What is the Queenstown Trail like?
The Queenstown Trail is a 140 km network of mountain biking and walking trails around the Whakatipu Basin.
It connects some of the regions premier destinations: particularly Queenstown with Arrowtown and the Gibbston wine region.
On the trail you can expect to see stunning river gorges, dramatic alpine scenery, historic gold-mining relics, suspension bridges, and crystal clear lakes.
Come and see for yourself why the Queenstown Trail is New Zealand’s most popular Great Ride – Ngā Haerenga
How difficult is the trail to ride?
The Queenstown Trail is easy mountain biking; most of the 140 km network is grade 1 or 2 (small sections are grade 3).
By easy, we mean smooth, predictable, and very well-maintained trail. Its surface is made of gravel making it excellent for riding any time of year. Most sections are wide enough for riders to pass side-by-side (2 metres +).
There is a combination of flat and hilly terrain. Though most of the trail is undulating, some of the hills are quite steep but not too long.
If you’re unfamiliar with mountain biking or concerned about the hills, we recommend upgrading to an Electric-bike. These pedal-assisted bikes take the sting out of any hill and guarantees you to have an awesome riding experience!
What happens if there's bad weather on the day?
We generally make a weather call on the day, as often it turns out not as bad as the forecast suggests.
If you are uncertain in the morning, give us a call 45mins – 1hr before your tour departs and we will discuss options. We first try to re-schedule to another time or another day, but if that isn’t possible we would refund your ride (less a 10% merchant fee).
Where is Around The Basin’s shop located?
Will I be riding on busy roads with cars?
No. The Queenstown Trail is a 140 km network of biking and walking trails. Your ride will be on these trails and away from built up areas.
The few short sections of the network that are on sealed roads are all quiet, rural roads with very low volumes of traffic.
Which of your self-guided rides are best suited for my group?
We’ve designed rides suitable for all ages and riding abilities; from less experienced riders keen for a shorter, flatter ride, to those who want a challenging day in the saddle.
All of our rides are self-guided, designed for independent riders (such as Bike The Wineries, Arrowtown To Gibbston, or Arrowtown To Queenstown). They allow you to explore the best parts of the Queenstown Trail, with bike hire and transport included. Follow these links for full details about what you can expect from each.
For larger groups, we also offer driver and vehicle supported bike tours , guaranteeing you a carefree biking experience. See our Custom/Corporate Group Rides page here or flick us an email to enquire about these.
If you’re still unsure, flick us an email ([email protected]) or call us (027 952 5801) to discuss options.
Do you have options for kids to ride?
Yes – we regularly have families with young children out riding with us!
For the kids we have 16″, 20″, or 24″ Mountain Bikes available.
For infants we have either Trailers or Half-Bikes/Tag-Alongs. We recommend the combination of a Trailer being towed by an E-Bike (pictured): they’re stable and safe, and can fit one larger infant (<40kg) or two small infants (<20kg).
The Arrowtown To Gibbston self-guided ride is an excellent option for families. It’s around 15kms of amazing mountain biking scenery and an achievable adventure for children.
Where is the best place to park in central Queenstown?
Unfortunately, parking in Queenstown can be a challenge. There are ongoing infrastructure projects affecting the whole of Queenstown CBD, which means lots of traffic cones and reduced parking availability.
There is paid all day parking on Man Street and Boundary Street in central Queenstown (both are a 5 mins walk to our shop).
There is free all day parking on Park Street and inside the Queenstown Gardens (both are a 10 mins walk). There are also a limited amount of spots on Robins Road and Lake Esplanade (both a 5-10 mins walk).
Please note there is no all day parking on either Searle Lane (location of our shop) or on Shotover Street.
Please plan to check-in to our shop (3 Searle Lane) at the time stated when you booked, as our shuttles will depart on time.
“I’m not sure if I’ve booked the right sized bike”
At the time of booking we usually ask for each of the rider’s heights to allocate the correct sized bike frames. We don’t want a team of basketball players riding on XS bikes!
On the day you will be fitted to your bike by our experienced team; the bikes all have adjustable seat posts. We always carry spare bikes as well, so there’s a very good chance we’ve got you covered!
Which of the cellar doors in Gibbston would you recommend visiting?
There are 8 venues on offer in the Gibbston Valley, each with their own unique features. On the day our team will give personal recommendations suited to your group to enjoy this world-class wine and food region.
Follow this link for contact details, website links, and a short description of each of the venues in Gibbston.
Can you accommodate for large groups?
We regularly have large groups ride with us for work conferences, birthday parties, family trips, etc.
Flick us an email ([email protected]) and we can help you with the logistics of planning your ride.
If you’re planning to visit the wineries in Gibbston (groups of 6 people or more), you’ll need to phone ahead as some of the smaller wineries need to be notified in advance.
What should I bring for the ride?
- Comfortable, athletic clothing
- A lightweight jacket
- Water bottle (the bikes have bottle cages)
- A small backpack per group (you decide who will be the pack-mule!)
We provide the bike helmets and some sunscreen.
In winter a good jacket and warm pair of gloves are recommended.
How will I navigate the trail?
We have produced an excellent map of the trail to help you get the most out of your ride. On the day our team will give a detailed explanation of the trail, with a few local insights and point out some hidden gems.
The trail is also signposted very well, with colour-coded arrows and distance markers along the trail.
If you’re still concerned about navigating the route, we can attach a GPS device to your handlebars to help with every intersection on the trail ($90/group). Please let us know in advance if your group would like this extra assistance.