In the 1980s, Queenstown was a small lakeside community with just a couple thousand residents. Perched on the foreshores of the majestic Lake Wakatipu; its unique mix of snowy-topped mountains, roaring rivers and stunning vistas made it the perfect summer holiday destination for nature-loving Kiwis. However, the mid-90s brought adrenaline junkies and stoke seekers to Queenstown’s shores and soon enough, the town got an ‘Xtreme’ makeover!
Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, bungee jumping, paragliding and whitewater rafting took the town by storm. Extreme sports were hitting the mainstream with Shaun White, Tony Hawk and Kelly Slater on everyone’s TVs as the vanguards of this brave new world. So it’s no surprise that when mountain biking hit the scene, it was an instant hit with the local thrillseekers, who quickly realised that their winter ski-lifts made for perfect summer access to the mountains that flanked the town. Soon enough, a myriad of world-class downhill trails were built and Queenstown cemented its place as the mountain bikers’ Mecca in the southern hemisphere.
Fast forward to today and Queenstown’s riding scene is as diverse as its residents. From dedicated jump & XC trails for the big senders, to cruisey riverside tracks via world-class wineries for boujee boomers, QT really has it all. So when the Queenstown Trail Trust announced the opening of a brand new ‘loop’ trail the weekend I happened to be in Queenstown, of course- I had to ride it!