Gibbston Valley, Queenstown, 9371

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Rabbit Ridge

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  • Queenstown biking resort 'no threat' to Rotorua 19th Apr 2013

    Rotorua Daily Post

    The development of a new all-season mountain biking resort in Queenstown isn't a concern for Rotorua riders, but the city can't rest on its laurels.

    Later this month, the Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort will open in the Gibbston Valley near Queenstown, featuring 30km of new trail catering for beginner and intermediate riders.

    The Gibbston Valley Winery and bike tour operator Around the Basin have combined to create the dedicated bike resort, which will include accommodation, a commercial hub and recreational facilities.

    However, Rotorua mountain bike officials say the proliferation of "copy cat" trails around Australasia shouldn't affect Rotorua's competitive edge.

    District councillor and mountain bike enthusiast Dave Donaldson said he was aware of a "fair number of Rotorua people who have flown to Queenstown just to get a gondola assisted mountain biking experience at considerable cost on top of the travel".

    "What I am sure will be a challenge to any year-round product in Queenstown is their brass monkey weather in winter.

    "I don't consider the Gibbston Valley project a threat to our position thanks to our comparatively temperate year-round climate and 100km plus of trails all on the doorstep of excellent hospitality and accommodation infrastructure," Mr Donaldson said.

    Events and Venues events manager Martin Croft said the number of people cycling was on the increase and Rotorua should expect to see a number of parks like this one cropping up all over the country. "They should be seen in a positive light in terms of their potential to help grow the overall interest in mountain biking as a recreational and sporting pastime.

    "I don't believe it will affect the number of people coming to Rotorua to ride our trails but it is one of the reasons we have to continue to invest and develop what is on offer here," he said.

    Rotorua Daily Post mountain biking columnist Graeme Simpson said developments like this should be a wake-up call for Rotorua "that without continuing investment in infrastructure and getting the word out, Rotorua is always vulnerable".

    "Queenstown and Wanaka are certainly investing a lot in mountain bike infrastructure and the Gibbston bike resort sounds like a great concept, especially with the focus on beginners and families.

    "One advantage Rotorua has is the proximity to big population centres, especially Auckland," Mr Simpson said.

    Original article - © APN Holdings NZ

  • Bike resort in bunny country 19th Apr 2013

    The Press

    The Press feature article on the new Rabbit Ridge bike resort.

    Original article as PDF

  • Year-round mountain bike resort to open in Gibbston Valley 19th Apr 2013

    Gibbston Valley Winery

    A year-round biking resort catering for beginner and intermediate riders will open later this month (April 20 2013) on 400 hectares of land adjacent to Queenstown’s award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery.

    The Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort, which is located on Gibbston Valley Station rabbit-prone land, will ultimately feature 30km of tracks suitable for all levels of riders and will also include a new bike trail linking the bike resort with Gibbston Valley Winery.

    Gibbston Valley Winery and local bike tour operator Around the Basin have combined to create the dedicated bike resort at an estimated initial outlay of $100,000 with further investment to come.

    Designed and developed by trail builder Ben Rafferty, the first tracks are almost complete and will provide a unique family-friendly resort with a base area for relaxing between runs.

    Around The Basin director John Knight said he was “blown away” by the beauty of the site and the biking opportunities it offered for locals and visitors.

    “This terrain really is stunning. It’s world-class and a mountain bikers paradise, with accessible trails for everyone, not just the adrenalin junkies,” he said.

    Gibbston Valley Station has been granted consent to build a resort which will include accommodation, a commercial hub and various recreational facilities such as a golf course and walking tracks, and the bike park is seen as a natural addition to these outdoor resort activities.

    It is anticipated that construction for the hotel will begin in 2014. This first hotel development is located in close proximity to Gibbston Valley Winery and is set amongst the vines.

    Gibbston Valley Winery CEO Greg Hunt said he was excited about the new project which had developed “very quickly” as a result of the explosion in popularity of mountain biking in the region.

    “Biking is a growing market and we’ve got something really special here which will add to the region’s already strong biking experiences,” he said.

    “The Rabbit Ridge Bike Park will offer the rider the experience of a great ride on a high country station.

    “This will be the area’s only year-round dedicated and serviced bike resort and will help put Queenstown on the map with biking enthusiasts everywhere.

    “It’ll offer an approachable network of trails perfect for families and entry level bikers, but will also have more challenging trails for riders to test their skills on. The views and setting are spectacular and make the bike ride special for this fact alone – it’s a long way from civilisation.”

    The resort opens the same week Skyline’s gondola access to its downhill mountain biking tracks close for winter.

    Bikers at the new resort will be able to choose to cycle to the top of the Rabbit Ridge bike trails or use a provided shuttle at a cost. There are plans for heli-biking options in the future.

    For more information please visit www.gibbstonvalleynz.com

    About Gibbston Valley Winery

    Gibbston Valley Winery is home to New Zealand’s largest and innovative wine cave, available for wine tours, private functions, weddings and special occasions, the new Barrel Room for C&I functions and weddings, and a retail outlet.

    The multi award-winning winery expanded in December 2012 when it opened the Vintners Kitchen experience and General Store at the Gibbston winery.

    About Around the Basin

    Around The Basin Ltd is a newly formed cycle guiding company, offering supported and guided cycle adventures as well as a cycle shuttle service within the Wakatipu Basin and Southern Lakes regions. Around the Basin (ATB) caters for beginner and intermediate riders wanting a quality cycling experience in one of the most beautiful areas of New Zealand, renowned for its spectacular scenery.

    Original Article - ©Gibbston Valley Winery

  • Editorial: Cycle rival a worry 19th Apr 2013

    Bay of Plenty Times

    If you snooze, you lose - and I'd hate to see that happen to Rotorua.

    Tourist town rival Queenstown has announced it is opening a new mountain bike facility featuring 30km of new trails called the Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort.

    It will cater for thrill seekers as well as beginner and intermediate-level riders.

    It will link the bike resort to the Gibbston Valley Winery and those behind the development have been granted consent to build a resort which will include accommodation, a commercial hub and various recreational facilities such as a golf course and walking tracks.

    The hotel part of the development is set to begin in 2014.

    When I heard about this development, I was immediately worried.

    You could call the tourism management crowd in Queenstown thieves, but they know a good thing when they see it.

    Rotorua's popularity has skyrocketed since we started seriously promoting ourselves as a mountain biking destination - so much so, we are no longer just seen as the place to go to get a hangi and concert and a squiz at some cool bubbling mud.

    Rotorua's mountain biking community isn't too worried about Queenstown breathing down our necks, but I wouldn't be too casual about it.

    Cycling's popularity is increasing all the time. Queenstown's international airport is better than ours (flying to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) and Rotorua can't afford to let any potential visitors choose them over us.

    Original Article

  • Bike resort in bunny country 19th Apr 2013

    The Press

    A year-round biking resort catering for beginner and intermediate riders will open at the end of this month on 400 hectares of land adjacent to Queenstown's award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery.

    The Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort, on Gibbston Valley Station rabbit-prone land, will ultimately feature 30 kilometres of tracks suitable for all levels of riders and will also include a new bike trail linking the bike resort with Gibbston Valley Winery.

    Gibbston Valley Winery and district bike-tour operator Around the Basin have combined to create the bike resort at an estimated initial outlay of $100,000 with further investment to come.

    Designed and developed by trail builder Ben Rafferty, the first tracks are almost complete and will provide a family-friendly resort with a base area for relaxing between runs.

    Around the Basin director John Knight says he was "blown away" by the beauty of the site and the biking opportunities it offered.

    "This terrain really is stunning. It's world-class and a mountainbiker's paradise, with accessible trails for everyone, not just the adrenalin junkies," he says.

    Gibbston Valley Station has been granted consent to build a resort which will include accommodation, a commercial hub and various recreational facilities such as a golf course and walking tracks. The bike park is seen as a natural addition to these outdoor resort activities.

    It is anticipated that hotel construction will begin next year. This first hotel development is close to Gibbston Valley Winery and is set among the vines.

    Gibbston Valley Winery chief executive Greg Hunt says he is excited by the new project which had developed "very quickly" as a result of the explosion in popularity of mountainbiking in the region.

    "The Rabbit Ridge Bike Park will offer the rider the experience of a great ride on a high country station.

    "This will be the area's only year- round dedicated and serviced bike resort and will help put Queenstown on the map with biking enthusiasts everywhere.

    "It'll offer an approachable network of trails perfect for families and entry level bikers, but will also have more challenging trails for riders to test their skills on."

    The resort opens the same week Skyline's gondola access to its downhill mountainbiking tracks closes for winter.

    Bikers at the new resort will be able to choose to cycle to the top of the Rabbit Ridge bike trails or use a provided shuttle at a cost. There are plans for heli- biking options in the future.

    Original Article - © Fairfax NZ News

  • Bike resort open soon 19th Apr 2013

    Otago Daily Times

    We have all heard of making a mountain out a molehill, but what about making a bike resort out of a rabbit warren?

    The idea sprang from a conversation in a car park between Gibbston Valley Winery chief executive Greg Hunt and John Knight, a director of Wakatipu bike tour company Around the Basin, in January.

    Three months later, the 400ha Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort, on rabbit-prone land at Gibbston, is only a month away from its official opening.

    Mr Hunt said the initiative had developed quickly, but this was a reaction to the fast-growing popularity of Wakatipu's mountain biking scene.

    ''The uptake has been great here. We have needed to speed this up. It has been the natural progression in the mountain bike market.''

    The two companies, Gibbston Valley Winery and Around the Basin, had combined in a separate entity to create the bike resort, which had an estimated cost of $100,000 and a further ''significant investment'' over time, Mr Hunt said.

    The all-year-round biking resort will open on April 20, the same week Skyline's downhill mountain biking access closes for winter.

    However, Mr Knight said they had no plans to be direct competitors and would instead complement the Queenstown Bike Park by broadening the Wakatipu mountain bike product.

    ''It is for those who want a bit of variety, a grade one, easy-style track that most riders can enjoy.''

    When Mr Knight and business partner Steve Norton first arrived at the privately owned land to view the site, they were blown away by what Mr Knight said was ''stunning world-class'' terrain for a mountain biking paradise.

    The winery has been granted consent to build accommodation on a site close to the bike park, a golf course over the road and a hotel further towards the winery's restaurant. Mr Hunt said the plans would go ahead and the hotel's construction would begin next year.

    Winery chairman and land owner Phil Griffith said the bike resort's ground work would be laid by April, but this was ''just touching the surface'' of what was to come.

    ''What started with a casual chat has developed and we have a long-term goal of Gibbston Valley Winery being more than just a winery, that is, to broaden our brand.''

    Mr Griffith has a vision that Gibbston will be the third part of the Queenstown-Arrowtown visiting combination for tourists, and said this was already starting to develop, through the opening of the Queenstown Trail.

    The trail's designer and developer, mountain biker Ben Rafferty, is well into building 30km of single tracks and he said they would have enough variety for learners and advanced riders.

    Bikers can choose to cycle to the top of the trails or use a provided shuttle at a cost, and there are plans for heli-biking options.

    If the proposed trail from the top of Ben Cruachan was built, it would be the longest single-track run in the southern hemisphere, he said.

    Original Artical - © Otag Daily Times

  • Mountain resort to open in Gibbston Valley 19th Apr 2013

    Sunday Star Times

    Featured article from the Sunday Star times travel section explores new mountainbiking resort.

    Original article as PDF

Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort, next to Gibbston Valley Winery, 1820 State Highway 6, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown, 9371