The Queenstown Cycle Trail starts in Otago’s world-renowned Wakatipu Basin.
Queenstown’s reputation as one of the world’s favourite adventure and cycling destinations is enhanced with the addition of this New Zealand cycle tour. The new Queenstown Cycle Trail is part of the New Zealand Cycling Trails network and unveils stunning new vistas, hidden ruins, spectacular architecture and world-class food and wine.
The cycle trail meanders through some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery, taking in the stunning landscapes of Lake Hayes, Frankton and Queenstown, Arrowtown, Gibbston Valley, Clyde, Alexandra (Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail), Roxburgh (Clutha Gold Cycle Trail) and Wanaka and brings to you 5 days of spectacular cycling and local experiences.
For the first time ever, you can cycle across unspoilt private land… over mighty suspension bridges, ride alongside six iconic rivers and six lakes… all set in dramatic landscapes, some used for the now famous Lord of the Rings films.
5 days / 4 nights
An average level of fitness. Walk 12kms, Bike 25kms. Well formed tracks and roads with average incline.
Do You Have A Date In Mind?We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.
Lake Hayes to Queenstown
Today we start with an easy 8km cycle ride around Lake Hayes so you can settle into your bike for the rest of your cycle tour. Lake Hayes is the ‘the most photographed lake in New Zealand’ or ‘mirror lake’ as it reflects the majestic mountains of the Wakatipu Basin and the earthy tones of the landscape.
As you ride around Lake Hayes, you’ll experience a taste-plate of all that makes Queenstown special: exquisite mountain and lake vistas, a boardwalk protecting local wildlife, historic cottages and a close-up view of some of the area’s most notable homes.
From Lake Hayes we cycle to Frankton where Lake Wakatipu empties into the mighty Kawarau River. Along the way the magnificent colours of the South Island come to life – particularly in Autumn (you’ll quickly see why these roads are such a favourite with the makers of car commercials)!
We ride to the historic Shotover Bridge which is an attraction in itself with 360 degree photo opportunities and then on to Frankton to check out the recently upgraded Kelvin Peninsula Loop, an easy grade cycle trail which showcases beautiful views across Lake Wakatipu towards Queenstown and the surrounding mountains, and also enjoy the spectacular sculptures which feature on this cycle trail.
If time permits we will cycle into Queenstown along the shores of Lake Wakatipu otherwise we will drive into Queenstown to soak up the atmosphere of this bustling resort town. On the way you’ll get a up-close view of some of Queenstown’s most notable contemporary homes. Take your time to soak up the lakefront views and incredible photo opportunities along the way.
From here we head back to Arrowtown for our first nights stay.
Arrowtown to Gibbston to Clyde
Your ride starts in Arrowtown (home of the goldrush in the 1800s).
One of the most popular photo stops is midway across the awe-inspiring Southern Discoveries suspension bridge. A destination in itself and what a view!
Across the bridge, we ride past quaint cottages and grazing horses down Whitechapel country lane – a landscape painting straight out of a picture book! Stop at the Knights Family Underbridge and take in the spectacular downstream view of where the Arrow River drops into the gorge.
Yet another impressive feat of engineering, the breathtakingly graceful 80-metre Edgar Suspension Bridge looms dramatically. From its midpoint, it is guaranteed to deliver gasps of appreciation at the view down the Arrow Gorge.
Breathe in the thyme-scented mountain air as you make your way over the historic Kawarau Bridge, home of the A J Hackett Bungy site, the world’s first bungy jumping operation. (yes, you’ll cross the very bridge those brave souls throw themselves off)
When we leave the AJ Hackett carpark we cycle along the recently upgraded Gibbston River Trail.As we ride along the cycle trail you’ll be spoilt for vistas – The Kawarau River far below on our left and to your right, the Gibbston vineyards, architectural masterpieces and iconic Central Otago landscapes. You’ll also pass through a rare pre-1900 fruit orchard and rock huts left over from the goldrush.
On arrival at Gibbston we finish at a boutique winery where we enjoy a picnic vineyard platter lunch. Enjoy a wine tasting in this lovely setting. After lunch relax on the bus for the scenic drive following the Kawarau River to Clyde.
The afternoon cycle is a 13km ride beneath the willow trees, from Clyde to Alexandra, following the Clutha River. We transfer back to the delightful village of Clyde and our accommodation where you can have a walk around the historic precinct to appreciate the gold mining history of the township.
Clyde to Millers Flat
Modern Lakeside Lodge
This morning we travel a short distance to Alexandra where the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail begins. The Roxburgh Gorge Trail runs from Alexandra to Lake Roxburgh Dam and follows the stunning Clutha River. This cycle trail gives you the opportunity to explore the remote and unique Roxburgh Gorge filled with incredible scenery and gold-mining history.
We soon enter the Gorge, with bluffs rising almost 350m on either side of the river at its most dramatic point. Gold-mining history plays a big part in the attraction of this trail, with many remnants to be seen. The trail opens areas of historical significance, with old schist huts built into the rock by Chinese miners and the remains of two small mining settlements. The chance to explore these well-preserved mining relics within this imposing and inspiring landscape is one of the highlights of the trail.
From Alexandra to Doctors Point is 10kms, followed by a 12km jet boat ride (the ride is approximately 45 minutes through some of the most stunning scenery New Zealand has to offer) and another 12km of cycling from Shingle Creek to Lake Roxburgh Dam.
The Roxburgh Gorge Trail finishes at the Lake Roxburgh Dam and here we connect with the Clutha Gold Trail.The Clutha Gold Trail is an easy grade trail (graded level 1-2) and is of a similar standard to the Otago Central Rail Trail.
With secluded valleys and lush green farmland, the powerful Clutha River will captivate you with its scenery and diversity.
The trail also showcases a variety of history in this area including the Chinese gold miners, Maori Moa hunters and much more.
This part of the trail takes you alongside the mighty Clutha – its distinctive turquoise colour, constant flow and ever changing moods become interwoven with your experience. Look out for signs of the original search for gold and imagine what the hardy settlers faced in the early days. As you travel downstream you cannot miss the orchards on both sides of the valley creating a splash of colour at every season.
Meander along the riverside and enjoy a break in your journey at Pinders Pond, 5km beyond Roxburgh. There are many things to look out for along this part of the trail, including stunning rock formations both on the hillsides and in the river, and the largest stand of regenerating native Kanuka (tea tree).
Once we reach Millers Flat (30km) it is all on board and we drive to our overnight accommodation and a well-earned rest.
Roxburgh to Wanaka
After breakfast we head away on the bus to start today’s journey which will take us through to Wanaka. We drive through Cromwell and alongside Lake Dunstan and the Clutha River until we arrive at our starting point for today’s ride just outside the township of Luggate.
The ride takes us along the banks of the mighty Clutha River. The first leg of the cycle trail follows an escarpment overlooking the famous ‘Pioneer Rapid,’ and affords spectacular views of the distinctive ancient glacial terrace flights – on both sides of the Clutha, that define the river basin.
On reaching Albert Town, the cycle trail crosses the Cardrona River at ‘Pawson’s Crossing’, traverses the lower slopes of Halliday’s Bluff, and follows river escarpments to Reko’s Point Conservation Area, where the Upper Clutha Mata-Au negotiates a series of unusually swift ox-bows known as the ‘Snake’. The cycle trail continues to follow the river all the way to the outlet of Lake Wanaka. This stretch of the river is world-renowned for its trout fishing.
Today’s ride finishes in the stunning lakeside resort town of Wanaka where we stay the night.
Wanaka to Queenstown
Today we head away on the bus and drive to our starting point on the shores of Lake Hawea. Our ride takes us along the shores of this remote and spectacular lake (20 – 30km). The first part of our ride finishes in the small lakeside settlement of Lake Hawea.
Here we join the Hawea River cycle trail (12km). The track is well maintained with a few uneven patches as it travels through kanuka groves, woodland and along river terraces. it is graded as easy and is a delightful way to complete our journey.
On completion of our ride we drive back to Queenstown where your Queenstown Cycle Trail experience finishes.
Double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the walk.
We have bicycles for hire and recommend you use them as they are tried and true in the areas we operate. All of our cycles are fully maintained and serviced before they leave. Included in the cost of your cycle hire is a cycle helmet and safety vest You may use your own cycle, but please ensure it is well maintained and fully serviced before your tour starts.
Bike Hire NZD$190
Electric Bike Hire NZD$450
You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. All meals are included in your tour cost except your evening meal on night Five. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.
Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.
All you carry is a small day pack with your personal gear, drink and lunch. We do the rest.
To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a kit bag full of useful goodies.
This will be given to you at the start of your tour.
Entrance fees for Hayes Engineering, Curling and visit to the Real Dog Company
Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.
To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.