Around The Basin are proud to sponsor a bee hive that sits alongside the Queenstown Trail (on Whitechapel Road, Arrow Junction). Bees have been struggling in recent years and we understand the important role they play in our ecosystem. We think that BeeThe Change are doing some pretty awesome work.

“It is globally recognised that an insect and bee mass extinction could well occur in our lifetime. This would have a catastrophic impact on global food supply.
Through facilitating Corporate Social Responsibility, Bee the Change provides environmental education and pollination initiatives to encourage healthy bee populations.
Bee the Change is leveraging New Zealand’s unique geographic advantage and stringent bio-security laws. Once strong and healthy colonies are established, ‘nucleus hives’ can be shipped to crisis areas around the world to help repopulate colonies.
Together we can create a safe haven for the bee population.” Neal McAloon, Bee The Change NZ.

We are proud to be contributing to this great project and look forward to learning more about our hive and watching its growth.

What a great way to check out our fantastic trail before your ride! Jump on google and cruse the trail in “street view”.

Maybe start exploring from the Southern Discoveries swing bridge? Or begin your reconnaissance from the Edgar Bridge. The options are endless and this is the perfect way to understand the nature of the Queenstown Trail that we are lucky enough to operate on.

A couple of our guides (blue shirts) were even snapped at the Bungy Bridge!

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.

Autumn Festival | Arrowtown

From the 23 – 28th of April, during the peak of autumn beauty, Arrowtown hosts an autumn festival.

Activities include a “Pie, Pint and Pinot” day, parade and market day, a quiz, art expedition and much more!

To find out more, simply visit 

Book a Ride 

Check out Around The Basins “Most Popular Rides“.

Many different ride options are available, whether you value time at wineries, of just want a biking adventure, there is something for everyone.

Family friendly riding options are plenty!

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.

A low snow day, still perfect on the trail.

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?

Riders outside of Provisions Cafe, caffeinated and ready to hit the trail.

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 built trail. Shuttle to Arrowtown and ride your way back to Queenstown. 

3) Hire a bike and ride around the Frankton Arm: Set off on the trail that leaves directly from Queenstown and cruise out to The Boat Shed Cafe. Enjoy a hot coffee with a stunning backdrop. Ride as far as you please and marvel at the glassy lake and snow capped mountains.

One of the 5 or so days per winter that we get snow on the Queenstown Trail… you can’t stop the keen ones…

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?

The trail

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.

The team

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.

Enjoy some shots of the crew in action…


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.

Happy holiday planning.

Hamish and the team

Around The Basin



Trail Talk – Winter 2018.

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 Wineries Half 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.

Biking through the wineries, near Cargo Brewery

Cheers! Well deserved beer and pizza at the Gibbston Tavern








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!

As usual, we will also be offering our Bike The Bridges Half Day Tour, Bike Hire and a Shuttle Service right through the cooler months. So if you want to get on a bike in Queenstown this winter, simply give us a bell.

Happy riding!

Hamish and the Team

Around The Basin Bike Tours

Queenstown New Zealand


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.

Check out these two different tour types below

Bike The Wineries – Half Day Tour

Bike The Wineries – Full Day Tour

Supported Tour – Half Day

Supported Tour – Full Day


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 Packages

3. Hire a bike

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.

Hire A Bike Here!

For all general enquiries or for more information please visit

Winter has arrived!

Queenstown is looking great today! A storm has rolled through and glimpsing through the clouds some decent snow can now be seen coating the hills. A much needed kick start to the ski season and always a beautiful view.

The feeling around town is very much still in transition phase, with the summer crows gone and the winter arrivals still on the way. I’m sure people will be watching the forecast carefully and planing holidays for when there is consistent skiing. They do always say… “snow in June, still too soon”.
If you are still in the planning phase and making the decision on when to visit New Zealand’s’ Adventure Capital, bear in mind the dates of the NZ and Australian school holidays;

NZ school holidays 8-23 July
AU Capital Territory 1-16 July

Avoiding these dates generally means less people on the ski fields. The Australian and NZ holiday overlap is often the busiest time.

Queenstown Winter Festival is on again from the 22 – 25th of June and this really does launch us into winter mode proper! It’s exciting feeling the buzz grow as the snow accumulates. Winter Fest has some fun activities and shows. It is worth taking a look at all the information and schedule to ensure you maximise your experience:  WinterFest.
When planning your trip to Queenstown be sure to look into doing some activities that aren’t up the mountains, just in case there is bad weather, or snow is unfavourable. You will probably also want to mix it up to ensure you see a bit more of what Queenstown has to offer. Many people fall into a nice repeating pattern of 2 days skiing followed by 1 day off the mountains.
Take this opportunity to come out on a ride with us at Around The Basin Bike Tours.

We operate right through the winter due to demand. The winter crowd are outdoorsy people who like to get out and about. Whether riding for fitness, or for wine! We have trips to suit all. So lets hope fore more snow and some great skiing this winter, while also resting easy knowing that Queenstown is a destination with activities for all conditions. This ski town has so much to offer, on and off the slopes.

Written by Hamish Fleming

Around The Basin Tour Guide (and avid skier!)

Don’t miss it! from June 24th – July 3rd. The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival celebrations liven up the town during this 10 day extravaganza!

Experience Queenstown’s unique culture and community with street parties, fireworks, international and local acts, comedy, family fun, and plenty of Mountain Mayhem.

Ticketed events are on sale now, plus there’s ample free events and sporting events to keep everyone entertained.

A great time to be in Queenstown and plenty of activities on offer for your aprés ride!

The historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown is right on the Queenstown Trail. Just 20 minutes drive from Queenstown. This year the Arrowtown Autumn Festival is on from 21 – 25 April, perfectly timed during the school holidays and ANZAC long weekend. Join us to shuttle out there and experience part of this five day festival of entertainment. Explore the magnificient colours biking along the Arrow River Trail out toward Gibbston wine country or even further afield by biking back to Queenstown. Anyway you decide we’ve got you covered to experience Arrowtown’s spectacular display of flaming reds and golds – a sight not to be missed!