Picture the most scenic, epic rides you’ve ever done around the globe; throw ’em all on one little island, add some of the friendliest hospitality you’ll ever encounter and there you have it: beautiful Aotearoa!
New Zealand has become known in recent years as one of the top adventure destinations in the world, and with good reason. Satiate your appetite for epic singletrack on this 8‑Day journey from Nelson to Queenstown, giving you an exquisite taste of the sweet, decadent riding in New Zealand’s South Island.
If 8 days isn’t enough, be sure to check out the full 12-Day Misty Mountain Hop ride. All rides offer awesome heli-biking and drool-inducing, soul-stirring mountain biking that will get etched into your memory forever.
Price is inclusive of all applicable NZ taxes.
Created by two passionate and highly experienced mountain bike guides, this trip is everything you could possibly dream of… and so much more.
Have more time? Consider joining our 12-day Misty Mountain Hop ride.
Is This Ride For You?
You are an experienced, skilled and fit mountain biker with solid mountain bike handling skills who gets out to ride frequently. You have experience riding in a variety of terrain, and can handle challenging climbs, technical descents, as well as some exposure. You can ride for up to 5 hours over several days. You live for adventure, and the bigger the better!
Day 1. Arrive in Nelson
Kia Ora Mates!
Welcome to this little slice of Paradise called New Zealand!
Today, we’ll be offering airport pick-up at 2:45 p.m.
Your guides will transfer you to our accommodation in the funky town centre of Nelson, NZ — a mountain biker’s dream location!
We encourage riders to assemble their bike right away and meet the guides to go over the trip and what to expect for the next seven days of riding New Zealand.
Your guides will go over everything with you for the following days’ heli-bike adventure. Then, we’ll hit the trails to warm-up before heading into the backcountry tomorrow.
Tonight, we’ll gather for a group dinner in town and get ready for the epic adventure ahead!
Day 2. Old Ghost Road & Heli-bike to Kirwans Track
After an early start, we’ll head west to the ghost town of Lyell and get ready for a good climb up part of the Old Ghost Road.
Here, we’re heading into New Zealand’s newest and epic backcountry singletracks ever made. We’ll ride up a well graded incline of awesome singletrack, through magical forests and alpine ridge lines of the wild west coast. The Old Ghost Road is NZ’s longest singletrack, comprising of an impressive rugged 87 kms in total. Today, we’ll ride and enjoy a stunning part of it!
This afternoon, we’ll head over to the real wild west of New Zealand, and gear up to fly high in a helicopter! We’ll strap the bikes up and set off in style to the top of The Victoria Range to a sweet hut perched in pure beauty overlooking endless ridgelines of west coast wilderness at its finest!
We’ll be on top of the world mates!
Please Note: Weather and/or riding abilities may dictate the heli-bike to be changed to the Croesus Track. Heavy rain does not allow us to chopper up here. The Heli-biking experience requires all bikes to be strapped securely to a rope that hangs under the chopper in flight. Although the bikes are secured with care, it is likely for the bikes to shift during air transport and scratches to bike frames may happen. If you are concerned with your bike getting scratched, you have the option of wrapping your bike with foam pads and duct tape. Renting a bike through the add-ons tab is also an option. Sacred Rides is NOT responsible for scratches or damages to bikes.
Day 3. Kirwans Track Descent
Rising to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and great views, we’ll test our brakes out for our awesome mission ahead!
We’ll be enjoying a 1100 m descent down the premier Kirwans Track. We’ll flow through stunning Beach tree and Fern Gully forests on this epic technical descent!
After our ride, we’ll hop in the shuttle and drive down the Grey Valley heading inland, up and over the Southern Alps to the Craigieburn Forest.
Day 4. Craigieburn, The Edge, The Luge and more!
Rising to the high dry mountains, we’ll get back in the saddle for some epic riding in Craigieburn Forest.
Tackling an uphill gravel road to the bottom of Craigieburn Ski Field, we’ll take a short rest before heading down the well-named Edge trail which leads on to a track called “The Luge”. After the Luge, a short uphill is followed by the new Dracophyllum and Hogsback Track. This is New Zealand’s singletrack at its best mates… a real hoot — sweet singletrack all the way!
We’ll rest our muscles as we drive to the high dry McKenzie Country to the stunning turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, also home to the clearest skies in the world!
Day 5. Lake Tekapo & The Hobbit
Waking to the beauty and stunning landscapes of the Mackenzie Country, we’ve got an inspiring singletrack ride to warm up with, which flows through native Tussocks along with incredible views of the turquoise tainted Lake Tekapo.
We’ll then move onto our secret gem of a ride which flows through the best alpine views the South Island has to offer. Imagine riding through high peaks, sheep and flowers on a super fun cross country ride, ending with a cold beer (or two)!
We’ll ride to our unique accommodation tonight — we’ll be staying in a converted shearer’s quarters with views to die for. It doesn’t get more Kiwi than this mates!
A quick lunch break at Tatopani, and we’ll continue riding towards Beni where our van to Pokhara awaits.
Day 6. Queenstown Rides
After leaving this breathtaking place, we’ll head down to Central Otago, home to semi desert-like landscapes, great Pinot Noirs and amazing riding.
We’ll enjoy another postcard drive as we head over the Lindis Pass, and on to the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka. Here, we’ll spend the afternoon riding some amazing, fast, flowing singletrack made by the keen local mountain bike community. We’ll ride Dean’s Bank, a flowy and fun local ride.
After the ride and a cold brew, we’ll make our way up to the Cardona Valley and over to the adventure tourism capital of the world known as Queenstown!
Day 7. Queenstown Epics
Yes, that’s right, we’re diving into more must-do rides in Queenstown!
The riding around here is just too good to not stay for a second day. .. you’ll be drooling and wanting more!
Today, we’re up early for some local Kiwian breakfast in town and a delicious flat white before heading to Coronet Peak for some enduro style rides.
Starting with a good climb overlooking unreal views of the Wakatipu Basin, we’ll then descent onto the famous Rude Rock track. Berms, swoops and pure fun on top of Queenstown.
We’ll end with our adrenaline pumping on the Skippers Canyon trail … high ‑fives all around — need we say more?
Day 8. Queenstown Goodbyes
Our last morning of the trip! Sob, weep, waaaaa!
High five your new riding pals and say your goodbyes.
Today, breakfast will be on your own, as Rider’s departures times and plans vary.
Your guides will be doing drop offs at the Queenstown Airport at 10:00 a.m. or at your hotel of choice in Queenstown by 11:00 a.m.
If staying a few extra days, we recommend staying at the Crowne Plaza.
Until next time!