If you missed part 1 of NZ Mountain Biking Tours In Widescreen, check it out on the blog. In part two we continue the journey with some of our favourite New Zealand panoramas.
Continuing where we left off, Queenstown has become a favourite NZ mountain biking destination for everyone, from the rich and famous to the gap year backpackers. The range of activities is astounding and could entertain you for months - but you'll need to seek outside of the hustle and bustle of the small town to find the real gems.
A few minutes drive from the Queenstown MTB hub, Coronet Peak summit is a view into the stunning NZ backcountry. A morning mission to the peak saw us climbing into the cloud and back out into the sunshine. The inversion all around felt like we'd entered a different world. Serene and heavenly. And then a 10km singletrack descent to the valley below - this has to be a highlight of our NZ mountain biking tours!
The first part of the Old Ghost Road mountain biking trail meanders through temperate rainforest. It's not until the trail climbs out of the trees into the alpine you're rewarded with great views of trail snaking around mountain sides for kilometres ahead. You won't want to be falling off this trail though, that bush covered descent is deceptively steep.
At the end of the Old Ghost Road MTB trail is the West Coast. A quiet place bordered by remote mountains and a ferocious sea, a place where life is laid back and the locals warm hearted and welcoming. Long stretches of beach line the length of the West Coast, littered with reminders of the volatility of Mother Nature. If you're visiting NZ, it's definitely a "must go" location.
An up and coming NZ mountain biking destination, Hanmer Springs is another "must ride" place. Bordered by mountain ranges and plains, it's idyllic for a getaway from reality, whether that be relaxing in the local hot springs & spas, riding the excellent trail network on the town's door step or the epic 65km St James backcountry loop. We captured the pic above on an early morning dawn patrol of the local trail network - well worth rolling out of bed for.
The crystal clear Lake Taupo hides a sinister history. The now serene lake lies in a caldera created by a supervolcanic eruption approximately 26,500 years ago, and subsequently the Taupo volcano has erupted roughly every thousand years since. There's plenty of MTB in Taupo too, with one mountain biking trail in particular that follows the side of the lake for almost 80km - get ready for a scenery overload!
A visit to North island wouldn't be complete without mountain biking in Rotorua. The local MTB scene is world class with absolutely every type of riding on offer over a variety of topographies. The area surrounding this peak has been influenced by many years of volcanic activity, one example being the triangular shaped mountains, centre picture, formed by shockwaves from a nearby volcanic eruption in the 1800s. Now safely dormant, the area is home to world class mountain biking trails - including this one on Mt Maungakaramea.
Thanks to JustMTB who hosted and guided us on their NZ mountain biking tours