The Queenstown Lakes Trail cycle tour is a collection of cycle rides totaling 191km that Pure Trails have put together that showcase the South Island’s beautiful Southern Lakes and Central Otago regions and Queenstown bike trails.
This tour is a visual feast with mountains and pristine lakes everywhere you look, fantastic Autumn colours (during April), fun and challenging cycle trails, as well as great local food and wine.
The Queenstown Lakes Trail cycling is all on purpose built cycle trails. Day 4 is on the stunning Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail, which, due to the nature of being a narrow gorge, features some well benched zig-zag climbs/descents. The riding is rated Grade 2.
Our support vehicle is available throughout the cycle tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.
Queenstown Cycle Trail Cycle Tour Highlights
- Cycle 191km around Central Otago’s stunning lakes & rivers on the Queenstown bike trails
- Take in the spectacular scenery of Queenstown, Wanaka & Clyde
- Soak up the relaxing atmosphere of Wanaka
- Explore the small communities of Arrowtown & Clyde
- Travel through the stunning Roxburgh Gorge by bike and jet boat
- Indulge in fresh Central Otago produce and local wines
- Dial out and enjoy a week away in this most stunning part of NZ
Day 1 Christchurch/Queenstown – Arrowtown
Our Queenstown Lakes Trail cycle tour gets underway as we head south across the plains and through the Mackenzie Basin, to Lake Tekepo. The scenic drive continues as we head over the Lindis Pass to Central Otago, and through the Kawarau Gorge to our accommodation, a stone’s throw from the quaint village of Arrowtown. In the afternoon enjoy a walk around the village and historic Chinese gold mining village relics. Alternatively there is the option to join the tour in Arrowtown from Queenstown rather than travelling down from Christchurch. Either way, in the evening get acquainted with your travel companions over a meal at the local tavern.
Cycle Distance: 0km
Day 2 Arrowtown
We travel a short distance to Lake Wakatipu where your guide will fit you out with your bike. From here our first cycle commences, a lovely easy grade Queentown trail which sidles alongside the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown and return (16km). Here we take in the views over morning tea. The views of the peaks surrounding Lake Wakatipu – the Remarkable Ranges, Cecil & Walter Peaks as well as Ben Lomond – are stunning and provide a wonderful backdrop to this ride. We then continue on the lake side trail to Kelvin Heights and return to Frankton (16km). We travel a short distance to Lake Hayes and enjoy a picnic lunch with a stunning view over the lake. Our next ride is an 8km circumnavigation of the lake. After the ride we finish up for the day and transfer back to Arrowtown.
Cycle Distance: 40km
Day 3 Arrowtown – Clyde
Today we cycle from our accommodation along the Arrow River on the Queenstown Trail. Cross over two very impressive suspension bridges and over the historic Kawarau Bridge to the AJ Hackett bungy centre (12km). Enjoy a latte as you watch tourists take their jumps, before we continue cycling into the Gibbston Valley high above the mighty Kawarau River, to a winery where we enjoy a vineyard platter lunch (12km). Enjoy a wine tasting in this lovely setting. After lunch relax on the support vehicle for the scenic drive following the Kawarau River to Clyde. The afternoon bike ride is a 13km trail beneath the willow trees, from Clyde to Alexandra, following the Clutha River. We transfer back to the delightful village of Clyde and our accommodation where you can have a walk around the historic precinct to appreciate the gold mining history of the township.
Cycle Distance: 37km
Day 4 Clyde – Lake Roxburgh
This morning we travel a short distance to Alexandra where the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail begins. The cycle trail through the Roxburgh Gorge is just stunning and will take your breath away. A 10km cycle is followed by a scenic jet boat transfer from Doctors Point to Shingle Creek, followed by another 13km bike ride to the Roxburgh Dam. Here we enjoy lunch before continuing down the trail on the Clutha Gold cycle trail to Millers Flat (30km). This section features orchards as well as gold mining relics which makes for a very pleasant ride. At Millers Flat we load up our bikes, enjoy a drink at the local pub, and then travel to our accommodation at the Lake Roxburgh Lodge.
Cycle Distance: 53km
Day 5 Lake Roxburgh – Wanaka
Today we travel to Lake Hawea on the Queenstown Lakes Trail cycle tour. Enjoy morning tea with yet another view of the mountains to the west, before our cycle ride for the day alongside Lake Hawea and then following the Hawea River terraces towards Wanaka to Albert Town (17km). After lunch we continue on the trail river terraces above the Clutha River as the river traces east (13km). This is the best of Central Otago with the raw brown plains coupled with sparkling cool blue waters and a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. There is the option of continuing the loop back to Albert Town on the more challenging south side of the river (16km). At the end of the bike ride we load up and travel a short distance to Wanaka and our comfortable accommodation. In the afternoon relax and explore the laid back town of Wanaka.
Cycle Distance: 46km
Day 6 Wanaka – Queenstown/Christchurch
This morning we head out for one last bike ride, following the Wanaka Outlet Track trail to Albert Town (15km). We then head back to Wanaka for a coffee to celebrate the end of the trip. This is the end of the Queenstown Lakes Trail tour and from here you have the option of getting a shuttle bus back to Queenstown, or travelling in the PureTrails support vehicle to Christchurch (arriving 5:30pm approx).
Cycle Distance: 15km
21 Jan 2019
17 Mar 2019
24 Mar 2019
8 Apr 2019
22 Apr 2019
20 Oct 2019
17 Nov 2019
22 Dec 2019
19 Jan 2020
15 Mar 2020
12 Apr 2020
19 Apr 2020
What’s included in the tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 4 lunches; 5 breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- fruit, snacks & morning teas on the trail
- the services of a tour leader who provides vehicle support & information
- cycle repair support
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- Roxburgh Gorge Trail usage fee
- Roxburgh Gorge jetboat shuttle
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
Our Guiding Team
Tour Leader/Operations Support (since 2008; Director)
John grew up in the town of Wanganui, where in his school days, he helped build the famed 'Wanganui High School Tramping Club Hut' on Mount Ruapehu. John retired from a career as a Property Valuer and Agricultural consultant where he practised for many years in Western Australia and Tauranga. John has travelled, walked and cycled extensively abroad and now enjoys introducing our visitors to favourite parts of NZ. Other hobbies include cycling, bridge, gardening & horse racing (don't get him started on the latter!)
Tour Leader (since 2018)
John has had a long career in the NZ Police, with time spent in the Search & Rescue & Alpine Cliff Rescue teams. During this period John spent a lot of time rock climbing and caving all over the South Island, leading to an enduring love of the NZ outdoors.
Outside of work John enjoys getting out in the hills hiking and cycling as well as swimming. John played rugby and water polo and still enjoys following these sports. He looks forward to meeting lots of people and sharing his love of the outdoors with PureTrails.