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