Queenstown to Littles Road
Our recommended way to start this loop would be heading out of Queenstown towards Arthurs Point. The handy commuter trail on the left of the road means you’re out of the way of fast cars and makes for a nicer climb to Arthurs Point.
Once there you’ll get to the Edith Cavil bridge – a one lane bridge so take care crossing here – but do try and catch a glimpse of the Shotover Jet Boats in the gorge below (safely!). You’ll then do a bit more climbing up the hill until Cargo at Gantleys come into view. If you feel like stopping for light refreshment, here is the best place to do so. An awesome garden, great atmosphere and some tasty beers on tap, it’s the perfect rest stop.
On the road again, you’ll pedal for another 500m or so until you see a turn off for Littles Road. A fun, steep descent down the road and you’re nearly at the turn off for the Lower Shotover Trail. Just before the road starts to bend uphill again, you’ll see a tree-lined driveway on your right. Head down here until you see the Queenstown Trail sign for the start of the Lower Shotover Trail.
- Stop at Cargo at Gantleys for light refreshment and a toilet break, as there won’t be anywhere to stop until you get to Frankton
- Take care on the road and always signal for where you want to go
- Make sure you are wearing a helmet too!
Littles Road to Old Lower Shotover Bridge
The start of the trail is a gently winding switch back climb. You’ll meet a couple of farm gates which you’ll need to make sure you close behind you. You’ll pedal through gorgeous tussocky fields as the trail makes its way along the Shotover River. You’ll be above the river at this point, but after a while you’ll drop down towards the river, crossing a few streams along the way.
Some fun, single track awaits as it snakes down through the trees, across schist rock paths, making headway towards the river. There are a few narrow, exposed sections to navigate, so if you’re a bit unsure definitely walk these bits or take it slow.
The final bit of single track is a fun little descent down to the beach where you’ll meet up with other small trails and be riding next to the river. The trail continues on through the woods and eventually joins on to the tail end of the Countryside Trail as you head towards the Old Lower Shotover Bridge.
A left turn up the path takes you over the bridge, but make sure you stop here to look back on where you’ve just come from, with Coronet Peak towering above.
- Exposed sections are signposted, but be extra careful if you’re inexperienced
- It’s a two way trail so be alert for other riders
Old Lower Shotover Bridge to Town
Once you’re over the bridge, you’ll stay on the Twin Rivers Trail which runs right along the Shotover River and eventually makes a turn towards the Kawarau River. Stick on the trail until you cross under the Kawarau Falls Bridge and make a right turn on the Frankton Track towards the beach and home.
Another 25 minutes of easy, flat gravel trail and you’ll be back in the gardens.
A great morning or after work ride solo or even with your mates. Full of variety and a good mix of riding, it’s one for all seasons.
- Stop at Altitude Brewing on your way along the Frankton Track for a thirst quenching beer. They have bike racks!