Queenstown: Day 3

Most of the trip I’ve been seeing lots of bikers and thinking to myself, Damn, my dad would love this place. Well Dad, I finally got to try my hand at some of this Queenstown mountain biking, renting a cross-country (XC) bike from Vertigo Bikes—just around the corner from my hostel. They gave me a useless map and some directions to follow, and I went off on my way to more or less figure things out for myself.

My plan was to bike around Moke Lake, which was only 27km/16.5mi round trip from here. Along my route, next to the lake on Glenorchy Road, there was an awesome biking/hiking path—the Sunshine Bay Track. The path wasn’t too challenging, but you had to be careful of pedestrians. At Moke Lake Road I turned right to follow this extremely steep road up for over a mile. Too steep for me. I walked my bike. Eventually, it got not-as-steep to where I could ride but it was a gravelly road that went on for another 3ish miles with no end. It had taken me over an hour already to get to this point and I hadn’t even seen the freaking lake yet.

Starting the day off on the road to Glenorchy

Starting the day off on the road to Glenorchy

The road to nowhere... seriously, where is the freaking lake?

The road to nowhere… seriously, where is the freaking lake?

I saw lots of sheep. Lots of cows. Finally I got to the lake. It only took me 20 minutes to ride around the entire lake, which was a bit frustrating since it had taken me hours to get there! There was an alternate route on the way back to Queenstown though, on the other side of the hill. I found the trail and wasn’t really even sure that I was on a trail at all… more like a random path through cow pastures for a few more miles. Eventually I found a “road” again, and another adorable lake. Eventually the road led to single-track, which led to the road.

DSC00173

Path around the lake!

 

Had to cross over several of these.

Had to cross over several of these.

Here's where I got over-confident in my riding abilities and totally slipped off and into the mud. So fun.

Here’s where I got over-confident in my riding abilities and totally slipped off and into the mud. So fun.

Is this the trail? Hope so.

Is this the trail? Hope so.

Found a road!!! Time for a celebratory selfie.

Found a road!!! Time for a celebratory selfie.

More road.

More road.

Another cute lake

Another cute lake.

Road gone. Where am I?

Road gone. Where am I?

Nice, steep-ish single-track down to the road again.

Nice, steep-ish single-track down to Glenorchy Rd.

I ended my ride with some more fun through Sunshine Bay Track, and a quick nap along the Lake Esplanade.

Sunny view from Sunshine Bay Track.  B)

Sunny view from Sunshine Bay Track. B-)

Knowing what I know now, I would pay someone to drive me to the lake and begin my ride from there. The first half of the ride and the struggle of getting to the lake sucked.

If you’re into downhill mountain biking there are plenty of trails that begin at the top of the Skyline Gondola and finish near the bottom. Just rent a bike and a half or full-day gondola pass to take you (and your bike) up as many times as you’d like, and cruise on back down to base. I didn’t get a chance to do any downhill rides, but it looked like a lot of fun! Next time, next time…

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One thought on “Queenstown: Day 3

  1. I love hearing about all these different mishaps and adventures. Solo travel is curious in that way. We must talk about it once you are back home over Skype/Facebook/other means of international communication.

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