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

Moonlight Trail via Moke Lake

Classic Mountain Bike Ride

Queenstown, South Island

This classic Queenstown mountain bike ride is a favourite with locals and visitors alike as it circumnavigates Ben Lomond into some beautiful alpine back country terrain.

From Queenstown head out on the main road toward Arthurs Point and Coronet Ski field.  After a small descent about 5 kilometers after you have left town you will cross a single lane bridge and the sad ruins of the formerly great Arthurs Point Tavern (destroyed in the name of transit widening the road eventually - argh!)  Take the immediate left lane-way after the pub heading steeply up toward old Arthurs Point.  At the first Y Junction turn left onto McChesney Road and follow this back around until another left takes you onto Arthurs Track and a right follows onto Seffers Way.  At the end of Seffers way the road narrows to the start of the Moonlight track.

The Moonlight Trail is a challenging uphill ride from Arthurs Point in the direction of the Ben Lomond saddle along a single track trail for much of the way. Some parts of the trail are quite technical and there are a number of sections where you have to carry your bike.  Rain has worn away at the track causing mountain bike swallowing ruts.  Eventually however the trail widens, the gradient lessens and a fast sweeping ride will take you toward Seffertown.  There is one navigational point to be aware of once your get moving you will come to sign posted Y Junction with a pathway heading down to the "Musterers Bridge" - don't take this, it is a long walk back up.  Instead keep heading toward Seffertown and the Ben Lomond Saddle.

At Seffertown (the very scarce remnants of a gold mining settlement) the trail becomes a 4wd farm trail which despite a couple of short very steep hills is a fast flowing ride all the way into Moke Lake.  An option is to follow the obvious single track along the stream crossing it regularly all the way until it rejoins the road just before the Moke Lake camping area.

Moke Lake has a fabulous camping area next to the small alpine lake.  At Moke Lake you can hit the gravel road which eventually turns to tar seal as it winds steeply down to the Glenorchy road which will take you back to Queenstown by turning left when you hit it.

The preferred classic ride is to continue around Moke Lake by turning right at the gate of Ben Lomond and riding through the camping ground to the edge of the lake where an obvious single track takes you round the lake.  Halfway round at the far southern end of the lake you will come to a Y Junction at which point you can continue your circumnavigation of Moke Lake heading back toward the camping area or continue on your adventure direction Lake Dispute and toward the Glenorchy Road (see the Moke Lake - Lake Dispute ride).

The Moonlight circuit (33km including the road sections) is a classic ride for most intermediate riders.  It is about 3km further to add the full circuit round Moke Lake and via Lake Dispute. 

The Moonlight trail from Moke Lake back to Arthurs Point is also easily ridden although as you get closer to Arthurs Point route finding can become a little bit difficult as a myriad of cattle tracks cross the path easily dragging you into an endless circle of small paths going nowhere.  The rule of thumb is always take the high road. 

Photos

  • Moke
  • Moke2
  • Moke3
  • Moke Lake
  • Moke Lake
  • Moonlight Trail 2
  • Moonlight trail to Moke Lake
  • Moonlight trail

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