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    A woman riding her bicycle along New Zealand’s third-largest lake.
    In Maori, Lake Wakatipu means “Bay of Spirits”. Queenstown is located on the shores of New Zealand’s third-largest lake.

    In the right place at the right time along the Around the Mountains Trail

    Walter Peak, just 12 km from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown. In this agricultural backcountry, tranquility is practically absolute. 

    As we enjoy the sumptuous view of Lake Wakatipu, we feel that we’ve come to the right place at the right time. Although this cycle trail is called “around the mountains”, don’t be fooled into thinking that the terrain is flat all the way. 

    To start the year off gently, we pushed our bikes up for the last two steep kilometres of the Von climb! After that, we cross a long, arid plateau. Fortunately, a stream flows down from the heights. Realistically, we won’t reach the campsite at Mavora Lakes Conservation Park today.

    Hungry and tired, we’re now looking for the shortest way to set up our tent. Finally, we find a flat, open spot to set up our camp, and even a couple of rocks to rest the bikes on. Vanessa, all smiles, seems delighted by the mountains all around us. What could be better?

    To learn more, visit New Zealand Cycle Trails

    Deep in a sparsely wooded valley, a woman on a bicycle follows a winding gravel path along a river.
    Around the Mountains is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful bike trails. This 180 km loop around the Eyre Mountains starts at Walter Peak and ends in Kingston.

    Following a gravel path, a man crosses a small stream on his touring bike.
    Although mountain bikes are recommended here by New Zealand Cycle Trails, we ride quite easily on this gravel track despite our narrow road tires.

    In the heart of a long agricultural plateau, a man rides his loaded bike and chariot along a gravel path.
    Cars are rare in this mountainous agricultural backcountry.

    A family on bicycles stops in a field to eat and camp deep in the mountains.
    Once we’ve collected water from the river, all we have to do is cook a meal and set up camp for the night.

    A young boy runs after his ball in a field where his parents have set up their tent for the night.
    While his parents are exhausted from their day’s cycling, Leo is full of energy to chase his ball.

    Silhouette of a road bike as the sun sets.
    In January, the sun rises as early as 6:00 a.m. and sets around 9:30 p.m.

    A lamp illuminates and moves over two bicycles and a tent under a sky full of stars.
    During a 30-second photo exposure, I moved my lamp over the wheels of the bikes and then towards the tent. This technique is called light painting.

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