Park Status

Born to share. Born to ride.

The location. The Legend.

Nestled amongst the wonderful town of Wanaka, tranquil waters and Mount Aspiring National Park, Glendhu was born to be tackled by two-wheeled explorers and shared by all who are willing to earn it.

Mother Nature spent the last 250 million years crafting her canvas into a mountain bikers’ paradise – our job was to add the finishing touches without ruffling her feathers and lay down a few rules to guard it for generations to come.

Starting with the most important part, our pedal-only mountain bike trails have been designed alongside ecologists to work within the natural typography including kanuka scrup, wetlands and rivers. We thought you might also like somewhere to share tales, refuel and refresh, so have built an off-the-grid hub that borrows and blends with the epic landscape.

Got a spare minute up your sleeve? Why not learn a little more about our land’s history, how Bike Glendhu came about and all the ways we’re working to make this stunning location a pure playground for mountain riders from near and far.

the history of Glendhu

250 million years in the making

250 million years ago, Glendhu was part of a seabed far below the ocean surface on which thick marine sand and mud accumulated to thousands of metres. Over 100 million years, heat and pressure folded and forced these ancient deposits, elevating the rocks into mountainous terrain.

The ranges began to rise and rivers carved valleys that later bore great glaciers. After the ice retreated about 15,000 years ago, Lake Wanaka appeared and warmer climate allowed native flora to grow and fauna to gather around it.

Many of Glendhu’s surfaces were scraped bare by the passage of glaciers and became conspicuously mamillated and deeply grooved with irregular terraces, perfect for a certain breed of two-wheeled explorer.

Skip forward a few thousand years to the arrival of humans, when explorers, colonials and farmers played their part in transforming the land.

Our Story

Picking up where nature left off

It was here three years ago, on this stunning piece of land, that our two John’s met and Bike Glendhu began. John McRae, an out-of-the-box farmer who was always hunting for ways to utilise the land in a way that respected and preserved the natural environment, John Wilson a corporate come health and wellness expert with a love of mountain biking.

After scoping out the wild terrain for his weekly mountain ride, Wilson knocked on McRae’s door to ask for access to his land. The two blokes discovered a shared passion for the outdoors, all things sustainable and a vision to create Wanaka’s first purpose-built mountain bike park.

Consent was the first hurdle and what a hurdle it was. Three years of research, concepting, environmental considerations and a trail of emails that would line the length of New Zealand were made survivable by the wonderful people of Wanaka, from our district council staff, ecologists and planners, through to mountain bike and trail building experts and of course family and friends.
In 2019 we announced Bike Glendhu to the world and were pretty stoked with the support that flooded in. From local gromets to international athletes, every two-cents, thumbs up and pat on the back fuelled the fire – which came in handy over the winter trail-building months. Today we are proud as pie to invite you to enjoy the fruits of our labour, ride the trails, join the community and share in the land that inspired Bike Glendhu. We’ll see you up there.

– The two Johns

Sustainability & Environment

Looking after mother nature’s masterpiece

Transforming a tranquil setting into a sustainable mountain bike park is no easy feat. Every inch of the design needs to consider and support the flora, fauna and future of the outstanding surroundings that make it so darn special.

We began by working with a team of ecologists and trail builders to design a series of tracks that worked around the wetlands and rivers to protect the waterways and around Kanuka shrub to protect what native flora was left. Over the coming years we will continue to invest in exotic weed control and replant the native flora that once dominated this stunning land.

As much as we all love nature, there’s a few essentials required to make Bike Glendhu a functioning mountain bike park, from the rental hub and workshop, to hearty fuel options and a place to ‘refresh’ – you get the gist. Like the trails, every element was chosen to ensure we tread lightly on our generous land with sustainable building materials, solar panels, eco-friendly food packaging and recycling initiatives from our local mates at Wastebusters.

We’re always learning, evolving and working hard to ensure we’re doing our best to protect the place we so very proudly call home and welcome you to do the same.

Getting to Wanaka

By Bike, bus or four wheels from near and far

The trails of Bike Glendhu await, just ten-minutes’ drive from Wanaka town centre. For fool-proof directions, transport from surrounding areas and accommodation options, keep reading.

If you’re flying in from out of town, you’ll end up in the world-famous Queenstown. A decent selection of rental cars and campervans are available to hire close to the airport. We know the views are jaw-dropping but be extra careful driving over the Crown Range. Alternatively, one can catch the bus or shuttle from Queenstown Airport to Wanaka and gawk out the window all you want.

From the West Coast, InterCity buses ride down the line every day, stopping in Franz Josef, Fox Glacier and Haast.

Once you get here, there’s plenty of great places to put your feet up from hostels, hotels and campgrounds to bed and breakfast galore. There’s even a lakefront campground right across the road at Glendhu Bay, perfect for families or just anyone that likes waking up to one of the best views in town. And that’s saying something.

01

Head west (that’s left at the lake) from the township of Wanaka on Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road.

02

Follow Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road for 12km until you reach Glendhu Bay.

03

Turn left onto Motatapu Road and follow for 500m. Our entrance is on the right.