Cardrona Bike Park sits waaaaay up high in beautiful Cardrona, New Zealand. Located equidistant (about 45 minutes) between the NZ South Island MTB hubs of Queenstown and Wanaka, this high-alpine bike park has been growing consistently over the past few years and now offers some impressive trail variety.
We originally planned to spend multiple days exploring Cardrona’s trail network, but Mother Nature had other ideas. After a strong wind storm moved through and shut down the lift for 3 days, we were able to explore Cardrona on a beautiful bluebird day (complete with a snow dusting in mid-summer, which led to hero dirt afterwards).
The park spins 2 lifts to whisk riders back up to the top, and also runs a shuttle partially down the access road to serve lower-elevation trails. The McDougall’s Chondola serves up some fun and flowy beginner trails including Afternoon Delight and Sweet As. Expect machine-built berms, rollers, and creative jumps and lines mixed in to keep things interesting. This lift also lets riders spectate over the dirt drift-cart course, which looks ridiculously sweet (picture off-road 3 wheelers racing down under you drifting corners and generally getting loose).
The Whitestar Express Quad offers a bit more vert, with access to various intermediate and advanced terrain. Arcadia was one of our favorite trails complete with stunning views, technical singletrack, and natural rock features here and there. High Viz and Low Viz are sure to entertain the jumpers out there: expect creative doubles, step-downs, and hips linked together with high-speed berms and rollers.
Looking for an extra-long run? Make sure you check out Crankshaft, which drops riders below both lifts and runs all the way down to the shuttle pick-up. The lower section of Crankshaft was just re-built, and is as original and entertaining as they come: Get stoked for 360-degree berms wrapping riders all the way back around the trail, hips, fast berms, and multiple lines to choose from.
Make sure you finish your shred day with a rip down Peak-to-Pub. This iconic trail runs from the bike park all the way down to the pub in the village of Cardrona. P2P starts in a gully full of tight berms and jump lines, followed by some high-speed grass sections and ending with fast singletrack ripping through farmland and native bush.
Thanks so much for taking care of us Cardrona; we can’t wait to come back! For more information, visit https://www.cardrona.com/summer/.
Featured image courtesy of cardrona.com.