- Monday :Closed
- Tuesday :Closed
- Wednesday :Closed
- Thursday :Closed
- Friday :Closed
- Saturday :Closed
- Sunday :Closed
Kingston — Walter Peak (4-5 days, 180km)
The Around the Mountains Cycle Trail has been funded as one of the projects of the New Zealand Cycle Trail. The 175 kilometres (109 mi) track begins and ends in the Queenstown Lakes District, though for most of its length it is in the Southland District.
The trail begins at Kingston proceeding south to the Kingston Flyer terminus at Fairlight. It continues south on, or close to, the route of the Kingston branch railway to Lumsden passing through the small townships of Garston, Athol and Five Rivers. From just north of Lumsden the trail goes north-west on, or near, the route of the Mossburn branch line to Mossburn. When the second stage is completed it will then mostly follow the upper Oreti River to the Mavora Lakes. The other section presently open goes north from there to Lake Wakatipu then along to Walter Peak station, from where cyclists can catch the steamship TSS Earnslaw to Queenstown.
The trail was one of the first to receive funding, in June 2010, as one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s Quick-Start projects, with $4 million being allocated to complete the Walter Peak to Mossburn stage. The section to the Mavora Lakes was on an existing road so could be opened, but the next piece along the upper Oreti River to Mossburn faced considerable opposition from trout fishing groups which meant construction did not proceed.
As a result, in early 2013 a new plan was agreed with the government to construct Stage One from Kingston to Mossburn for $3.7 million by the end of October that year, with Stage Two from Mossburn to the Mavora Lakes to be completed by the end of 2015. Further problems regarding the route in the Athol area led to an additional $500,000 of government funding and a revised completion date for the first stage of 31 May 2014. In June it was announced that the five suspension bridges were expected to be completed in September and that this section would be finished by the end of October. Stage One was opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English, in a ceremony at Lumsden on 1 November 2014.