Vertigo Bikes Queenstown - Guided Mountain Bike Tours
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Vertigo - Local Wisdom

ADVICE ON COMING TO QUEENSTOWN TO RIDE

If you’re planning on spending a bit of time in Queenstown, it is worth joining the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club as you will be supporting a great cause and it will get you some great benefits around town.  Vertigo offers 10% discount on parts and accessories in our shop to all members.

If you are bringing your own bike it is a hard choice between whether to bring a DH bike or an All Mountain bike.  Us Vertigo boys ride 99% of the trails here on our trail bikes (Giant Trance SX) and find that you will see a lot more of the riding Queenstown has to offer if you bring one of these style bikes.   But if you just want to cut laps on the Gondola for a week then your DH bike should be the one you pack for sure!

DOWNHILL RIDING

Unless you have been living under a rock you will know that Queenstown became the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have a gondola-accessed mountain bike park.  Skyline Gondola in the centre of Queenstown has opened its doors to mountain bikers, giving us access to the awesome downhill mountain bike trails in the Ben Lomond Forest.  There are a wide variety of tracks to cater for all abilities of rider.  Check out our videos on the right of some of the tracks.  

There are also other DH tracks in the area, which are easy to shuttle if you have a vehicle, or we can help you with that.  We have the awesome Wynyard Express DH track in town and also the fast and flowy trails on Coronet Peak-  Rude Rock, Zoot track and Skippers Canyon!

Vertigo would recommend a Giant Glory if riding any of these DH trails for maximum grin factor!

CROSS COUNTRY RIDING

Cross country trails are on the up, with areas like “7 Mile” offering people who are looking to go for a pedal and get out of town a great option.  The area has a mix of technical singletrack to fast flowy man-made trails.  There are about a dozen different loops to choose from and it is worth buying a MTB club map if it is your first time here, as it can seem a bit of a maze!  There are a few videos of some of the trails on the right of this page.

Another classic Queenstown ride, and a locals’ favorite is the Moke Lake Circuit.  This is a nice ride with plenty of climbing in it, and has a genuine New Zealand backcountry feel to it.  High country farmland, beautiful mountain lakes, singletrack, 4wd roads, sheep and cows, what more could you ask for!  The loop is a half-day ride, and you can venture into 7 Mile on the way back for a play also (if you have any energy left!)

For both of these rides Vertigo would recommend a nice XC full suspension bike, like a Giant Trance or  Giant Anthem especially for 7 Mile, making the ride much more enjoyable.  Go on, treat yourself! Smile

SCENIC CRUISE

If you are just after a scenic cruise, we have the spectacular Frankton Arm trail which follows the lake edge from the centre of Queenstown to Kelvin Heights Peninsula, and then further to Jacks Point if you are up for a 50km return ride.  The trail has a few cafes and restaurants on the way, notably at the Hilton Hotel and Kawarau Village, which is a great spot to stop for lunch.

STATION 2 STATION 

This is a fabulous ride for everyone, especially novice riders.  Take a scenic cruise from Queenstown to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm on board the Spirit of Queenstown to the start of the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail. The gentle 12 km (1 hour) ride takes in views of the Southern Alps, Glenorchy and The Remarkables. Once you reach Walter Peak your return to Queenstown is on the famous TSS Earnslaw.  $139 adults & $89.  You can also add-on a buffet lunch option at Walter Peak.  Call us in the shop for bookings on this one.  (03) 442 8378.

Vertigo would recommend a Giant Talon front suspension bike for riding this trail!

For more info on any of these rides and more, give us a call, or pop into the shop Smile

 

So many cool trails to ride in the Wakatipu Region, it’s almost mind blowing – and also a little confusing!   
So many directions to go, full on adventures or maybe a leisurely family cycle to a lakeside picnic spot or a local swimming hole?  

Here’s a quite a few of our top picks, plus all the Queenstown Trail info, and how to get there:

Vertigo Bike Taxi Options:
– Bring your own bike and let us drop you off
– Hire a bike & let us drop you off
– Want us to bring you back home again?
– Want to connect up with a second trail ride?

Costs:
– One way shuttle, transport only $39pp
– Ride the Region Vertigo Bike Taxi day package – front susp. bike hire, trail map, puncture repair kit & one way transport – $99 adult, $89 child

 

We have listed some of the top rides in the Wakatipu Basin for you to check out, there is something for everyone.

This icon means the track is an official New Zealand Cycle Trail

This ride can also be broken down into sections so you can plan different rides on different days, for those wanting less time each day in the saddle!

Most fun for: All abilities – Vertigo Vibe Trail Riding Notes Available
Fitness Rating: Moderate
Distance: 24km (without Lake Hayes Loop)

Highlights:
– Drop off in the beautiful little historic gold mining town – great shopping, museum, coffee spots.
– Purpose built sections join a network of existing roads, with gorgeous uninterrupted views.
– Drop into the Lake Hayes Loop for an extra 11kms and maybe a quick swim.

Local Wisdom Rides_10

Time:   1-5 hours (depending on start point, min 12km from Skippers      Saddle)
Start/finish: Queenstown or Skippers Saddle
Technical grade: Intermediate/Advanced
Fitness grade: Good
Recommended Bike: XC/AM (eg Giant Anthem/Trance)
Terrain: Back country alpine single track

An area rich in gold mining history and steeped in beauty. The classic Skippers Canyon Pack Trail is a must do. Enjoy 6kms of flowing alpine single track built by gold miners back in the 1800’s. Follow the trail from Skippers Saddle (aprox 15 kms from town) until it meets up with Skippers Road and climb back out of the canyon.

Vertigo Bike Taxi Shuttle Option available.

[NB rental car companies do not insure their vehicles on the Skippers Canyon Road so a professional driver is a great idea]

Most fun for: Intermediate & Advanced riders
Fitness Rating: Moderate
Distance: 15km (excluding 7 Mile)

Highlights:
– A nature ride, mostly easy well graded double track
– Option to drop into 7-Mile Reserve for more technical fun on the purpose built trails, features & single track loops.

Local Wisdom Rides_1

Time: 1-5 hours (15km return from town)
Start/Finish: Car park opposite Gold Digger Trail or Wilson Bay on Glenorchy Road
Technical grade: Intermediate/advanced
Fitness grade:  Good (lots of climbing)
Recommended Bike: XC/Hardtail (eg Giant Talon/Anthem
Terrain: A mix of technical hand cut single track and machine built fast & flowy tracks with berms and jumps

The local’s pick for some good fitness based riding where you need to power your way around and up the climbs. Rewarding riding for such a small area and an abundance of trails. Built by the MTB club all trails are directional & clearly marked.

Highlights:
– A real MTB gem, purpose built trails (maintained by the local MTB Club)
– “Cool Runnings” – Beginner park riders looking to improve their skills
– “Kachoong” – jumps, obstacles, speed 4 adrenaline junkies.

Most fun for: All abilities, picnickers, families
Fitness Rating: Moderate
Distance: 30km return

Highlights:
– Picnic spots and photo opportunities
– Riding over the Kawarau (Bungy) Suspension Bridge (20km return)
– Gibbston Valley vineyards & tasting rooms

Local Wisdom Rides_2

Time: 4-5 hours (30km return from town – shuttle options)
Start/Finish: Queenstown
Technical grade: Intermediate
Fitness grade: Good (a few hills on the way)
Recommended Bike: XC/AM (eg Giant Anthem/Trance)
Terrain: A mix of road, 4WD road and high country single track.

This classic ride gets you out of town & into the mountains. Follow the Glenorchy Rd for 6km & turn right onto Moke Lake Road (or climb the Gold Digger Trail). Follow the obvious loop around Moke Lake itself & follow the signs to Lake Dispute. From here you will end up on the Glenorchy Rd & follow it back to town, or take the Phoenix Trail and end up at Wilson Bay. From here follow the road back to town or go through the 7 Mile Bike Park.

Highlights:
– Our transport cuts out a reasonably long hard climb up to Moke Lake Saddle, approx 10kms from QT
– Moke Lake Road to Lake Dispute is 10kms
– Breathtaking scenery, chilly but refreshing swimming, exploring gold mining relics
– Great back country  mountain biking
– Option to drop into 7-Mile Bike Park on the way back

Local Wisdom Rides_7

Time: 4-5 hours (45km return)
Start/Finish:  Queenstown Gardens (or one way shuttle)
Technical grade: Intermediate
Fitness grade: Good
Recommended Bike: XC/Hardtail (eg Giant Talon/Anthem)
Terrain: Purpose built gravel walking/cycling track

A great way to spend a full day, or a fast paced half day ride. Carry on from Kelvin Heights Golf Course through Jardine’s Park, following the lake edge trail to Jacks Point – the Club House is a great spot for a bite or a coffee!

Highlights:
– One of the most popular all abilities rides in the Wakatipu
– Jacks Point Club House – great casual lunches (very popular but you can book a table)
– Mixture of undulating purpose-built single and double track

Most fun for: All abilities, families, picnickers
Fitness Rating: Basic
Distance: 1 hour +

Highlights:
– Cruisy riding
– Mountain, Lake & interesting real estate panoramas
– Great picnic & swimming spots

Most fun for: All abilities, families (long hill on Arrowtown return approx 10 mins to walk)
Fitness Rating: Moderate
Distance: 30km Return Via Millbrook and Slopehill Road

Highlights:
– Rural byways peppered with Artist Galleries, farm animals & some amazing houses
– Great stand alone ride, or linked with other Queenstown Trail sections to make a loop

Most fun for: Intermediate Riders
Fitness Rating: Moderate
Distance: 60km Return

Highlights:
– One of the more remote Trails, along the banks of the Kawarau River
– Some quite steep unrelenting climbs but majestic views

Local Wisdom Rides_6

Time: 3-4 hours (30km return trip)
Start/Finish: Queenstown Gardens
Technical grade: Beginner
Fitness grade:  Average
Recommended bike: XC/Hardtail (eg Giant Talon/Anthem)
Terrain: Easy going purpose-built cycling/walking track

This is the most popular ride in town for recreational cyclists. It’s an easy going route following the lake edge around Frankton Arm to the Kelvin Heights Golf Course, with the option to go further to Jacks Point. There are a few nice cafes on the way.

Highlights:
– Very easy cruising on a nice wide track from the Queenstown Gardens to Frankton, and as far as you want towards Kelvin Heights Peninsula and onto Jacks Point.
– Superb way to view the lake and the lakeside real estate

Time: 2-3 hours (8km return)
Start: Skyline Access Rd (see previous description)
Technical grade: Intermediate/advanced
Grade: Good fitness
Recommended bike: AM (eg Giant Trance/Reign)
Terrain: Lush Beech forest single track littered with rocks & roots – a local’s favourite.

A ride that gets you way from town and man-made bike park tracks. A tough climb to start, but the ride down is a worthwhile reward. Climb up a techy single track to a creek crossing and then carry on until you get to a clearing which gives you lake views to die for (perfect Selfie spot). From here descend the way you climbed or carry on to complete the loop down some steep switchbacks that bring you out by the Wynyard Freestyle Terrain Park where you can tag onto the second part of the Wynyard Express DH track back to town.

 

Local Wisdom Rides_3

Time: 1 hour (4km one way)
Start: Lomond Crescent
Technical grade: Intermediate
Fitness grade: Good
Terrain: 4WD road
Recommended Bike: XC/AM (eg Giant Anthem/Trance)

If you enjoy pain, this is a classic climb taking you to the top of the Skyline Gondola and also the start of all the trails in the Queenstown Bike Park. It is also the recommended way to access the awesome Fernhill Loop track, which splits off at the half way point of access road (note this is a locked road and vehicle access is prohibited). The record stands at 17 mins for the climb, give it your best shot!

Local Wisdom Rides_4

Time: Half or full day (longest trail is 6km)
Start: Skyline Gondola
Technical grade: All DH abilities
Fitness grade: Good fitness
Recommended Bike: DH/AM (eg Giant Glory or Reign)
Terrain: A huge variety of DH specific trails – steep technical single track to fast flowing trails with berms and jumps.

The must-do DH experience! Take a 2 hour Guided Intro with the guys who built the first trail on the hill, for all the inside knowledge.

Local Wisdom Rides_5

Time: 2-3 hours (8km return)
Start: Skyline Access Rd (see previous description)
Technical grade: Intermediate/advanced
Grade: Good fitness
Recommended bike: AM (eg Giant Trance/Reign)
Terrain: Lush Beech forest single track littered with rocks & roots – a local’s favourite.

A ride that gets you way from town and man-made bike park tracks. A tough climb to start, but the ride down is a worthwhile reward. Climb up a techy single track to a creek crossing and then carry on until you get to a clearing which gives you lake views to die for (perfect Selfie spot). From here descend the way you climbed or carry on to complete the loop down some steep switchbacks that bring you out by the Wynyard Freestyle Terrain Park where you can tag onto the second part of the Wynyard Express DH track back to town.

Local Wisdom Rides_8

Time: 1-2 hours (18km return from town)
Start: Town/Moke Lake Road
Technical grade: Intermediate
Fitness grade: Good
Recommended bike: XC/AM (eg Giant Anthem/Trance)
Terrain: A two-way, fast flowing hand cut single track with a few rocks and roots thrown in for good measure.

Another must, and a great tag-on ride if you are riding in the 7 mile Bike Park. Hand cut, native forest single track with a perfect gradient to climb or descend. Also a good way to start the Moke Lake/Lake Dispute Loop, rather than climbing Moke Lake Road.

 

Local Wisdom Rides_9

Time: 15 mins (one way from Lake Dispute Track)
Start/Finish: Lake Dispute Track / Wilsons Bay
Technical grade: Intermediate
Fitness grade: Good
Recommended Bike: XC/Hardtail (Giant Talon/Anthem)
Terrain: Purpose built single track, fast and flowy

This is a great little additional to the Moke Lake/Lake Dispute Track. Once past Lake Dispute, follow the trail until you see the signs for “Phoenix” on the left. Follow this flowy traverse with outstanding views until a great fun little descent which brings you out at Wilson Bay and the start of the 7 Mile Bike Park.

Local Wisdom Rides_11

Time: 3-6 hours (Min 10km from Coronet Base building)
Start/Finish: Coronet Peak Ski Field
Technical grade: Intermediate/Advanced
Fitness grade: Good
Recommended Bike: AM (eg Giant Trance/Reign)
Terrain: Alpine single track

There are a few options here now to wet your appetite. Ask us in store about the different tracks and ways to link them up. A local’s favourite is to park at the bottom of Zoot Track, ride to the top of Coronet Peak via the Coronet Enduro Track, then back down to “Rude Rock”, onto “Pack, Sack & Crack” and climb back onto “Skippers Pack Trail” and climb back out the Skippers Road finishing up with a flat out blast down “Zoot Track” back to the car. This gives you over 1000m of vertical descending of the highest quality!

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We ride everyday so we know the best trails to go to!

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