About this Ride
How to ride this trail
This suggested ride is a fantastic new 3 day 2 night ride which allows you to explore from Queenstown through Southland around the base of the Eyre mountains, Mavora Lakes, Walter Peak and back to Queenstown all on New Zealand’s premium new cycle trail which departs from Queenstown.
The 158 km trail will take you on a journey of breathtaking discovery from Queenstown to the quaint little town of Kingstown on the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu before returning to Queenstown on the 102 year old TSS Earnslaw.
The trail is open all year round, however most people ride the trail from 1 October to 30 April.
Below is overview of a suggested 3 to 5 multi – day ride.
Start from Queenstown and drive or take the shuttle bus for 47 kms to the little lakeside township of Kingston.
Kingston has a café/bar, camping ground accommodation and a number of B&Bs
From there you will cycle 17 kms to Athol, over old glacier moraine by the foot of the Eyre mountains, past old stone homestead ruins, through gently rolling farm land past Fairlight Station and on to Garston a small rural town your, lunch stop. From Garston the cycle trail is on an old disused railway line. The trail crosses the Matura River on two large suspension bridges, named by the locals as Athol’s Golden Gates.
Athol offers accommodation in the form of a camping ground, B&B’s, lodge and two café’s. Note that your accommodation could be further along the valley depending on availability as there is limited accommodation in the area.
From Athol you ride over the Eyre creek suspension bridge up a gentle incline over Jollies Pass to Fiver Rivers, a distance of 17 kms. At Five Rivers there is a café, you will then ride 15 kms gently downhill where the Oreti River comes alongside the cycle trail and on to Lumsden. Nestled in a picturesque and tranquil basin this small town revels in its role as the crossroads for travelers who choose to venture to this peaceful and restful part of Southland. You have an option of staying in Lumsden or Mossburn on your second night.
Two hotels, motel, B&B, camping ground, supermarket, bakery, two café’s, dairy and a self-service fuel pumps.
Hotel, B&B, two café’s dairy and a garage-service station, note there is no supermarket at Mossburn.
Day 3 or 4.
You have three options on day 4.
- Ride from Lumsden/Mossburn to Mavora Lakes from Center Hill on the Center Hill Road/Mavora Lakes Road. This is on a dusty gravel road with a lot of traffic on it during the summer months and there is no accommodation and services at Mavora Lakes.
- Self-drive to Mavora Lakes.
- Take the shuttle bus from Lumsden or Mossburn to Mavora Lakes and ride to Walter Peak.
- Stay a second night at your accommodation at Lumsden or Mossburn, and take the shuttle bus to Center Hill and cycle back from Center Hil to your accommodation at Mossburn 25 km or Lumsden 43 km.
At Mavora Lakes there are Lord of the Rings locations, depending upon your fitness you can be dropped off to ride from Mavora Lakes or further along the trail towards the Von Hill (ride down the Von Hill). You can decide this on the morning of this days ride. Along the Mt Nicholas/Von Road red deer, fallow deer, chamois and himalaya tahi can been spotted on the slopes of Mt Nicholas. This provides some stunning photographic opportunities. Mt Nicholas Station is a family operated high country sheep and cattle station. At over 100,000 acres Mt Nicholas is the largest station on the Lake. The 27,000 merino sheep produce fine wool used in the production of the iconic “Icebreaker” range of high quality natural fiber garments. The station lies at the foot of the spectacular clear waters of Lake Wakatipu and for the final afternoon you ride along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to finish the trail at Walter Peak Homestead there you can have a wine or a beer to celebrate a successful ride before boarding the TSS Earnslaw Steamship from Walter Peak to downtown Queenstown.
Option Day 4 or 5.
This day adventure lets you really experience the stunning surroundings of the Queenstown/Wakatipu Basin and its magnificent scenery.
Starting from Queenstown you will be shuttled to Arrowtown and ride on the Queenstown trail to the Historic Kawarau Bungy Bridge and then on to Gibbston Winery for lunch. Depending on how far you want to ride you will be picked up at Gibbston Valley Winery or back at Arrowtown and shuttle bused back to Queenstown.