South Island Mountain biking Itinerary
With this epic 7-day bike tour through the South Island, visit two of New Zealand's most challenging cycle trails: Dun Mountain Trail and Old Ghost Road. Travel from Nelson to Wanaka and Queenstown through the West Coast, where you'll find some of the top mountain biking parks in the country as well as a diverse choice of other activities such as glacier treks, rafting, bungy jumping, and more.
Day 1: Dun Mountain Trail, Nelson
Arrive in Nelson and unwind at a nearby café before beginning your ride from the Nelson i-SITE to the Dun Mountain Trail's beginning. The old Dun Mountain railway, a horse-drawn tramway that served the Duppa Lode chromite mine in the late 1800s, was followed by the cycle trail. You'll go up into the alpine scenery, where you'll be treated to breathtaking vistas of the Nelson-Tasman region. Then return to Nelson through a thrilling 20-kilometer downhill run. Relax in the evening with a meal at one of Nelson's many restaurants, a glass of world-class wine, or a visit to one of the town's many craft breweries.
Day 2 : Old Ghost Road Trail, Murchison
Continue on to Lyell, a ghost village in the Buller Gorge. Murchison, which is close by, is a wonderful place to stop for last-minute supplies. The Old Ghost Road trail is the most remote and difficult of all the classic rides in New Zealand. This itinerary comprises the first section; the complete trail takes three days and follows a historic miners route from Lyell to Seddonville, north of Westport, along the Mokihinui River.
Day 3: Old Ghost Road Trail, Murchison
Ride the first section of the trail to Ghost Lake Hut and spend the night there, or return to Lyell and stay at the DOC campsite. A track from the campsite to an abandoned stamping battery and historic cemetery makes an interesting walk to end the day.
Old Ghost Road northern trailheadOld Ghost Road northern trailhead Mokihinui Road, Seddonville, New Zealand
Day 4: Blue Spur Track, Hokitika
Travel south along the coast to Hokitika, where you'll find the Blue Spur area. Blue Spur, which had a population of roughly 2,500 people during the New Zealand gold rush, is now a popular mountain biking destination. The Blue Spur track is actually a network of tracks all within reasonable riding reach of Hokitika, built by local motorcyclists for sheer fun. The tunes each have their own personality, with names like The Edge, Stags Drop, Bad Boys, and Seesaw. Spend the day attempting to try as many as possible. Finish up with the Tunnels Track, which takes you through an abandoned mine tunnel.
Blue Spur RoadBlue Spur Road, Blue Spur, Hokitika, New Zealand
Day 5: Fox Glacier
From Hokitika, head south along the untamed coast, passing through little towns, lovely lakes, and thick native rainforests on your way to glacier country. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are the two glaciers in this area. Both are well located. A short simple ride from Fox Glacier Village leads to the glacier's terminal face. The trail is level, and the landscape is breathtaking. Take a guided journey onto the glacier itself, or take a spectacular helicopter flight to observe the entire glacier from above.
Fox GlacierFox Glacier, New Zealand
Day 6: Dean Bank Track, Wanaka
Drive south from Fox Village to Wanaka, crossing the Southern Alps through the spectacular Haast Pass. The popular Deans Bank Track is located in Albert Town, right before Wanaka Township. This specially constructed track cuts into the river terrace and offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains, Clutha River, and Wanaka Basin. You may cycle back to Wanaka Town via the connecting Lakeside Trails from here. There are many restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from, and if you have time, you can explore some of the town's distinctive attractions like Puzzling World and the quirky Paradiso Cinema.
Deans Bank TrackDeans Bank Track, Albert Town, New Zealand
Day 7: Queenstown Bike Park
It's only a short drive from Wanaka to Queenstown, where you'll find a variety of different adventure activities in addition to some fantastic mountain biking tracks. The Skyline Gondola, located near Queenstown's downtown area, will take you and your bike to the top of Bob's Peak, where the Queenstown Bike Park is located. A variety of downhill trails through the forest can be found here. There are plenty of other mountain bike paths to explore or simply relax with a bath in a hot tub overlooking the Shotover River once you've finished.
Queenstown Bike ParkQueenstown Bike Park, Queenstown, New Zealand
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