Summer is made for exploring and with the warmer weather upon us, what better way to make the most of it than exploring the hidden gem of the Gibbston Valley near Queenstown says Alistair Ward, the owner of award-winning Central Otago boutique winemaker Waitiri Creek.
The Gibbston River Trail offers a stunning ride through the renowned and historic Gibbston Valley wine-growing region. The Gibbston area has a rich history to explore including gold mining relics, pastoral farming, adventure tourism plus numerous cellar doors and cafes on offer.
“Ideal for biking and walking, this trail is perfect for experiencing the rugged beauty of the region,” says Alistair Ward, at Waitiri Creek.
As the highest altitude winemaking sub-region in Central Otago, the Gibbston Valley is among the best locations for grape growing and is building an international profile for its distinctive pinot noir wines. This unique pocket of land is where Waitiri Creek calls home and is where the spectacular Gibbston River Cycle Trail is located.
Part of the Queenstown Trail 'Great Ride' network, the Gibbston River Trail runs along 11km from the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge eastward along the south bank of the Kawarau River toward the majestic Nevis Bluff.
The trail is an easy-going ride that can be done in a couple of hours.
If you are looking for that picture-perfect picnic spot on the trail, make sure you stop off and experience the wide range of cellar doors & cafes and don’t miss the
see the sign marked ‘Picnic Area' and take the small detour and follow the trail and “you will be rewarded with a stunning view back along the Kawarau River,” advises Alistair
Those looking for a more adventurous option could walk or bike the Peregrine Loop. Peregrine Loop is more suited for experienced cyclists as there are rather sharp grades and tight turns on this section of trail.
“All the extra effort will be worth it when you are greeted by a breathtaking view of the river,” comments Alistair.
There are a number of Bike and Bus tour providers in the region that can set you up with all you need to experience this beautiful valley of vines above the mighty Kawarau River.
You can also go on a guided e-bike wine tour starting in Arrowtown or a self-guided ride around the wineries. Bike shuttles make it simple for you to get to the beginning of the Gibbston River Trail.
Waitiri Creek also offers a range of wines for all occasions. Their range includes a superb selection of Pinot Noir, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.