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Queenstown – New Zealand’s summer biking hot spot
Queenstown is cementing its position as one of New Zealand’s most popular biking destinations with the addition of a series of spectacular trails to suit all styles of riders.
The four season lake and alpine resort, with its diverse range of short scenic tracks, backcountry trails, serious downhill rides, jump park, and heli-bike choices, can now offer everything from a leisurely winery trail to New Zealand’s only gondola-assisted bike trail.
A new option for bike enthusiasts this summer is a backcountry ride along the stunning western shores of Lake Wakatipu, starting with an unforgettable 45 minute cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. The 50km trail is the first leg of Queenstown’s ‘Around The Mountains’ cycleway and takes in spectacular scenery from Mavora Lakes, through beech forest and alpine tussock, to Mount Nicolas and Walter Peak high country farms. The trail can be done independently or riders can experience two to three hours of it, in a small group, with an experienced guide and van travel option.
From 24 January 2011, New Zealand’s first gondola-assisted ‘bike lift’ will open up a whole new dimension for bikers of all abilities - right in the heart of Queenstown. Keen riders will be able to load their bikes on the Skyline gondola, located just five minutes from the CBD, and be transferred to the top of Bob’s Peak to begin their descent. There are a myriad of trails to choose from for families and extreme riders alike and all feature million dollar views of Queenstown.
Those looking for a leisurely pedal can now explore the spectacular Gibbston Valley via a new 8.5km trail. The trail offers breathtaking views of the Kawarau River and surrounds as well as plenty of welcome distractions including award-winning wineries, cafés and sites steeped in history.
The new Manse Road trail is an easy way to explore picturesque Arrowtown and offers diversions through to the historic Chinese Village and the Arrowtown Millennium Walkway and Bush Creek.
Another easy scenic option is Jardine Park which has been specially developed for families. The park is located on Kelvin Heights Peninsula and also connects to the popular Kelvin Heights and Jack’s Point trails.
‘7 Mile’ is a 10-minute drive from Queenstown on the Glenorchy Road and features a mix of cross country and intermediate downhill tracks through a pine forest. Queenstown has an active mountain biking club and these trails, and a number of others, were established by keen local riders.
The Wynyard Express DH track and freestyle area is a favourite with adrenaline junkies and is internationally renowned for its freestyle / slopestyle jumps. There’s also a purpose-built jump park located on the road to Coronet Peak ski area.
At the more extreme end of the scale, adventure-seeking mountain bikers are spoilt for choice with dozens of heli-biking options around the region.
Destination Queenstown CEO Tony Everitt believes that Queenstown’s range and quality of trails, world renowned scenery and facilities is putting it on the map as a must-do domestic and international destination for bike enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.
“Biking is the perfect way to explore our region and soak up the spectacular lake and alpine landscape. Recreational riders can have a blast just cruising around on scenic local tracks like the lakeside Frankton and Jack’s Point trails, while the more adventurous can challenge themselves on classic backcountry rides like the Moonlight Trail or heli-biking.
“It’s not just the trails that make Queenstown so appealing – it’s the rest of the package. People can choose from a huge range of activities, award-winning food and wine, a vibrant social scene, accommodation to suit all budgets, and day spa options to revive tired muscles.”
Kiwi mega super downhill star Justin Leov visited Queenstown recently on a biking trip along with New Zealand Olympian and World Cup Cross Country rider Kashi Leuchs and was blown away by the quality of trails.
“This is definitely the Southern Hemisphere’s answer to Whistler! I love it and plan on training here during my off season next year.”
For more information about Queenstown please visit www.queenstown-nz.co.nz.
Photo captions (click on the links below to download high res images):
1) Jack’s Point trail http://www.queenstown-nz.co.nz/content/library/Jacks_Point_trail_ride2.jpg
2) Earnslaw cycle trail -image supplied courtesy of Real Journeys and Around The Mountain Cycle Tours http://www.queenstown-nz.co.nz/content/library/Earnslaw_cycle_trail_image_supplied_courtesy_of_Real_Journeys_and_Around_The_Mountain_Cycle_Tours.jpg
For more information please contact:
Phone: 03 441 0707
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