Q. How long does it take to ride the full 130+kms?
How long have you got? The trail is designed so you can do as much or as little as you like. Whether you’ve got four days for the full ride, two days, half a day or a couple of hours, there’s plenty of great trails to explore.
Q. How difficult are the trails?
While the trails are not exactly flat, it is relatively easy and suitable for most ages and abilities. If the going gets tough, many riders opt to walk their bike up the steeper hills which aren’t too long.
Here's a local tip - Queenstown is at the lowest point of the Wakatipu Basin, so rides starting from Queenstown will involve elevation gain. For example riding from Arrowtown to Queenstown will be easier, and return transport for you and your bikes is readily available.
Some sections of the trail have more hills than others and all of our trails can be viewed according to difficulty here. A detailed explanation of the different trail grades are explained here.
All of the Queenstown Trail is within grades 2-4. Excluding the Jacks Point Trail, which is Grade 4, Advanced. Any short optional sections that are more demanding are clearly signposted.
Q. Where does the trail start?
The official start of the trail is in on the lakefront in Queenstown, next to the Bath House and historic waterwheel at the entrance to the Queenstown Gardens. There are many handy car parking areas to start the trail from however, depending on what section you want to ride and for how far! Or get transport for you and your bikes to begin in Arrowtown and ride back to Queenstown for example.
Q Can I walk the trail?
Of course – the trails are mostly 2+ metres wide and have been designed for walkers AND cyclists to share. Make a day of it and pack a picnic or stop off at one of the many cafes and restaurants along the way. Check out the maps to plan your walk here.
Q Can I take my dog on the trail?
Sure thing, as long as your dog is under control at all times - check out QLDC's rules and regs around dog walking in the district here.
Q: Can I hire bikes and gear?
Queenstown and Arrowtown are geared up for cyclists and can hire everything you need including cycles, helmets and child seats. Check out these cycle hire options.
Q: Where can I get a map?
You can download and print a map to take with you on the trail. There’s plenty of signage on the trail. Hard copy foldable maps are available from all local bike shops for a $2 donation.
Q. Who can ride the trails?
The Queenstown Trail has been designed for everybody to enjoy – and it’s free! Whether you’re a regular mountain biker, a family with young children or a feisty nana, there’s a part of the trail that’s for you. Because there’s no fixed start of finish spot, you can ride or walk for an hour, a day or three days! Some sections of the trail have more hills than others. You can find trails by level of difficulty here.
Q. Is there transport to get us (and our bikes) back to our starting point?
Absolutely. Bike operators, accommodation providers and tour operators’ offer pick up and deliver services. Local transport operators can help you out. You can find them here.
Q. What's the best time of year to ride the trails?
Queenstown is beautiful all year round – Spring and Autumn are particularly picturesque and provide great biking temperatures and there’s plenty of daylight hours.
Summer is stunning of course but choose your riding day carefully in Winter!
- Summer (Dec-Mar) mid-teens to late-20º C
- Autumn (Apr-May) 8º to 16º C
- Winter (Jun-Aug) -2º to 10º C
- Spring (Sept-Nov) 8º to 17º C
Remember though, Queenstown is an alpine environment and the weather can change very quickly. Be sure to pack extra layers, just in case. The sun is particularly harsh too – so please ensure you wear and pack extra sunscreen – even on overcast days.
Q: What kind of bike is best?
The trails are finished in smooth gravel and well-maintained. For safety and comfort, we recommend front or dual suspension mountain bikes with rugged tyres. You can hire bikes and all the gear you need from businesses in Queenstown and Arrowtown. All tour operators also provide cycles.
Q: Can I get lost on the trails?
Along the trails you’re never more than several kilometres from a main road or settlement, so it’s difficult to get lost for any length of time. The rides are all clearly signposted with detailed maps, distances and destinations easy to find. Your biggest decision will be where to go next.
Q: Is there mobile phone coverage along the trails?
On most parts of the trail you’ll have coverage for major mobile networks. In a medical or other emergency dial 111 for Police, Fire and Ambulance, this will connect you directly with the emergency operator. There’s no need to add an area or country code. Important numbers are listed here.
Phone 03 441 1600
11 Camp Street, Queenstown
Phone 03 441 0015
20 Douglas Street, Frankton
Queenstown Doctors & Medical Centres:
Queenstown Medical Centre:
9 Isle Street, Queenstown
Phone 03 441 0500
Berkshire Street, Arrowtown
Phone 03 442 1215
Wakatipu Medical Centre:
11 McBride Street, Frankton
Phone 03 442 2288