Photo copyright: Miles Holden

Queenstown Trail

OverviewTrail Status: Open

Queenstown Round Trip (2-3 days, 120km)

The Queenstown Trail unveils close to 120km (including the trail’s loops) of spectacular cycle trail in Otago’s Wakatipu Basin.

The trail meanders through some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery, taking in the Gibbston wine area, the historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown and the stunning landscapes of Lake Hayes, Frankton and Queenstown. Riders will enjoy discovering hidden ruins, amazing architecture and historic bridges.

There are plenty of reasons to stop along the way: for a cheeky wine tasting at a world-class vineyard, to savour first-rate food and coffee, or to take the plunge with a thrilling bungy jump at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy.

You can make your own way along the trail, or to get the most out of your Queenstown Trail experience, contact one of the local tour operators for advice. They have the local knowledge and resources to help plan and organise you and your bikes, including bike hire, transport and pick-ups and drop-offs anywhere along the trail.

Queenstown’s reputation as one of the world’s favourite adventure destinations is well deserved. Once you’ve finished your ride there is a wide range of other tourist attractions to entertain and invigorate you.

The Queenstown Trail is a joint initiative of the Queenstown Trails Trust, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and the New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Lady of the Lake

Spot the TSS Earnslaw, known as the ‘Lady of the Lake’, gliding across Lake Wakatipu. She’s the last remaining coal-fired passenger vessel operating in the southern hemisphere.

Take a cruise on the lake and explore this elegant vessel, including the bridge and the engine room where stokers fuel the fireboxes.

Cruises can be combined with stops at Walter Peak High Country Farm, which offers a delightful setting with activities aplenty. You can watch sheep shearing, enjoy a horse trek or take a heritage excursion.

Winter Wonderland

Queenstown’s dramatic landscapes and dynamic activities ensure its position as New Zealand’s premier winter alpine resort.

Its vibrant, compact town centre always puts on a show for visitors.

Be Prepared

We love layers here in Queenstown! While the trail never ventures too far from civilisation, remember that this is an alpine environment and the temperature can drop very quickly.

A cold snap can come from nowhere, even in the middle of summer, so always check the weather and go prepared with extra layers of clothing.

Take a small day-pack with clothing, a puncture repair kit, and torch (just in case).

Helmets are compulsory for all trail riders.

MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: Most parts of this trail have coverage for the major mobile networks.

DRINKING WATER: Don’t forget your water bottle. Most local businesses will be happy for you to refill your drink bottle along the way. Plus you can buy food and beverages along the trail.

Weather Info

Queenstown is beautiful any time of the year, though spring and autumn are particularly picturesque and provide great biking temperatures with plenty of daylight hours.

Summer can be stunning too, but choose your riding day very carefully in winter.

Average daytime temperatures in Queenstown:

Spring (Sept-Nov) 8 - 22 C
Summer (Dec-Mar) 20 - 30 C
Autumn (Apr-May) 12 - 25 C
Winter (Jun-Aug) -2 - 8 C

Trail Partner

Inspiration, News and Updates

Here's a fabulous printable map for you to see all of the Great Rides at a glance. The map shows the location of the trails, and both International and Domestic airports. With the handy list of trails showing length in Kms and Grade, there's something for everyone so get planning! NZCT Map Poster...


Some good news for riders on the Dun Mountain Trail. Full reinstatement of the Dun Mountain Trail in the cut-over forestry area was completed this week. The temporary detour on the Dun Mountain Trail that was constructed to avoid a section of the Trail damaged during forestry harvesting has now been decommissioned. ...
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...


***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...


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...


** 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...


** 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...


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