Immerse yourself amongst true southern hospitality as you pedal through historic townships and rural farmland. Soak up the alpine vista views and marvel at the pristine waters of Mavora Lakes – one of the awe-inspiring locations featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Cycle alongside the Oreti and Mataura rivers and through the native tussock lands of Walter Peak and Mt Nicholas stations – both authentic high country farms.
Expect the unexpected… Mother Nature has a knack of whipping up some challenges to tackle here in the Deep South, adding a whole new element to the adventure.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time.
Set in the remote wilderness of Southern New Zealand, the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail offers a truly unique experience for those seeking to venture off the beaten track.
It’s a trail of contrasts – from the energetic adrenalin-seekers paradise of Queenstown to absolute tranquility as you traverse the agricultural hinterland of Southland.
The Around the Mountains Cycle Trail offers an unrivalled diversity for cyclists. The 186km journey can be ridden in either direction, starting at Kingston or Walter Peak, and takes 3-5 days at a relaxed pace on this easy to conquer trail.
Although the trail is well signposted, carrying a map will ensure against wrong turns (particularly important in the remote Mavora Lakes section), pinpoint landmarks, and assist with timings for transport including the TSS Earnslaw cruise.
No, but we offer a bike shuttle service to and from the trail. Easy as. Call Tom or Vicki for more information.
The trail was originally proposed as a 3 day 2 night bike ride. However we have had a number of bookings for 4 day 3 night packages. Feel free to call Tom or Vicki for advice
The Around the Mountains is primarily grade 1–2 (easiest to easy), with much of the trail following custom-made cycle paths with gentle gradients. There are, however, a number of sections on public roads where riders should be prepared to encounter traffic.
The section between Walter Peak Station and Mavora Lakes follows a reasonably smooth gravel road, but its remoteness bumps the grade up to Grade 3.
The gravel road from Mavora Lakes to Centre Hill can be busy and dusty, especially in summer. It’s possible to arrange shuttle transport along this section should riders wish to avoid it.
Those attempting the full trail – including the Mavora Lakes section – should be reasonably fit, experienced and self-sufficient.
Food and drink can be found in cafes and grocery stores and cafes in Queenstown, Mossburn, Lumsden, Garston and Athol. There are no services whatsoever between Walter Peak Station and Mossburn, so be sure to carry plenty of food and drink for this section, in particular.
Water bottles can be filled at various settlements so be sure to carry plenty on hot summer days. There’s a water supply at Mavora Lakes DOC campsite; boiling or treating it is recommended.
There are facilities available at Walter Peak Station, at five locations between Walter Peak and Mavora Lakes, at the Centre Hill shelter (between Mavora Lakes and Mossburn), and at other convenient places along the trail including towns, campsites and other stopping points. Refer to the downloadable map for more details.
While coverage is reliable around Queenstown and the trail’s southern towns, coverage is virtually non-existent between Walter Peak and Mossburn.