Is Skyline the best bike park in New Zealand?

Want an off-season getaway? Head to Queenstown for epic mountain bike riding. See GoPro footage now.
By Sven Martin

Skyline Queenstown is New Zealand’s first gondola-assisted bike park. It’s also the Kiwi country's best bike park, with close to 30 different trails. Skyline's trails range from UCI World Cup-worthy downhills to fun, flowy ‘groomer’ runs with smooth berms and jumps, and a vertical drop of 430m.

Take a GoPro ride down the World Cup and Huck Yeah trails with Ryan Howard, Bernard Kerr and Bas Van Steenbergen in the player above and scroll down to see 10 reasons why Skyline rocks.

Skyline's Queenstown sister, Wynyard: Sam Reynolds performs a tabletop jump
Skyline's Queenstown sister, Wynyard: Sam Reynolds © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

The Skyline terrain is suited for both long-travel trail bikes as well as full-blown downhill bikes. Many of the world's best professional riders visit each year. Some pro riders stay longer and make Queenstown their off-season base. With favourable summer temperatures and a variety of riding, Skyline is perfect for freeriding and even race training – and it's open eight months of the year, from late September until May.

Below are 6 reasons to visit Skyline Queenstown

 

1. The beautiful landscapes and that Southern Hemisphere vibe

Kiwi Wyn Masters in the Skyline Bike Park New Zealand
Wyn Masters in the Skyline Bike Park © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

The tempting, sunny, blue-sky imagery of New Zealand shows beautiful trails backdropped by an alluring azure lake with rugged mountains spilling onto its shores: This is Skyline.

Rachel Atherton rides in Queenstown, NZ's Skyline Park
Rachel Atherton in Queenstown, NZ's Skyline Park © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

World Cup superstar Rachel Atherton has been known to spend up to a month in Queenstown. The Kiwi summer allows her more time on her downhill bike than winter in the United Kingdom would have. The sunny skies and warm tempertures make gym and road-bike workouts a little more pleasant, too.

 

2. World-class appeal

While there hasn't been a UCI World Cup held here – yet – it’s without a doubt the best-possible venue and already many of the world's best riders visit Skyline each year for some off-season training. Colombian DH racer Marcelo Gutiérrez and teammate Eliot Jackson (above) get in some pre-season practice on the Skyline trails.

 

3. Gee-ing out amidst stunning scenery

Gee Atherton riding in Skyline Bike Park in the trees
Gee Atherton in the trees © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

Not all bike park tracks are manicured berms and jumps. Plenty of steep, rough, natural and rowdy tracks allow guys like Gee Atherton to have fun whilst still getting raw.

Lake Wakatipu in the distance; Brendan Fairclough Skyline Bike Park NZ
Lake Wakatipu in the distance; Brendan Fairclough © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

The view of nearby Lake Wakatipu never gets old.

 

4. Jump around!

While not actually part of Skyline Bike Park, the world-famous Gorge Road jumps are just a short pedal away. Any trip to Queenstown would be incomplete without a visit to these free public dirt jumps, including lines for everyone from beginner to pro.

 

5. Down Under over cliffs


Knut Lokas drops in in the Skyline Bike Park
Knut Lokas drops in in the Skyline Bike Park © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

Norway's Hafjell Bike Park manager Knut Lokas samples some of the more hidden expert trails within the bike park boundary, while escaping the Northern Hemisphere's snow and cold weather. 

 

6. A master at Wynning

Skyline's skyline: Wyn Masters performs a jump at Skyline bike park
Skyline's skyline: Wyn Masters © Sven Martin/Red Bull Content Pool

Everybody's favourite Kiwi, Wyn Masters, has his front wheel firmly planted for a change, but his back wheel is doing its usual thing on the dry Skyline dirt. Wyn now rides for GT Factory Racing and kicked off 2017 with a win at the opening Enduro World Series of the year in Rotorua on the far tip of the North Island.

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