Sustainable Trails
Conference 2024
Central Otago,
New Zealand 

Field Trip 1 – Mountain Biking

Bike Glendhu Mountain Bike Park 

Difficulty: Caters to beginner riders with some trail experience to advanced riders.

Nestled amongst the town of Wānaka, on the shores of the tranquil waters of Glendhu Bay and at the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park is Bike Glendhu Mountain Bike Park set on a 1000 hectares of Mother Natures land. Bike Glendhu offers over 40km of mountain bike trails complimented by a community focused base area complete with café and beer garden. It doesn’t get more epic than this.

Bike Glendhu offers a range of gentle ascending and descending green beginner trails, a number of varied intermediate trails and some blacks for those more advanced.

The experience is in the riding while capturing spectacular views of Lake Wānaka, Glendhu Bay and at the summit offers an epic view up the Matukituki River

The day will start with storytelling on the Bike Glendhu journey and a base area tour, then bike fit out and ride session. The day will include shuttle options via to access the summit for unforgettable views and a base BBQ will be set up for riders to enjoy lunch before, during or after riding!

Field Trip 2 – Leisure Riding

Lake Dunstan Trail, Carrick Winery and Clyde

Difficulty: All levels of rider who will be equipped with E Bikes. There will be two options, a shorter ride approx 32 kms or longer ride approx 42 kms that will end in Clyde.

The Lake Dunstan Trail is a purpose built 55km cycling and walking trail that traverses some of Central Otago’s most dramatic landscapes & scenery. It’s New Zealand’s latest Great Ride and has quickly become one of the most popular trails in the country. This trip is designed as a leisurely scenic tour of the Lake Dunstan Trail for all level of rider including those wanting a short tour but also caters to anyone who wants to combine the stunning landscape and food experiences with exerting some energy by continuing on to Clyde for a shuttle pick up for return to Cromwell.

The experience will include a stop at Carrick Winery that is located along the ride for a pizza lunch set in the stunning vineyard setting where those opting for the shorter ride can relax and enjoy the surrounds. Those wishing to complete the trail to Clyde continue the ride after lunch. 

Delegates choosing the Lake Dunstan Trail will marvel at the man-made landscapes, the rich Māori and early pioneer history, and amble through the vineyards of Bannockburn.

The region’s rich modern, pioneering and Māori historical stories are integrated along the way, some of which are brought to life in the Clyde and Cromwell Historical Precinct.

The Lake Dunstan Trail extends and complements the well-established Great Rides in Central Otago and the Southern Lakes, and provides a key link with the Otago Central Rail Trail and the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, both of which are part of Ngā Haerenga – New Zealand Cycle Trails.

Field Trip 3 – Walking 

Bannockburn Sluicing’s Walk and Te Kano Winery 

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Approx 9.5 km  (including a nice walk from the Conference Venue to the start of the 3.5k walk

The Bannockburn Sluicings loop trail is a chance to explore the former goldfield and remains of Stewart Town.

From 1862 to the 1930’s the area was sluiced and mined, so you are sure to see remains of dams, water races, tunnels and towering cliff faces – all that is left of hills that have been sluiced away to find the precious gold.

The walk will be guided by passionate local historian Terry Davis and will include a picnic lunch on location. The trail winds its way through the workings and up to Stewart Town – all that remains are remnants of a large dam, several ruins of mud brick homes and fruit trees that still bear fruit from the 1860’s!  There are other trails that branch off the main trail giving you further opportunities to explore. 

Marvel at the barren wasteland that the miners left and the seasonal colours – especially in autumn – a photographers dream. The area is exposed to the elements so do come prepared. 

After visiting Bannockburn Sluicings, walkers will be treated with a visit to Te Kano Winery.

Te Kano is Māori for ‘The Seed’. Seeds we plant today will blossom for future generations. On the slopes above the Northburn vineyard grows an ancient Kōwhai tree. Survivor of droughts and fires, this gnarled and craggy ancestor bursts into beautiful golden flower each spring, providing food for the birds and other wildlife in the surrounding area.

This architectural award winning and inspiring cellar door is a welcoming space cantilevered out across the Kawarau River surrounded by a collection of artworks. Delegates will be treated to an afternoon tasting from the mini deli to accompany a wine tasting experience and will enjoy a talk on regenerative viticulture.

What did past attendees think?

The Sustainable Trails Conference provided an excellent opportunity to share best practice across a variety of topics from trail building to governance. Each session was valuable in its own right. Great to see the collaboration between our two countries as we all strive to make the most of this growing community.

Diane Drummond | General Manager | Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust

The sustainable trails conference is a must do for all those involved in the planning, development and marketing of tracks and trails.

Anthony Burton | Principal | Anthony Burton & Associates

A well run and organised conference, excellent speakers who certainly provided a range of information in the topics presented. Took away some key learnings.

Jane Tito | Marlborough

I have been to a lot of conferences before, this was one of the best I have ever attended.

Mick Tucker | Mayor, Break O'Day Council

A fantastic conference. Great speaker line-up with leaders in the field. Learned a lot and made new connections.

Francesca Governali | Conservation & Tourism Fellow | Dartmouth College

The Sustainable Trails Conference provides a unique opportunity to appreciate the importance of trails to local economies and tourism, the amount of work going on in this space, and to share and learn from others working in the field.

Suky Thompson | Trust Manager | Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust

Check out our previous conferences

Marlborough, New Zealand 2019

Alice Springs, NT Australia 2021

St Helens Tasmania, Australia 2022