The Around The Mountains Cycle Trail is located in the Southland District of New Zealand. The key towns close to or on the trail are Queenstown, Te Anau and Lumsden.
A region of contrasts, Southland has world class scenery from mountain peaks, the deepest of lakes, meandering rivers famous for fishing, fertile farmlands, lush primordial forests, sweeping photogenic coastlines to the wild Southern Ocean and its islands.
Southland’s unmatched beauty provides a natural playground - no matter what your passion. As New Zealand’s ultimate outdoors destination for cycling, hiking, fishing, photography, history or family fun, Southland is yours for the taking.
From soaring mountains to a wild and dramatic coastline, golden hill country to crystal alpine lakes, the Southern Lakes is one of the most diverse and beautiful regions in New Zealand. Visitors to Lake Wanaka, Queenstown and Fiordland are captivated by the breathtaking scenery, changing seasons and vibrant culture of the area.
Queenstown’s stunning scenery, huge range of activities and renowned warm welcome cement its reputation as New Zealand’s favourite visitor destination. Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, exploration or relaxation.
The serene deep waters of Lake Te Anau make up the largest lake in the South Island and second largest in NZ, and are bordered on its western shore by lush virgin forest.The attractive town of Te Anau lies nestled on the edge of this beautiful lake, with a spectacular backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison mountains.
Te Anau is the 'Gateway to Fiordland' being the closest town to Milford Sound, a scenic 2½ hour drive away. The proximity of 3 of New Zealand's 9 Great Walks places Te Anau firmly on the map as 'The Walking Capital of the World'. Fiordland is home to The Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track.
NORTHERN SOUTHLAND - LUMSDEN, FIVE RIVERS, ATHOL, GARSTON & MOSSBURN
Northern Southland‘s beautiful rolling farmland and the majestic Takitimu Mountains produces some of the best ‘wild food’ in the region. The Mataura and Oreti Rivers are widely considered the best dry fly fishing rivers in the world. With easy public access, plentiful fish and water so pristine it is often described as ‘gin-clear’.
Five Rivers is known for the thermal air that creates world class gliding conditions allowing visitors to sight-see from the skies. Further up the valley on the road to Queenstown, are the small settlements of Lumsden, Athol and Garston which, along with Waikaia to the east, provide excellent fly fishing rivers and bush-clad outdoor adventure sites popular with trampers, anglers, campers and boaties. The township of Mossburn sits in the shadow of the White Hills wind farm and is a popular stop enroute to Te Anau and Fiordland.
Lumsden is located about an hour’s drive north from Invercargill and an hour south of Queenstown. Once a major railway junction with lines departing to all four points of the compass, the town now has heritage buildings lining the main streets, housing a number of quirky cafes, bars and restaurants. The fellow quaint rural towns of Northern Southland are dotted with friendly country cafes serving fresh kiwi cuisine, while the small local shops are full of unique wares.