The Most Scenic Bike Ride in Queenstown
November 11, 2018
The Station 2 Station bike ride in Queenstown is a 14km trail along one of the most beautiful and least ridden tracks in the area. In this post, is all the information needed to plan and get you excited about this off the beaten path, adventure activity.
The Station 2 Station Bike Ride in Queenstown
Along the road that winds its way along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, you can take in the spectacular views of Queenstown’s surrounding landscape. However, there are a few places these roads don’t go, and in my opinion, miss some of the best views and wide open landscapes.
The areas I’m talking about are at the two farm stations that sit opposite Queenstown across Lake Wakatipu – Mount Nicholas Station and Walter Peak Station. These two stations sit in one of the best areas to view the lake and its surrounds.
Both Bailey and I have been to the Mount Nicholas Station previously so we already knew just how beautiful it is and after we found out about the Station 2 Station bike ride in Queenstown, we knew we had to give it a go! It turned out to be one of the best decisions we made and is still one of the best tours we have done from Queenstown!
So, here’s everything you need to know about the Station 2 Station bicycle trip.
What is the Station 2 Station bike trail?
The Station 2 Station bike ride, Queenstown tour is a self-guided bike tour that starts right in town. From here you catch the Southern Discoveries Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise to the Mount Nicholas High Country Farm. Once there, you will be guided to the start of the trail and off you go! From here, you follow the one gravel road and marked signs all the way to Walter Peak Station about 14 km away.
Along the trail, you can stop where you want while riding as fast or slow as you want. Once you arrive at Walter Peak Station you will then board the TSS Earnslaw (an original 1930’s coal-powered steamship) and take another scenic cruise back to Queenstown!
You have around 2.5 hours to complete the cycle trail which is plenty of time. There is a lunch option that cuts off an hour of your cycle-time but there is a shortcut for those who choose to take this option.
You can rent your mountain bike directly from Southern Discoveries and have it included in your ticket. For people without their own bike, this is the most convenient option as the bikes are picked up from the Southern Discoveries office right near the warf.
Alternatively, you can rent or bring your own bike along.
Who can do it?
The bike ride is really for all fitness levels and there are two options once you arrive. You can either take the longer path or a shortcut that cuts off a few kilometres. The trail is mostly flat except for a few parts (but after you go up, you get to go down!) The bikes have different gears to help you get up any hills.
What will you see?
On the first scenic cruise, you will relax in a comfortable boat as you are guided along Lake Wakatipu learning about the lake’s history and Maori legends. The entire journey is really beautiful especially once you reach the bend in the lake and you can look out at Glenorchy!
On the bike trail, the views are amazing! It was that perfect combination of lush green rolling hills, Lake Wakatipu, and of course, the huge mountain peaks as a backdrop.
It’s not just amazing views that you get to see though. As both stations are active working farms, as we rode along the trail we saw a huge range of farm animals including horses, bulls, cows and sheep. Since it was spring we also saw lots of lambs with their mums and a whole paddock of young cows! At one point we had to cross a gate and we got to ride amongst 300 sheep or so – and that’s no exaggeration!
On the journey back aboard the TSS Earnslaw, you get pretty much the same views as before, however this time you’re aboard a ship that’s almost 100 years old! On the main deck, you can even enter the engine room and see the workers shovelling coal into the heaters.
The TSS Earnslaw is rather slow moving so Bailey and I took this time to sit back and relax before arriving back at Queenstown to end the Station 2 Station bike ride, Queenstown.
What to bring
Water – you are provided with a bottle of water for the tour, however, if it’s a hot day bringing another one is a great idea.
Sunscreen – The New Zealand sun is harsh and with almost 3 hours outside it’s important to Slip, Slop Slap!
Snack – If you don’t opt for the lunch you will need to bring a few snacks with you or buy them either on the boat to the station or on the way back on the TSS Earnslaw.
Camera – Because the views are worth capturing!
What we thought
This bike ride in Queenstown is about getting off the beaten path and taking in some amazing views that few get to see. We loved that the tour was self-guided as it allowed us to enjoy views where and when we wanted. Once the group set off we were completely alone as everyone went at their own pace. We got to ride along a seemingly empty trail and heard nothing but the sounds of little lambs calling for their mums.
The station to station bike ride, Queenstown is one of the most enjoyable activities we have done in Queenstown and we highly recommend it!
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