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Want to mountain bike in Wānaka? Here, we put the rubber to the dirt and ride for as long as the sun shines. Using this four-day mountain biking itinerary, discover the the best places to ride, including bike parks, local trail networks and even helibiking (you read that right).

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Day 1: Cardrona

By car from Wānaka: 35 mins | 34km

Welcome to New Zealand’s highest mountain bike park. Cardrona is alpine riding at its finest. Don’t believe us? Just let Reece Potter show you.

 

With two chairlifts providing a cruisey uphill lift, Cardies is perfect for riders with a little bit of inner park rat. And should you choose to descend past the lifts, there’s a shuttle that will pick you up at the midway point for a quick drive back up the hill, with your bike in tow. For a real burner, the Peak to Pub trail leads riders all the way down to the Cardrona Hotel – where a cold one most certainly awaits.

 

With 25km of trails suitable for all levels of riders, Cardrona is a dream that lasts all day. And when you finally decide to call it, we recommend popping into The Lounge for that well-earned post-ride pizza and beer or popping in to the Cardrona Distillery in the valley below.

Day 2: Bike Glendhu

By car from Wānaka: 35 mins | 34km

Pedal-powered adventures await at sprawling Bike Glendhu.

 

Quick, poppy and intuitive, these trails transport you to Canada’s West Coast where the sport was born – they just make sense. The trail builders over at Glendhu can give themselves a pat on the back; they knocked it out of the park (no pun intended).

 

And while we know some of you will scoff at the mere suggestion, might we recommend e-bikes for those trying to get a full day at Glendhu? Yes, we know that in some circles, that’s blasphemy. But believe us when we say… don’t knock it, until you try it. (And then go back to knocking it when you begrudgingly return to your normal bike).

 

In short, Bike Glendhu is a must-do for any MTB enthusiast visiting Wānaka.

Day 3: Helibiking

It might sound hardcore, but helibiking leaves no man (or woman!) behind.

 

Adventures are tailored to all ability levels, whether you’re looking for a meandering ride among the mountains or a day shredding the New Zealand backcountry. Then, you can choose between taking your own faithful two-wheeled steed or opting for an e-bike (there are some punchy climbs along the way – you know, just to keep you on your toes).

 

After the ride of your life, full-day adventurers get to settle down for a post-ride gourmet picnic lunch.

Day 4: Local Trails

After that massive day of helibiking, wind down a bit with a tech ride in Sticky Forest, cruising the flow trails of Kirimoko or hitting the jumps in Lismore Jump Park.

 

Finally, head to B.Effect Brewery for a cold one and a burger to end off the trip.

#lovewānaka