Few places in New Zealand experience autumn colours like the Southern Lakes region – Queenstown, Arrowtown, and Wanaka. Around April, the hills are ablaze with golden hues, providing picture-postcard views at every turn.
One way to immerse yourself in this stunning landscape is to cycle the Queenstown Trail. Linking Queenstown, Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley, this 120km network of trails offers everything from easy lakeside jaunts to more ambitious, long-distance treks. Here are three riding options.
Lake Hayes Circuit
An 8km loop around New Zealand’s most photographed lake. Experience stunning mountain and lake vistas as well as a peek at some of the area’s fanciest homes.
Arrow River Bridges Ride
16km of easy riding which zigzags across five bridges over the Arrow River, takes you alongside AJ Hackett’s Bungy, and meanders through the magnificent wine-growing region of Gibbston Valley. This ride begins in Arrowtown, which is widely regarded as the best place in the country to soak up the autumnal hues. (If you’re only travelling one-way, its better to start out from Arrowtown for a predominantly downhill ride.) The town also hosts a boisterous Autumn Festival at the end of April (running from 20 to 25 April in 2017).
Lake Wakatipu Ride
Incredible views and easy-going riding are the features of this 15km trail around Lake Wakatipu. Numerous cafes and restaurants offer refuelling options along the way.
If an all-inclusive guided tour of this region is more to your liking, check out our 6 Day Southern Lakes Christchurch to Queenstown Cycle (GR023), or our 6 Day West Coast Queenstown to Christchurch Cycle, both of which offer autumn 2018 departure dates.
Have a great week,
Image: Image: The Remarkables. Mike Hermary