Photo copyright: Miles Holden

Queenstown Trail

RIDING THE TRAIL

The Queenstown Trail offers something for everyone, whether you’ve got a couple of hours or a few days. There are plenty of great riding options and you can do as much as you want.

This is an Easy to Intermediate (Grades 2-3) cycle trail that connects the three hubs of Queenstown, Arrowtown and Gibbston.

The trail is well signposted and because you’re never more than 20 minutes or so from a main road, it’s very difficult to lose your way.

The trail can be ridden in sections to suit your ability or link it all together for a longer ride.

Here are some suggested itineraries for shorter rides:

Lake Hayes Loop, (Grade 3 Intermediate) 8km

This is one of the most scenic rides in the Wakatipu Basin, popular with walkers and cyclists. It circumnavigates Lake Hayes for 8km following a wide gravel trail.

Starting at the top from Rutherford Rd, an anti-clockwise direction is easier.

Gibbston River Trail, (Grade 2 Easy) 8.7km

The Gibbston River Trail follows a relatively easy gradient alongside the Kawarau River providing access to wineries and historic archaeological sites.

This is a there-and-back ride starting at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy and ending at the Gibbston Back Rd – the return trip is 17km.

Queenstown to Arrowtown, (Grade 3 Intermediate) 24km

The start/end of this 27km section of trail is the Memorial Gates on Queenstown’s waterfront and Manse Rd in Arrowtown.

This trail takes in the Shotover River, crossing the restored historic bridge and Millbrook Resort.

Riding from Queenstown, if you want to avoid some hill climbing, turn left when you get to Lower Shotover Rd and then right on to Speargrass Flat Rd. Look for the Millbrook trail sign just past the Slopehill Rd turn-off.

For a more challenging uphill ride, turn right when you get to Lower Shotover Rd then on to Slopehill Rd.

Note the Millbrook trail is smooth gravel but is steep in parts, so be prepared to push your bike in places.

The easier (more downhill) option is to ride from Arrowtown to Queenstown.

Getting There

Queenstown is located in the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand.

Getting here is easy, as Queenstown International Airport is well served by domestic and international flights from major airlines. Daily domestic connections link Queenstown with New Zealand's main centres: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, while international routes are all to Australian centres.

Access by road is a wonderfully scenic option. You can drive yourself, take a bus or join a coach tour. Buses arrive in Queenstown daily from Glenorchy, Wanaka, Dunedin, Invercargill and Christchurch.

Roads to Queenstown are well signposted easily guiding visitors from each of the surrounding South Island regions.

Distances (and estimated driving times) to Queenstown:

From Christchurch – 480 km (6.5 hrs)
From Dunedin – 283 km (3.5 hrs)

Once you're here, you will find a good public bus network and plenty of transport and tour operators, happy to help you find your way around the trails.

Visitor Information

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

We asked Jim Robinson from Motu Trails to talk to us about all things biking and Opotiki.  Modest as ever, Jim said it pushed his comfort zone a little, feeling happier behind the page not on it.  We’re thrilled to have gleaned a few snippets and look forward to the next chapter as this exciting Trail goes from str...

 

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A huge congratulations is in order for the Old Ghost Road which has become one of nine trails in the World to be taken into the International Mountain Bicycling Association's (IMBA) stable of 'EPIC Rides'. Nine new trails and rides have been added to the list of demanding, mostly singletrack experiences in remote, b...
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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Queenstown Trail SECTION: Gibbston River Trail DATE: 18th & 19th September 2017 (6.30pm - 10.00pm) ISSUE: Track Closure Notice - Rabbit Control The Gibbston River Trail will be closed for bunny control on 18th & 19th September from 6.30pm - 10.00pm. Signs will be in place - please ...

 

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Seeking Chief Executive Officer The role of the Queenstown Trails Trust varies across trail projects with the core business being: To create, nurture and maintain a world-class recreational trail network that connects our communities, is sustainable, integrated, well utilised and highly regarded, that enhances th...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Queenstown Trail (Twin Rivers Trail) DATE: 14 March 2017 ISSUE: Please note that a section of the Twin Rivers Trail - the part that runs alongside the Kawarau River (Riverside Road to Shotover Delta) will be undergoing maintenance this week. The top trail will be closed today (alternat...

 

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TRAIL SAFETY UPDATE: Queenstown Trail DATE: November 7th, 8th, 9th 2016 ISSUE: The Gibbston River Trail will be closed November 7, 8 and 9 from sundown to sunrise for rabbit control to be undertaken, please refrain from using the trail during these times. Thank you. ...

 

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TRAILS MAINTENANCE UPDATE: Queenstown Trail Where: Morven Ferry Road to Lake Hayes Estate When: 16 MAY 2016 (For approximately 2.5/3 weeks) The cycle trail between Morven Ferry Road and Lake Hayes Estate will be closed for scheduled maintenance work from next Monday 16 May (see map below). The work is expect...

 

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TRAIL STATUS UPDATE: Queenstown Trail DATES AFFECTED: March 30, 31 and 1 April 2016 Temporary Trail Closure – Lake Hayes Circuit Please note a short section of the Lakes Hayes Circuit will be closed from the North End Entrance to Bendemeer Reserve on the above dates. This section of the track will be c...

 

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***TRAIL STATUS UPDATE*** Queenstown Trail - LAKE HAYES TRAIL - TREE DOWN DATE: 7 March 2016 A tree has fallen across the trail approx. 250m north of Bendemeer Bay. A maintenance team are clearing the tree today, however this technical job may take a day or so. Please be aware and ride carefully. We will advis...

 

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Enter and win a legendary start-line experience that includes a helicopter ride from Arrowtown to Glendhu Bay! New Zealand’s most iconic off-road sporting event roars into action on Saturday 5 March 2016, bringing you a fantastic chance to experience the most stunning high country terrain between Lake Wanaka and Q...

 

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** KELVIN PENINSULA LOOP TEMPORARY TRAIL CLOSURE ** Please note due to strong winds there is a tree damaged near the Kelvin Heights Yacht Club on the Queenstown Trail. The pine tree is being removed this Wednesday 16th December and the track will need to be closed whilst this takes place. The trail will have a d...

 

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** TEMPORARY TRAIL CLOSURE – QUEENSTOWN TRAIL (Twin Rivers Trail) ** From Monday November 16th the Twin Rivers Trail (the lower trail alongside the Kawarau River east of the pump station) on the Queenstown Trail will be closed for repair for approximately two days. Please make alternative plans if you use this tra...

 

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John Dunn, New Zealand Cycle Trail
Cyclists will be attracted to the Queenstown Trail because of the iconic mountain scenery and the existing tourism attractions such as the wineries and the Kawarau Bungy venture. JOHN DUNN – Former Programme Manager, NZ Cycle Trail