Queenstown's world-class cycle tracks, roads and spectacular lake and alpine scenery are set to take centre stage this Easter with an exciting new 10-day bike festival for all ages and abilities.
The inaugural Queenstown Bike Festival, from 16-25 April, will be the perfect catalyst for visitors and locals to explore some of New Zealand's most beautiful countryside through a series of events ranging from social coffee rides and wine trails to hard core cross-country and downhill races.
Cyclists and spectators will be treated to Central Otago's world-renowned autumn landscape ablaze with colour as well as temperate days perfect for riding.
Festival organiser Geoff Hunt, a passionate advocate for cycling, recently announced a three-day Ben Lomond Dirtmasters 2011 Downhill Challenge but has now revealed plans for a 10-day all-inclusive celebration of biking in Queenstown.
"Queenstown is one of the best places in the world for biking and this festival aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities to come here and experience the incredible diversity of our tracks and scenery," he says.
Mr Hunt already has strong local support for the event and believes the bike festival has the scope to grow into one of New Zealand's premier sports festivals.
"The local biking community wants to create a high profile event with wide appeal to people from all over the world whether they are recreational cyclists or serious bikers and inaugural events this year, along with the Tour de Wakatipu, the Brakeburner and the Dirtmasters Downhill, include a kids' ride, Jack's Point coffee ride, wine trail ride and bike jam. The excellent thing about this programme is that it has something for people at all levels and particularly family groups."
Destination Queenstown CEO Tony Everitt is right behind the new festival and says he's very excited about its potential as an annual event.
"I believe this will be a big drawcard for bike enthusiasts across New Zealand and has every potential to quickly grow into an internationally recognised festival.
"It gives people another great reason to visit Queenstown during autumn and to extend their Easter holiday break to make the most of the action.
"With a huge range of activities, accommodation, award-winning food and wine, vibrant social scene, and day spa options Queenstown gives people endless possibilities to build their perfect holiday around their favourite bike festival events."
For more information about the Queenstown Bike Festival visit www.queenstownbikefestival.co.nz or sign up to the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Queenstown-Bike-Festival/141541729238961?v=page_getting_started.
For more information about Queenstown visit www.queenstown-nz.co.nz.