Wanaka – Clutha River Ride

The last leg of our Otago biking holiday & this Wanaka cycling trail didn’t disappoint.  Neither Ben nor I have visited Wanaka before & saving it for the last few days of the holiday made it even more exciting.

About an hours drive south from Queenstown, the resort, picturesque town of Wanaka is a tourism hotspot at anytime of year.

After finding our bearings we went to talk to the team at Racers Edge for our bike hire. After looking at their rental bikes, we settled on a couple of Giant Trance E+ Pro bike for a half day hire (4hrs) & asked for recommendations on where to ride.  The guys said that the Wanaka cycling trail out to Albert Town following along side the Clutha River is a great choice & if you want to hit some sweet jumps the Sticky Forest MTB Park is on the way. 

We found all-day parking not far from the shop & set off from there.


Lake Wanaka, Clutha River, Sticky Forest, #thatwanakatree


Loads of options in Wanaka, Pembroke Patisserie in Albert Town


Grade 1 & 2 easy riding
80% singletrack & 20% road


3 hours ride time
32kms in length
no climbs

Wanaka Lakefront to Albert Town on Trailforks.com

Direct from the lake front we followed the footpath out past the boat ramp & onto the limestone track.  The trail is mainly flat & smooth, a couple of little rises here & there but nothing technical & very family friendly. It is a multi use track so be mindful of runners & walkers. Along the way there are plenty of places to stop & take in the natural beauty of the crystal clear glass like water & snap a few selfies.

Coming into Albert Town you definitely need to head to Pembroke Patisserie on Alison Avenue.  Take a break from the saddle & enjoy a great coffee & quite possibly the most delicious range of pastries in NZ – the almond croissants & macaroons are amazing!

Heading back on the same trail & coming back into Wanaka town we carried along the lake front to go visit the iconic That Wanaka Tree.  Growing as part of a fence post from the stout branch of a nearby willow tree over eighty years ago, the Wanaka Tree is probably the most photographed tree in the New Zealand.  

This ride was the perfect way to explore Wanaka & it’s stunning beauty.  We rode 32kms & whilst it was not a super strenuous ride it was quite chilly in June so being prepared with the right kit makes for a more enjoyable experience – layers are your friend!

If in the future you check out this trail I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Or if you have already done this one let us know what you thought, we’d love to hear about it!

BTW If you are in the area checkout two of our other rides, the Queenstown trail, and the Lake Dunstan trail.

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