Pinkbike rides Cardrona Bike Park

In December 2020, Pinkbike came to Wanaka with photographer Jay French and riders Conor Macfarlane and Brooke Thompson.

Images and words by Jay French. Adapted from a story originally published on

As a riding destination, Wānaka is rightfully claiming its place on the map. With a range of different types of riding on offer, there’s something for everyone. Arguably the best Winter Resort in New Zealand, over the past couple of years Cardrona Alpine Resort has been working on its mountain-bike offering, and they’ve landed on a winner.

Catch a lift

First off, we can’t forget that Cardrona Bike Park is lift-accessed, so you can lap to your heart's content. The trail crew know what they’re doing and they love jumps. There’s a cafe, a bar, even a mountain cart track, which we’ll get back to. As for the riding, the Mile High jump track is a big pull. The terrain is predominately rocky, but the tracks are fun and easy to find. You can even bike down to the Cardrona Hotel if that’s what you’re into.

If for some reason, you’ve decided you’ve had enough riding for the day, they offer mountain carts. Now, this is something I’d always looked at as something you might do if you weren’t riding. After doing it, I’ve changed my mind completely. You HAVE to do it. It’s so much fun, we thought we’d do one lap just to have a go, and ended up lapping until they kicked us off.

Conor Macfarlane at Cardrona Bike Park at sunrise in Wanaka, New Zealand

Conor warms up in the Cardrona car park as the sun illuminates the sky behind him.

A mountain biker on a rock slab at Cardrona Bike Park in Wanaka, New Zealand

Brooke rides a rock slab, high up in the resort.

Mountain bikers in the high alpine at Cardrona Bike Park in New Zealand

High up in the alpine we're treated to those huge views towards the Southern Alps.

Conor Macfarlane jumps his mountain bike at Cardrona Bike Park in New Zealand

You can lap all day without having to pedal if that's your thing.

Cardrona Bike Park NZ on

Read the full Wanaka Destination Showcase on