Map and trail sections

Set in the remote wilderness of southern New Zealand, the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail offers a truly unique experience for those seeking to venture off the beaten track. It’s a trail of contrasts – from the energetic adrenalin-seekers paradise of Queenstown to absolute tranquility as you traverse the agricultural hinterland of Southland.

Start at Kingston or Walter Peak, the choice is yours.

All time allowances on the map, and indicated in the trail sections, are based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.

Download the map

From the lakeside to the high country, small towns, retired rail lines, working farms and national parks, the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail gives the rider the chance to explore New Zealand’s secluded beauty. Along the way you will come across a variety of native flora and fauna and land used for dairy, beef, venison, lamb and wool production. The nearby rivers are world famous fly-fishing spots and the locals are a friendly bunch.

The beauty of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail is it’s available for everybody to enjoy however, because it traverses working farms, please respect no dogs or firearms are permitted. Horses and vehicles affect the quality of the trail so are also not allowed.

Leave the spectacular natural environment as untouched as you find it.

It’s classed a Grade 2-3 ride with conditions suitable for novices and families, with the exception of the 2.5km-long Von Hill climb which can be walked if it proves too challenging. The Von Valley is vast and has two rivers to cross so be prepared to get wet feet depending on the weather. We recommend taking a beacon.

While every effort is taken to ensure that the surface and condition of the trail is described this is an unsealed trail in remote areas.  Weather, spring growth and other events may affect the quality and difficulty of the trail, including river crossings.  Users of the trail should be aware of and take into consideration the forecast weather and the possibility that the trail may not be in the condition described.

Whether you’re seeking a one-day tour or a multi-day adventure, the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail caters for you. An array of guided options and bike, including e-bike, hire are available through our official tour operators.

Start at Kingston or Walter Peak – the choice is yours. Either way, you’ll embark on a memorable trek.


Around the Mountains Cycle Trail map banner Around the Mountains Cycle Trail map
Walter Peak to Mavora Lakes cycle trail

Walter Peak to Mavora Lakes

Gliding across Lake Wakatipu on the century-old steamship TSS Earnslaw, you dock at the iconic Walter Peak Station and prepare to embark on the trail. Postcard views are plentiful as you venture through Mt Nicholas Station and into the magnificent Von Valley.

Okay, we admit it’s a bit of a slog up Von Hill but totally worth the effort as you immerse yourself in the natural tussock wonderland.

Expect to get your feet wet with two river crossings as you continue. It’s all part of the adventure but remember this is a mountain environment subject to extreme weather at any time of the year and the Von Valley is remote with no mobile phone coverage. So if it’s been raining please check river flow and riding conditions. Nothing gets the pedals turning like anticipation … and the stunning Mavora Lakes ahead is just the motivation needed. Turn off to Mavora and it’s just a short 2km ride to this gorgeous spot.

Time allowance is based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.

Mavora Lakes to Centre Hill Shelter cycle trail

Mavora Lakes to Centre Hill Shelter

Consisting of two lakes aptly named North Mavora and South Mavora, they are nestled amongst a striking landscape of mountains, forest and tussock grassland. No wonder it’s recognised as part of the Te Wāhipounamu/South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area.

Continuing through the Eyre Mountains Conservation Park to Centre Hill, you’ll soon be immersed in the agricultural hub of Southland.

With Centre Hill Road open to traffic and gravel, this segment can be a tad dusty. So booking a shuttle bus is an option for this leg of the trail but must be organised in advance.

Time allowance is based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.

day rides option Centre Hill Shelter to Mossburn cycle trail

Centre Hill Shelter to Mossburn

From Centre Hill shelter journey alongside the Ōreti River towards Mossburn – hailed as the Deer Capital of New Zealand. Enjoy the peaceful rural setting on the smooth and pleasant curving alignment of the trail.

Time allowance is based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.



Mossburn to Lumsden cycle trail

Mossburn to Lumsden

Farm paddocks feature prominently as you pedal on a mix of old railway line and well-graded track. Follow the Ōreti River as it snakes its way to Lumsden at the heart of the northern Southland district. Here you’ll discover a range of eateries to refuel with relics of the stream train era adding an interesting element to the town.

Time allowance is based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.

Lumsden to Athol cycle trail

Lumsden to Athol

Follow the old rail line as you soak up panoramic views of Mid Dome and the surrounding mountains. You’re in rural heartland so don’t be surprised to find some gates along the way to keep livestock secure.

Nestled amongst rich countryside like an oasis, the halfway point of Five Rivers is an ideal place to rehydrate.

Time allowance is based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.

Athol to Kingston cycle trail

Athol to Kingston

Dubbed Athol’s Golden Gates, two cycle suspension bridges – 67m and 92m in length respectively – will take you across the Mataura River. Take time to peer over the side and you will likely spot brown trout in the pristine waters below. An abandoned rail line has been transformed into the next stage of the trail. Boasting a mobile café and scrumptious honey shop, Garston has quite the buzz about it nowadays and is eager to reinvent itself as a place to stop on the southern tourist route. Old formations of a glacier moraine at the foot of the Eyre Mountains and the ruins of the area’s original stone homestead feature on the final phase of the trail.
On the edge of Lake Wakatipu, the village of Kingston earned fame as home to the historic steam train which shares its name – the Kingston Flyer, now running on Sundays.

Before making the 47km trip back to the bustle of Queenstown, take time to soak up the tranquility and reflect on your accomplishments. You’ve earned it.

Time allowance is based on the average cycling speed of 10kmh.


So, what are you waiting for? It’s time!


A detailed look at the trail and all of the stops along the way.


Find everything you need for your adventure along the trail.


There are several stops along the way for supplies.


From camping to motel to luxury stays, find all you need here.


Prepare to pitch your tent amidst picturesque campsites.

Eat and drink

The fuel to keep you pedalling, we’ve got it covered.

Bike hire

The most important piece of equipment, hire available here.

Things to do

There is plenty to explore off the proverbial beaten track.

Tour operators

We partner with the best of the best and have everything covered.

Transport providers

Assistance with getting yourself from one point to another.

Want to hear all the latest trail news?

Be the first to know about new attractions, providers and track updates. We’re a good penpal. Promise.