Riding Corotown for the first time!

If you're a mountain biker based in Queenstown or Wanaka, it's highly likely you've heard of, or probably even ridden, the trail Corotown. And if you're a visiting mountain biker, this is the article for you!

A few weeks back, a couple of us at 360 decided to dedicate a whole Sunday to the sole purpose of getting dirty on two wheels in Queenstown.

Having spent the morning working on our pedaling fitness around 7 Mile, it was time to switch into lazy mode and enjoy more downhill riding and less uphill… In steps the shuttling sessions on Rude Rock.

A few laps and a broken derailleur later and we were down to two, with a default driver. Perfect! No need to paper-scissors-rock for pick up duties in Arrowtown.

For the two of us that were left, it was time to climb and head to the start of the Corotown Track. But since we were first-time-Corotown riders, we weren’t 100% sure where the tracks began. Fortunately for us, we found a guide. Well, two actually! Fellow Wanaka-ites Justin and Lucien were well acquainted with Corotown and were happy to lead the way.

We headed across the Coronet Peak base area and made our way up what’s known as the “Downhill XC” trail – a track that is still left over from when Coronet used to operate their lifts for summer mountain biking, but with a name that really doesn’t make sense. Let’s be honest!

10 minutes and a bunch of snow-patch crossings later (did I mention it was October still?), and we’re close to the edge of the Coronet boundary, ready to take the first downhill section (and a fairly technical one at that).

Mountain bikers enjoying view at top of Corotown trail, Arrowtown New Zealand

The start of the Corotown Track, on the edge of Coronet Peak

And that’s where we lost another. This first steep section claimed three out of four of us – no injuries fortunately but a burst a rear brake line for one of us. The decision for the unlucky member of the group was obvious; walk out through the tussock, back to the Coronet base area and call our “designated” driver for a pick up.

Mountain biking Corotown trailAnd then there were three!

The rest of the track (if you can call it a track) seemed a lot tamer than the first section. Yes, there was plenty of butt dragging on real wheels and the constant smell of burning brakes, but we found our flow and rode top-to-bottom without another crash.

The lower half of the trail is a lot less intimidating than the top half. But you get really wet!

There are well over a dozen crossings to be made over Bush Creek – nothing more than two meters wide, but it’s certainly impossible to stay dry. Especially in October with all the snow melt pouring off the mountains.

Arriving in Arrowtown is always beautiful, but riding in on bikes from a direction you wouldn’t otherwise take, was particularly refreshing. Definitely time for a beer!

Check out the location page we’ve created for Corotown, giving more information on what the track is like and where it is located.

Snow crossing at Coronet Peak before dropping into Corotown Trail

Snow crossing up at Coronet Peak before dropping into the Corotown Trail

Corotown wide view from above

The view from above… spot the riders!

Mountain biking through river on Corotown trail, Arrowtown New Zealand

Getting wet through the creek crossing on Corotown. Rider Justin Stowell.

Keith @360

The founding member of the 360nz team, Keith is the editor here at 360qw.

Writer / photographer / web designer, Keith dabbles in many different digital medias, while still finding the time to enjoy the Wanaka playground on his snowboard and mountain bike.

Outside of 360, Keith is a Trainer for Snowboard Instruction New Zealand and an Ambassador for NZ Shred snowboard shop in Queenstown.

View posts by Keith here on 360qw, or check out his personal portfolio website.

Mountain biking through river on Corotown trail, Arrowtown New Zealand

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