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The Great Rides and Cycle Trails of New Zealand

Moke Lake and Lake Dispute

Regional Ride

Queenstown, South Island

This is a popular ride either a return ride from Queenstown or combined with the Moonlight Trail for a full day classic ride.

From Queenstown head out of town on the Glenorchy Road for just under 7 kilometres until you come to the Moke Lake Road heading steeply up the hill on the right hand side. Wind you way up the gnarly tar seal climb for a good half an hour. Eventually the road plateaus and becomes a gravel road all the way through Ben Lomond Station and into Moke Lake. This road can be very dusty and an unpleasant ride in times of really heavy traffic during peak summer season.

At Moke Lake ride right through the camping area crossing over a small wooden bridge and toward the obvious track after crossing a few farm sties. The track start with an uphill and then undulates around Moke Lake. 

At the southern End of Moke Lake (after approximately 3 kilometres) the trail reaches a Y junction at a farm sty. Cross the sty and head right gradually uphill through a paddock (continuing left will take you right round Moke Lake - see Moke Lake Loop). The trail is not well defined here so follow the cattle tracks and make your way roughly up the paddock. At the top of the paddock cross another sty and head left along a fence line and very bumpy single track punctuated. Orange day glo markers are placed at regular intervals all the way along here so route finding is not difficult.  Follow the fence line on the cattle track being careful not to accidentally drift into the barbed wire fence while avoiding the dreaded cow laid land mines.

Eventually the cattle trail comes to an end at the fence (approximately 3.5 kilometres) and joins a narrow farm track which turns back into glorious sweeping single track that shoots down a steepish hill and past Lake Dispute on your right.

After Lake Dispute, to your left will be some navigational signs, follow the signs and trail threading through a few private properties. Navigation can be a bit tricky with a few fences and misleading tracks - but you soon work it out.

The descent back down to the Glenorchy Road can either be hair-raising or hell-raising depending on your ability. It is very steep in parts with some large ditches and drops cut out by the rain. However it is not very far so intermediate riders will be more than happy to walk their bikes the short distance - no harm there as you don't want to spoil what has been a fabulous ride with a silly fall.

The trail joins the Glenorchy Road where you turn left heading 7 kilometers or so back into Queenstown.  A dreaded climb out of Wilsons Bay on the main road can be avoided by turning off at the car park in Wilsons Bay and heading into the Seven Mile Mountain Bike Park.  A technical trail will take you right across the small peninsula to a car park on the other side where you can rejoin the ride.  Many people find this the toughest part of the ride preferring to slog it up the main road.  On your way back in a short detour at Sunshine Bay can also have you riding along a single track in bush perched over Lake Wakatipu again avoiding the main road.

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