Queenstown, New Zealand: Queenstown Trail

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I’ll be giving some activity ideas for New Zealand during my trip here. See Wellington, NZ.

Yesterday I biked the Queenstown Trail in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Queenstown is my favorite place so far in New Zealand for its amazing array of outdoor activities from bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking, biking, boating, and more. I was in Queenstown for four days, and it rained for two complete days. The whole time it was cool, never exceeding 75 degrees, and often in the mid-60s.

Wikipedia climate info for Queenstown

I had originally planned to take a full day tour of the glaciers and fjords of the Milford Sound, but rain closed the road, so I had to improvise. Luckily my hostel, Black Sheep, offers free mountain bike rentals to guests. (I risk-aversely sprung for the 5 NZD insurance, which I’m sure is a bad deal.) No one seemed to want them in the rain, so I had my pick of the four bikes, which, though I’m no expert, seemed quite nice.

How I Pick a Hostel

I biked a few blocks from the hostel to the Queenstown Trail, which is easily accessible from anywhere in the tiny town center.

The trail was beautiful and hugged the lakeside. It was generally about eight feet wide and frequented by joggers, walkers, families, and the odd bike.

I started biking without any destination or aim. At every point where the path crossed a road or split, the signs clearly indicated how to continue for each possible destination.

After a few kilometers I decided to continue to the Kawarau Falls Bridge. It seemed the right distance, and I assumed it would be an interesting land mark.

The bridge was a really lovely view of the river and lake with mountains all around. After a few minutes at the dam, I turned around for the 9 km back.

The rain eased up a bit as I finished the trail, having biked for about two hours.

I highly recommend walking or biking the Queenstown Trail. It’s pleasant, easy, and a cheap (or free) alternative to the expensive activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, and going on organized tours. It’s a low-key way to fill a morning or afternoon while seeing a bit more of the lake.


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7 COMMENTS

  1. The trail also provides a pleasant alternative to the overpriced ($8) city bus to the airport, if you have plenty of time and minimal luggage.

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