At Home With Our Local Guides: Erin Greene, Queenstown

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We add a Kiwi twist to our series ‘At Home with our Local Guides’ and explore the tasty trails of Queenstown, New Zealand with Erin Greene

The mountain biker’s Mecca!

When it comes to dream places to live as a mountain biker few locations can hold a candle to Queenstown, it’s up there with the likes of Whistler for being an mtb mecca. It has been the location for countless photos and videos over the years and for good reason, the trails and scenery are other-worldly.

Our Kiwi guide Erin is lucky enough to call the trail paradise of Queenstown home and we were lucky enough to have her show us the local’s lines whilst out in New Zealand for the International Yeti Tribe Gathering. There’s so much depth to the Queenstown trail portfolio that we barely scratched the surface…

The gentle hum of a chairlift is always a good start to your morning, feet hanging freely in the air as you surge uphill cheekily with zero effort. We began our few days of Queenstown shredding a stone’s throw away in Cardrona Bike Park, sifting through deep dust in the summer sun. The park has plenty of lines to play on, including a few more with a rockier and natural feeling as well as the usual bumps, jumps, and berms of a typical bike park. After a morning’s play we grabbed some lunch and headed straight into some of Queenstown’s classics, taking in the aptly named ‘Roots’ which, yes you guessed it, features an abundance of roots no less! We ascended up the steep fire road which traverses through the bike park, somewhat tortured watching some DH pros enjoying their off season and floating, oh-so-effortlessly over the tables and gaps.

After a bit of of a slog in the late afternoon heat we pop out of the trees, revealing the summit and views over the lake stretching out below. Hanging around just long enough to catch our breath we dive into the teeth rattling and chain chattering ‘Roots’ with plooms of dust hanging heavy in the afternoon glow before cutting into the bike park and joining the rollercoaster of turns back into town for dinner. The place just has a certain buzz you don’t get many places, it’s easy to see why people come here on holiday and never leave!

Moody view over Queenstown.
Moody mountains after the rain in Queenstown.

Meet Erin Greene, your local NZ mtb guide

“I grew up in Dunedin, lots of rain, next to no trails… I used to race cross country and the odd downhill race when I was a junior on my wee cross country hardtail. Bouncing my way down stuff, and just getting away with it at times! I used to work the winter ski season in Queenstown, then I met my now husband Tom and he was keen to be here year round. I made the move and haven’t really looked back! I’ll go home to see the family now and then but I’m pretty happy here, it’s good for heaps of adventures and it’s all on your back door. 5 minutes and you’ve got awesome pedalling, trail running, swimming – heaps of trails! There is always, always, a new trail popping up every summer and always something to challenge yourself on. I’ll never be able to ride all of the trails here. Never!”

H+I Erin Greene showing us her local trails in Queenstown.
H+I Erin Greene showing us her local trails in Queenstown.
Mountain biker descending the Zoots trail on Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Mountain bikers enjoying the trails of Queenstown.

“I’m just about to do an expedition-length adventure race non-stop. I’ve got 10 days to get through the course in Fjorland which will be a challenge with that terrain and the weather, and the sandflies! It’ll be real tough. Last time it was in Queenstown and it was probably one of the easiest ones that have been around for a while, everything was pretty close to town so you had lots of supporters that you’d see out on the course so when you come across people it’d always give you a bit of a lift seeing people that you know, them telling you that you are doing awesome even if you’re not! We’re probably not going to see anyone for 5 or 6 days this time so we’ll just need to get on pretty well as a team! The places I go to I’d probably never end up going to otherwise, so that’s pretty cool. The friendships you make with your team mates and the stuff you go through together… It’s pretty hilarious some of the conversations and things that start happening. Then when you go and look at a map and see where you’ve been and the time you’ve done it in… you feel pretty stoked with yourself! “

Chairlifts on Coronet peak in Queenstown.
Mountains above Queenstown shrouded in clouds.
H+I Erin Greene showing us her local trails in Queenstown.
Descending towards Arrowtown on the trails on Coronet Peak near Queenstown.

“I guess Queenstown feels really transient when you are here for a short period of time. As soon you’ve been in Queenstown for a while you meet up with all these other people who have been here for the same amount of time or longer, everyone is really open to letting new people into their friendships pretty quickly. That’s a pretty nice feeling when you get into meeting a decent crowd straight away, all being into the same kind of adventures. I’m always just keen for an adventure, if I can go to some crazy and different country to ride there then I’ll go do it. If I can go somewhere new and ride I’ll go do it. I haven’t been back to too many of the same places because I’d rather go and experience something new than go back to something I’ve already ridden. I’ve been riding in Vietnam, Italy, Mongolia, Malaysia…”

Mountain biker riding at Cardrona bike park near Queenstown.
Riding the 'roots' trail in Queenstown.
Sunset over the lake in Queenstown.

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