Queenstown Trails Trust

The Queenstown Trails Trust is the Official Charity and owner of the Motatapu Off-Road Sporting Event, and in 2014 the Trust appointed major sporting event specialist IRONMAN Oceania to manage the annual Motatapu event on its behalf.  

Profit from the event go toward the ongoing development and maintenance of trails within the Wakatipu Basin.   Motatapu participants also have the ability to further support the Queenstown Trail Trust by donating when prompted through our online registration system.


About the Queenstown Trails Trust

The Queenstown Trail is the realisation of a vision which was established way back in 2002 and combines the tenacity, passion and patience of many local Queenstown individuals and organisations.

Our Vision:  To create a world class trail network for walking and cycling

1-qtt 2-mototapu cyclists

The Queenstown Trail is part of ‘Nga Haerenga – the New Zealand Cycle Trails’ and is billed as a Great Ride.  The Trail covers over 120kms of diverse terrain back-dropped by outstanding mountain ranges and connects three main hubs – Central Queenstown, historic Arrowtown and Gibbston – Valley of Vines. It crosses three major rivers, the Shotover, Kawarau and the Arrow, and tracks follow alongside both Lake Wakatipu and Lake Hayes.  

The trails range from easy to advanced and are designed to cater for all levels of walkers or cyclists, all ages and there are plenty of transport options on hand, including Bike Taxis. There are seven Trails to choose from – all of which are open 365 days of the year and are free to use- and you can walk or ride these together or separately depending upon skill level and time available.

To find out more about the Queenstown Trails Trust click here


A Little Bit of History

It all started back in 2002 after the then Wakatipu Trails Trust (now the Queenstown Trails Trust) was established following a community meeting  to assess the interest level for a network of recreational trails.

The early years were spent developing a vision, key strategies and a working plan and in 2004 the Wakatipu Trails Trust strategy was finalised. To this day that vision and strategy serve as a guide for all trail development and activities.

In 2009, an idea emerged from the 2009 Government's Job Summit, to create to build a network of cycle trails that would open up new ways for Kiwis and international visitors to see the country – and also generate economic, social and environmental benefits for communities. ’Nga Haerenga’ - The New Zealand Cycle Trail was born.

In mid-2009 the Trust secured substantial Government funding which enabled it to greatly accelerate the development and construction of over 120km of world-class cycling and walking trails. Today, the Queenstown Trail is a flagship trail and one of 23 Great Rides which form part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

The Queenstown Trail took three years to build opened in October 2012 at a cost of $5.4m - a joint venture between the Government, Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Trust, with the Department of Conservation an invaluable partner.  The fantastic support of the local the community was a great catalyst in enabling the 120km+ trail to become a reality.

April 30, 2013 saw the Queenstown Trails Trust purchase the internationally renowned Motatapu event from Iconic Adventures.   Cycling was(and still is) exploding in this part of the world, and the Trust considered the Motatapu event as having a fantastic future and would provide yet another opportunity to showcase the region’s diverse trails to both New Zealand and international competitors.

The Trust owe a huge vote of thanks to so many: the early pioneers who had the vision in 2002; the local businesses and individuals who have contributed their time, money and ideas over the years; generous landowners who have agreed to share their beautiful land with the rest of the world; local and central government and the Department of Conservation, who have all played a major part in the planning, development and safety of these magnificent trails.