Pinkbike on Southern Lakes Helibike

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. If it’s adventure you seek, then it’s adventure you shall have. Southern Lakes Helibike offers access to an exclusive trail you can’t ride unless you’re with them.

Get airborne

Located high up in Minaret Station, is a trail built specifically for Souther Lakes Helibike guests. It’s an experience.

Alpine, rivers, bridges, boardwalks, huts, beech forest, rivers, lakes, and farmland, their trail has a bit of everything. You cruise past rock gateways, multiple waterfalls, the exclusive Minaret Lodge (where you can stay, if you’re in the mood for something a bit special) ultimately ending up at the lakefront where you can get picked up by boat or heli back out.

On our trip, we were treated to a stop off on the way, before continuing to get dropped at the top of the trail - the only way to get there. If you’re around over the shoulder season, they also offer a hybrid product where you can heli-ski and heli-bike in one day. That’s a good day in anyone's books.

Mountain bikers on a ridgeline above Wanaka, New Zealand

The view back over a waking Wānaka from high above is immense.

Mountain bikers dropping in on Minaret Station in Wanaka, New Zealand

With epic scenery and mountains like this, you could be forgiven for thinking you were on a different continent.

Conor Macfarlane dropping in a rockroll in Wanaka, New Zealand

Dappled light inside the beech forest section of the track works as a spotlight for Conor.

Mountain bikers ride next to a river on Minaret Station in Wanaka, New Zealand

Below the Beech forest section, the track runs alongside the river. Seriously scenic and very refreshing if you chose to get in. Book your own mountain biking adventure with Southern Lakes Helibike. 

Read the full Wanaka Destination Showcase on