! We look forward to having you out riding with us! Please get in touch if you have any queries, otherwise browse our site, have a read, watch some videos and get booking! Tours do full up regularly during the summer season, so don’t wait until it’s too late.
Well well well, another summer season has drawn to a close in Queenstown and here at Around The Basin Bike Tours we have moved onto our winter schedule.
Today has dawned with fresh snow coating the hills around town and it is certainly starting to look and feel like winter. Let’s hope for a great ski season, with a good bit of biking also thrown in the mix!
The exciting news this winter is that we will be running our Bike The WineriesHalf Day Tour right through the winter season! This will allow people on a tighter time budget to still experience the simple pleasure of riding through the wineries. A truely magic experience on a calm, crisp, clear winters day. This tour goes out at mid day, really maximising the warmest weather window during winter.
We always encourage people to book the Full Day Wineries Tour if possible, as the added hours allow you to see Arrowtown and ride an extra 15 km along the stunning Arrow River Bridges Trail, giving a great balance between riding, exploring and wineries. But if riding less and drinking more sounds like you, then the Half Day Tour is perfect!
Check out the Top 3 recommended rides for for those wanting to explore Queenstown by mountain bike.
1. Book A Tour
Tours include shuttle transport and allow you to see the real highlight of Queenstown by bike. Often taking in Arrowtown, a small historic gold mining town, as well as the Gibbston Wine Valley, a bike tour is your all inclusive package and the easy way to do it all in style.
Tours can be split based on your focus for the day and are grouped into Bike the Wineries Tours and Supported Tours.
Wineries tours explore the Gibbston Wine Valley by bike, whereas the supported
tours are more ride focused, but often finish at a winery for an included tasting. The great thing about the supported tours is that you will have a driver and van dedicated to your group that will meet you along the trail, providing navigation tips, helping transport any excess gear, as well as providing some local knowledge. The van can also transport you through sections, allowing you to see the highlights of the trail.
2. Hire a bike in combination with shuttle transport
Great for the “do it yourself” rider. Jump in the shuttle and be dropped into Arrowtown in the morning, explore the history of Arrowtown, before riding the 35km of trail back to Queenstown. This trip is best suited to those who are comfortable navigating their way along the trail independently and have a good level of mountain bike fitness.
If you are a strong rider and make good time there is also the option to work in a winery stop and see the Kawarau Bungy – a 10km addition of riding to your day. The great thing about taking the shuttle in the morning and then riding back to Queenstown is that you have the freedom to manage your day at your own pace, with the only constraint being getting back to Queenstown before the shop closes at the end of the day.
A trip with the freedom to make of it what you wish!
Ride from the centre of town along the edge of the lake. Simple to navigate, and the easiest mountain biking trail in Queenstown, this tack circumnavigates the Queenstown lake shore around the Frankton Arm and is great for riders of all abilities. Simply ride the trail until you feel you are half done and then spin around and ride back. Simply book a bike to be collected from our shop and you’re good to go! Map and helmet is included in your hire package. And remember, if you get super excited and want to ride all the way to a winery or to Arrowtown, just add a shuttle pick up to your booking.