Mountain Biking In Wanaka

Mountain biking in Wanaka is an excellent way to explore our awe-inspiring region!


Wanaka Bike Trails

Wanaka is a paradise of rugged mountains, pristine rivers and lakes, glaciers, epic forests and rolling green pastures. Every year our pretty little town welcomes New Zealanders and tourists from around the globe to explore this mecca for outdoor adventures in the Southern Alps.

A cosy basecamp for all the activities that get your adrenaline pumping and immerse you in our legendary scenery, Wanaka provides endless options to keep you happy and active during your travels. 

Whether you're a casual adventurer, a family with kids, or a professional athlete, if you love exploring on two wheels - there’s a cycle trail to suit you! Explore over 750kms of mountain bike tracks, from family-friendly off-road trails by the lakes and rivers to gnarly downhill mountain tracks.

The best part? You don’t even have to drive anywhere! Wanaka has a range of cycle trails accessible directly from town. Jump on your bike and you’ll be cruising past crystal clear lakes and breathtaking mountain scenery in minutes.

TIP: If you're visiting from overseas or haven´t packed your bikes, don´t worry! We´ve got mountain bike hire available at Wanaka Top 10. Just stop by reception and our lovely staff will be happy to help you choose the mountain bike that suits you or your child most. We´ve even got child seats and tag-alongs available for your little ones so that everyone can enjoy the fun.



Here are some local tips to help you choose the best Wanaka cycle trail for you!



Grade: Easy
Start: Outlet Motor Camp
Distance: 3 km (one way)
Time: 30 minutes (one way)

Spectacular scenery makes the Outlet Track popular with walkers and bikers. The track follows the Clutha River, starting or finishing at the Lake Wanaka Outlet or Hikuwai Conservation Area in Albert Town. If you’re after a more challenging ride take the Hikuwai mountain bike loop above the main river track.

Starting from the Wanaka Top 10 Holiday Park makes this a nice 10 km (one way) bike track following the lake shore from the iconic Wanaka Tree through to Eely & Beacon Point all the way to Albert Town. 

Remember to be a friendly rider and give way to walkers.



Grade: Intermediate
Start: Albert Town Bridge
Distance: 18 km (one way)
Time: 2-3 hours (one way)

This bike track from Lake Wanaka Outlet to Luggate takes you along the river, offering views of the Clutha’s emerald-green water which is famous for trout fishing and popular with walkers. Cyclists will enjoy shade in summer and shelter from the elements in winter. This track is a suitable cycling trail for the whole family.

Tip: Combine this with the Newcastle Track, located on the true left of the river, to make your trip a loop. 



Grade: Easy
Start: Albert Town Recreational Reserve
Distance: 11 km (one way)
Time: 1 - 2 hours (one way)

The Hawea River Track follows an easy gradient over river terraces and through Kanuka groves, linking Lake Hawea township to Wanaka, via Albert Town. Near its midway point, the track crosses Camp Hill Road. This family friendly walking & biking track is suitable for cyclists of all ages and ability levels.



Grade: Intermediate
Start: Ruby Island Road Car Park
Distance: 15 km (one way)
Time: 1-2 hours (one way)

From Waterfall Creek, the track follows undulating terraces above Lake Wanaka with a few steep sections in the first part of the track that you may need to walk. This Wanaka bike trail offers spectacular views in all directions and passes a small north-facing beach - Damper Bay – make sure you stop for a swim in the summer!

From Damper Bay the track becomes easier until you finally reach Glendhu Bay. Don't forget to soak up the spectacular views of Mount Aspiring from Glendhu Bay view point!

Tip: To enjoy this track one-way, ask at Wanaka Top 10 reception for the water taxi drop off options. 

Cyclists mountain biking the Glendhu Bay track by Lake Wanaka.



Grade: Intermediate
Start: West Wanaka Road
Distance: 7 km (one way)
Time:  1 - 2 hours (one way)

This well-formed cycle trail provides easy access to beautiful beaches along Wanaka's western shore. From Homestead Bay carpark the track gently undulates towards small, sheltered Colquhouns Beach; a popular swimming and picnic spot. You’ll bike through native forest and bush, crossing streams and finding direct access to Lake Wanaka.

Tip: Ask at Wanaka Top 10 reception for the water taxi drop off options.



Grade: Easy to Advanced
Distance & Time: Variable

Sticky Forest is a fun network of mountain biking tracks, from beginner to advanced, situated in the pine forest in Wanaka township. There are over 20 tracks to choose from which have been designed for all biking skill levels. This is an awesome option if you’re looking for something fun and challenging. With heaps of tracks and plenty of Gap Jumps and Table Tops, you'll never get bored!



Grade: Easy to Advanced
Distance & Time: Variable

When Cardrona shut their doors for the winter, they open them up again for the summer! The Cardrona Bike Park features a variety of lift-accessed downhill and cross country mountain bike trails for all ability levels. Hardcore downhill bike riders, recreational riders and cycling families will all find plenty to explore. With numerous tracks all accessed by chairlifts, this has to be one of the most fun mountain biking days in Wanaka. For you convenience, we can arrange your Cardrona Bike Park booking at Wanaka Top 10 reception.


Come explore the Wanaka region, and discover some of the best mountain biking in the country! Please remember the off-road code, wear a helmet, respect others cyclists, give way to walkers, and most importantly have a blast - We can’t wait to see you!

Download the free Wanaka Trails app for a complete overview of Wanaka bike trails.

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Posted by Andrea Kendrick on May 11, 2023