Well-tended vines on the slopes of the valley, views from the Gibbston River Trail, wine tasting and great food.
This section begins at end of the historic Kawarau Bridge - itself a major attraction, being the home of A J Hackett’s (and the world’s) first ever bungy operation. The AJ Hackett Centre is a stunning piece of architecture, well worth a visit - a fabulous café, toilets and of course tickets for that bungy jump you've been promising yourself.
NOTE: TRAIL UPGRADE COMPLETED NOVEMBER 8 2014. PLEASE FOLLOW SIGNAGE AS PEREGRINE LOOP IS suitable for experienced cyclists and walkers ONLY. The views are incredible, so DO MAKE THE TIME TO EXPLORE!
As you leave the AJ Hackett carpark (accessible off SH6) follow the signs to the recently upgraded Gibbston River Trail. From here-on your journey takes you into wine country.
As you ride towards the east you’ll be spoilt for vistas - The Kawarau River far below on your left and to your right, the Gibbston vineyards, architectural masterpieces and iconic Central Otago landscapes. You’ll also pass through a rare pre-1900 fruit orchard and rock huts left over from the goldrush.
Nothing can prepare you for the stunning, international award-winning Peregrine Winery building sitting lightly on the landscape. Inspired by Peregrine (native falcon or Karearea) in flight, it has won awards from London-based Architecture Review magazine and the NZ Institute of Architects.
The trail features many opportunities to stop and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Kawarau Gorge. Do bring a picnic and enjoy the many picnic spots along the way (tip - when you see the sign marked "Picnic Area' do yourself a favour and follow the trail - it's only about 20 paces on foot the little detour is so worth it!)
At Waitiri Creek, stop in for a breather and a taste of their finest wines.
Across the State Highway, make an afternoon of it at the Gibbston Tavern, a real central Otago treasure.
Take your time in Gibbston - order a delicious picnic hamper packed with freshly-baked baguettes, cheeses and antipasto from Gibbston Valley Cheeses and find a shady spot for your picnic or enjoy an afternoon at the award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery Restaurant, plus there is a great gift store and bike hire centre now located at the Winery.
For wine enthusiasts, it doesn’t get any better than a guided tour through the Gibbston Valley Wine Caves. These unique caves have been blasted out of the solid schist of the mountains, to create an ideal natural environment to mature award-winning wines.
From Gibbston your options are to head to Arrowtown via the Arrow River Bridge Ride or back to Queenstown via the Twin Rivers and Wakatipu Lake Ride Trail or call for a transport pick-up for you and your bikes.
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