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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

Around the Mountains Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Queenstown, South Island

Planning on riding the Around the Mountains Trail? Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip. 

The Around the Mountain trail will be a grade 2 175 kilometer cycling trail with a start with a difference departing from Queenstown on the historic TSS Earnslaw steam ship across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station.

"Earnie" has been plying it's trade on Lake Wakatipu since 1912 and today it is the only passenger carrying steam boat left operating in the Southern Hemisphere.  It must be the clear deep fresh water of Lake Wakatipu that has kept her so young for so long.  The trip from downtown Queenstown to Walter Peak station is a fabulous 45 minute cruise down Lake Wakatipu in the direction of Glenorchy.

Walter Peak Station is a real working high country sheep station, the first of two you will encounter on this ride.  The second is Mount Nicholas station only 12 kilometers down the gravel road.  A public back country gravel road takes you all the way from Walter Peak station into Mavora Lakes via the Von Valley.  The road has an amazing sense of remoteness and passes at least two restored Shepherds cottages from times bygone.  Unfortunately about halfway through the ride you come to the apex of the ride which has a total elevation of 700 meters.  There is a long hill that will probably have to be walked up by all but the fit and the stupid.  Be on the lookout after approximately 45km from Walter Peak station for the signposted Mavora Lakes Road which takes you the 8km up to the camping areas.

Mavora Lakes is made up of 2 lakes (North and South) in the Snowdon Forest Conservation Area surrounded by thick beech forests and horizons of snow capped peaks including the towering Mount Turnball.  There is nowhere to stay along the 55km trail from Walter Peak to a camping area at Mavora Lakes.   This section is already a very popular ride with cycle tourers or people heading to Mavora Lakes for camping excursions.  We suggest you might make this a three day trip now cycling into Mavora Lakes and camping for a couple of nights before cycling back to Walter Peak station.  There are some good rides up and around North Mavora Lake.  The campsites have toilets and water (although boiling the water before drinking is recommended).

From Mavora Lakes a new trail is to be developed for launch toward the end of 2011 heading down the Oreti River and around to Mossburn before following the old railway line to Lumsden and back North again tracking the foothills of the Remarkables ranges up through Garston, Athol and Fairlight to Kingston at the South End of Lake Wakatipu. The ride will take anywhere between 4 - 6 days.

It is possible to continue your ride on gravel roads to Mossburn now.

From the Around the Mountain Trail, future cycle trails may potentially be developed from Lake Mavora to Te Anau, from Lumsden to Bluff and from Lumsden to the Catlins Coast. 


  • Lake Wakatipu
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