Grade 2 - Easy
8.7 km one way
The AJ Hackett Kawarau Bungy Centre is itself a major attraction, being the home of the world’s first commercial bungy operation. The building is a stunning piece of architecture and well worth a visit. There is a good café, toilets and of course tickets for that bungy jump you've always secretly wanted to do! Down on the bungy viewing platform there are also many fascinating informative panels and photographs detailing the historic importance of this bridge that are definitely worth a read.
As you leave the AJ Hackett car park (accessible from SH6) follow the signs to the Gibbston River Trail. From here, your journey takes you into dramatic wine country.
As you ride towards the east you’ll be spoilt for vistas - The Kawarau River far below on your left and to your right, the Gibbston vineyards, and architectural masterpieces, all set within the iconic Central Otago landscape.
Take your time in Gibbston - cross the highway and follow signs for the award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery Restaurant, plus there is a great gift store, cafe and bike hire centre now located at the Winery.
Back on the trail you'll pass the stunning, international award-winning Peregrine Winery, the building sits lightly on the landscape, nestled in the vines. Inspired by Peregrine (native falcon or Karearea) in flight, this structure has won awards from London-based Architecture Review magazine and the NZ Institute of Architects. A wine tasting here is a must.
Back on the trail, enjoy riding through the vines and as you approach Coalpit Road, cross the highway again to find the Gibbston Tavern, a real central Otago treasure. 200m up the road from the Tavern there is a great shady spot at the Community Reserve and some sparkling clean toilets. Or head to Kinross Cottages, it's worth staying the night, but at a minimum you'll get coffee, lunch or another wine tasting from their friendly team.
When you get to the Gibbston Back Road you've reached the end of the trail (connections to Cromwell are currently in the pipeline), but don't miss a visit to Mt Rosa Winery or Brennan Wines, and if you fancy a bit more challenge and an escape from the highway, cycle up the road and continue until it meets Coal Pit Road, where you can enjoy a long and fun downhill on a quiet sealed road, which will take you straight back to the Gibbston Tavern and Community Reserve.
To return, jump back on the trail and make your way towards the Kawarau Suspension Bridge, your options from here are to return to Arrowtown via the Arrow River Bridges Trail or back to Queenstown via the Twin Rivers Trail and Frankton Track or if you are busy relaxing at one of the wineries, call for a transport pick-up for you and your bikes.