LAKE DUNSTAN CYCLE TRAIL


Stunning Lake Dunstan
The Hugo Swing bridge on the Lake Dunstan cycleway
The Hugo Swing Bridge
Lake Dunstan shuttles and bike hire
Riding the Cliff bolt-ons

BOOK YOUR LAKE DUNSTAN CYCLE RIDE TODAY!

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE LAKE DUNSTAN CYCLE TRAIL

We provide shuttles from Wanaka to Cromwell and between Clyde and Cromwell for you and your bikes. Riding this trail is amazing with views of Lake Dunstan and the Pisa Range.

We recommend hiring an e-bike from us for this ride. If you have your own bikes and just need a lift give us a call and we can try our best to fit you in so long as we have a group booked.

The Lake Dunstan cycleway or cycle trail from Clyde to Smiths Way is 55km, but most people choose to ride the shorter option between Cromwell and Clyde which is approximately 42km. The ride is stunning, with views of the Mountains, Lake Dunstan the Kawarau River, and of course the stunning Cromwell Gorge.

Initially the Lake Dunstan Trail was graded 1-2 (easiest and easy). It has now been graded 1-3 (easiest, easy, intermediate) to account for the sections that are steep, narrow or have largish drop offs. If you’re not a regular cyclist or haven’t been on a bike for 20+ years, this trail is best left until you’ve ridden and enjoyed something like the Lake Hawea River Trail. Once you’re in the Cromwell Gorge section, this trail is not suitable for very young children that require a trailer or tag along as parts of the trail are simply too narrow. Children who can ride a 24” bike or above should be ok but need enough gearing on the bike to tackle the main climbs along with appropriate fitness, gear changing and braking skill.

If you’re bringing your own bike, make sure it’s been recently serviced and you’re carrying a puncture repair kit, pump, chain breaker and missing links

Whilst this is not a beginner’s ride, it is easy enough to ride with common sense and a touch of caution. There are two large climbs with high-speed descents, sharp corners, and there is no road access for large sections for support. But don’t let that put you off, this ride is a bit of an engineering marvel. Some of the sections of the track are bolted onto the sides of cliff faces, there are several climbs up to 150m in height and an impressive 85m swing bridge ‘The Hugo Bridge”.

Riding on the new Lake Dunstan Cycleway is very popular, the trail is bi-directional at this stage so caution is required on the blind corners.  Common sense is advised.

The views along the lake are stunning and we recommend you stop at the top of the climbs to take the views in.

Along the way there is a unique floating coffee & burger cart, that is well worth a visit, as is the Carrick Vineyard if you are riding from Clyde to Cromwell.

We have options for riders to self-drive from Wanaka or Queenstown if desired, we meet you at a designated location in Cromwell and set you up with your bikes or you can jump in one of our vans for the shuttle to the other end.

Requires a MIN. of 4 Passengers to proceed. Single bookings will be waitlisted.

We do require bookings to be made in advance, last-minute bookings are likely to miss out.

PLEASE NOTE: During the winter season we generally operate this ride Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays only

WHAT WE PROVIDE

  • Shuttle from Wanaka to Cromwell or Clyde
  • Shuttle from Cromwell to Clyde or Clyde to Cromwell
  • Bike Hire (includes Helmets) – standard and e-bikes
  • Private Bike shuttle
  • Thorough trail briefing with detailed map of the ride
  • Note: we provide mountain bikes NOT street bikes with side saddles

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Stunning views
  • Ride across the Hugo Suspension bridge!
  • Ride the Clip ons
  • Climb to the summit(s)
  • Vineyards
  • Floating “Afloat” Coffee and burger Cafe (halfway point) (Currently closed for winter break)

WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING

  • Day bag with sunscreen!
  • Bottled plastic water (750ml fits inside bike bottle cage)
  • Suitable activewear/ Shorts, T-shirt
  • Sturdy footwear (closed-toe)
  • Windbreaker jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera

YOU NEED TO KNOW

Take your time and enjoy the ride along the side of beautiful Lake Dunstan, and visit the shops, and cafes either end at Cromwell or Clyde.

If you are not a confident rider this cycle trail is not recommended for you. There are several climbs, with switchbacks along with blind corners, drop-offs, and the trail is also bi-directional.

Please note: Between Cornish Point and Clyde there are large sections of the trail with no or limited cell phone coverage and also no alternate road access for support.

Duration:Allow 3-4 hours for the ride (on an e-bike allow 2-3 – but there is no need to rush this awesome ride)
Difficulty:Intermediate
Fitness level:Intermediate
Distance:57km Smiths Way to Clyde, or the shorter option is 42km Cromwell to Clyde
Terrain:Smooth tracks all of the way, two challenging climbs, several switchbacks, and blind corners. Recommended for competent and confident riders. It is largely an easy grade 2 ride with sections of grade 3.
Departure times:if Leaving from Wanaka 9.00am
if you are meeting us in Cromwell 10am
End of day
Pick up time:
2.30pm Clyde Main street or for riders returning to Wanaka 3.30pm at the Junction lookout

The Lake Dunstan cycleway is largely gentle and flat, but there are two hill climbs up to 150m that will get the heart racing.

The popular section of the Lake Dunstan Cycleway is between Clyde and Cromwell. This section is 44km and is very popular for good reason. It is an interesting and scenic ride with some incredible engineering and thought gone into making the trail possible.


Lake Dunstan cycleway Shuttle services and schedule:


Pick up from (min number criteria applies)TimeDrop off
Wanaka (outside the iSite) 9amCromwell
Cromwell – The Junction Lookout (cnr Alpha and Inniscourt St)10amDunstan Rowing Club, Clyde
Clyde – Dunstan Rowing Club 2.15pmCromwell – Historic Precinct
Clyde – Township 2:30 pmCromwell – Historic Precinct
Clyde – Township 2:30 pmBannockburn
If you would like help with your Shuttle booking please call 03 443 6363 (9am to 5pm)
or send us an email info@wanakabiketours.co.nz

What’s it like to ride the awesome Lake Dunstan cycleway? Check it out here to get a taste

Frequently asked questions about this ride:

Q: What is the best way to ride Clyde to Cromwell or Cromwell to Clyde?
A: The most common question, in short, the ride is awesome either way. But the benefits of one way vs the other are below. The direction we recommend on the day is normally driven by wind direction so when a northerly is blowing we start from Cromwell.
-Starting from Clyde. We drop riders next to the Dunstan Rowing Club, which is the start of the cycleway. Riders starting from here have the benefit of gentler ascents into the two big hill climbs, and the bonus of getting the hills done before (hopefully) you are two tired. Once the hills are done then there is time to enjoy the floating cafe and you have the benefit of Carrick vineyard towards the end if you fancy wine and a cheese platter, or perhaps shooting off up the hill to the Bannockburn pub (yes we can arrange pickups from there also). the final leg of the journey into Cromwell is also very scenic.
Starting from Cromwell. We drop bikes at the Junction lookout which is also close to the historic precinct and a great way to start the day with coffee to get you moving. The clip-ons appear after you wind along the lakeside after Carrick vineyard and provide a spectacular photoshoot or two. The Climbs up the hills from this direction are slightly more technical and you will need to be comfortable riding switchbacks. The Downhill in this direction is really good fun. Coming into Clyde in the afternoon also means you have time to relax and enjoy the town’s many shops and cafes before your 2.45 last pick up with Wanaka Bike tours.

Q: Is the ride suitable for beginners?
A: No. If you are not comfortable riding bikes and feel you are unsure of your ability to ride loose gravel and to be able to steer out of trouble or stop quickly perhaps you are better riding one of our easier rides like the Lake Hawea River track. The Lake Dunstan cycleway was initially graded 1-2 which is now changed to 1-3 due to the sections that have drop-offs and the danger these can cause. Having said that, if you exercise caution and ride in control you will have a fantastic day riding, the tracks are extremely well made and maintained.

Q: What time do I have to have the bikes back?
A: If you have hired bikes from us then 3:30 pm is the pickup deadline.

Q: Do I need to take food and water?
A: We suggest you take water and snacks, there is a fun floating cafe on the way but that gets really busy, so to avoid the queues have something ready. There are shops at either end that you can rehydrate at, plus you are riding beside a massive lake the entire way…

Q: Do I need an e-bike for this ride?
A: NO, but it sure is fun with one… you decide. E-bikes come with additional cost and are slightly harder to ride in some respects as you come into corners quicker, but they take the pain out of hills if you aren’t a fit or regular rider.