Wanka is an amazing part of the world. A small town that backs onto a large, pristine lake with mountains on every side. But, there's a neat addition to Wanaka about 15 minutes drive from the city centre... 'Bike Park Glendhu'.
A short flight from the east coast of Australia to Queenstown and an even shorter drive will put you in Wanaka. It's one of the easiest places for Australian mountain bikers to get to if you're hunting foreign soil to ride. It might also be one of the best. Bike Park Glendhu isn't like other bikes around the world, the biggest and most shocking difference... you have to pedal. But, that's not a bad thing... hear me out. The climbing trail there is incredible, you wind your way across the mountain always at a comfortable gradient on a nice, wide, hard packed single track path. Two thirds of the way up the climb you even get a mini descent. As a result entry to the park is NZD $30, a small price to pay to ride the incredible trails that are on offer. As a new park there are only a few trails so I'd spend a day or two here max. New trails are are planned which will make spending more time here more appealing.
They really treat you right at Bike Park Glendhu with a cafe at the bottom, a shop with basic bike parts and drinkable water at the main trail intersection. As a result you don't have to lug a backpack full of gear up the hill. You can take a back pack, phone, lift pass and you're sorted!
Bike Park Glendhu was built by the talented trail sculptors from 'Elevate Trail Building'. The same guys that build Crankworx slopestyle courses have been making berms and fun jumps for you to ride. Don't fear, these aren't Crankworx sized. There are currently seven descent trails ranging from green to black with both flow and tech options which means that absolutely everyone can ride at Bike Park Glendhu and have a tonne of fun doing so. Here is the brief of our top three favourite trails at Glendhu.
Bay Watch - Blue - Flow - MUST RIDE. This can be considered Glendhu's signature trail. Starting from the top of the mountain you get to admire the incredible views over Glendhu Bay of Lake Wanaka. The views alone are worth the pedal to the top. Once you're done admiring drop into perfectly shaped berms and rollers that weave their way down the mountain for what feels like an eternity. Despite the length of the trail you're never bored and rarely pedalling. Flow trail perfection.
Hare Time - Blue - flow trail. This trail is great for riders of a range of jumping abilities. All jumps are roll-able / table tops so you won't be punished for coming up short. The jumps are shaped perfectly, riding at the natural speed of the trail without pedalling all the jumps flow just right allowing you to relax and play around at will. One of the best jump lines you could imagine.
Dark Matter / Methane Train - Black - Tech. The resident tech descent of Glendhu this line works it's way in and out of the forest, across rocks, around berms and even off a few optional drops. If you're looking for a tech track with some serious variety look no further.
The Right Bike
So what bike is best to take to Bike Park Glendhu? With a variety of trails you can ride many styles of mountain bike and have a good time on them all, XC riders will enjoy the pedal whilst Trail and Enduro riders will thrive on the descents. As a result to get the most out of Bike Park Glendhu a trail bike like the Giant Trance or Norco Optic will excel on the flow trails with their agile handling. If you're looking to take on the technical trails something with a bit more travel like the Forbidden Druid will provide added comfort and still glide along the flow trails with ease.
For more information on what's on offer check out the Bike Park Glendhu website to plan your trip.