Queenstown Bike Park (or officially: Skyline Gondola)
Girl Rating for Difficulty: 2-5/5
Girl Rating for Fun: 2-5/5
Description: Bike park trails ranging from easy peasy (Hammy’s) to scary as hell. There are lots of digger-built tracks for those who prefer bike park style trails, but also heaps of hand built bike trails for those who like tech.
Climbs: The gondola does 98% of the climbing for you. Score!
Descents: There’s something for everyone. And there’s a LOT to learn on. Jumps. Roots. Steep. Speed.
Girl Secrets: If you have a downhill bike or if you’ve ever been curious about renting one to try it out, this is the place to ride one. And girls, there’s no such thing as “not being good enough” or “needing more practice” to ride DH. It’s a different style of riding, practically a different sport. Try it, and get loose! Wide handlebars are your friends. Kneepads are your friends. Not because I expect that you’ll crash- I don’t!- but because of the confidence that you. will. get. if you wear them. Please do it. Got a DH bike and kneepads? Sweet. Now ride aggressively. Don’t be a passenger on the bike. Let the wheels leave the ground. Let the back wheel skid. Now we’re having fun!
Views: Great from the top of the Gondola! Also from Thundergoat (see below)!
Distance: You can buy a half day (4 hour) or whole day (8 hour) pass, and obviously get as many runs within that time period as you want.
What to bring: Full face helmet and pads, maybe a few bucks for an ice cream at the top mid-run!
Hiking: If you’re not keen yet to give downhilling a try [what’s your excuse???] then yes, you can hike here! In fact, if you cruise up the beautiful main hiking trail, you’ll be out of the way of bikers hurling themselves down the hill, and you’ll still end up at the gondola- for free! So don’t forget the ice cream money either way!
Trail Map/How to get there: If you’re in Queenstown, you won’t miss it. Trail map: here.
Final tips: Dine with the local mountain bikers and pros at Atlas Beer Cafe when you are finished. Green and blue trails won’t have any blind drop or jump features. Double black trails are no joke and if you get in over your head, get out of the way or you may hurt someone else. The gondola is closed over Christmas and Easter, and also if it gets ridiculously muddy. There will be a 12-year old local ripper who is better than you, get over it, and give it all you’ve got!