Advanced technology teams up with classic engineering for a thrilling trip from boat to bike in Queenstown

Queenstown Goes Back to the Future

By —— Bio and Archives--December 28, 2016

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Real Journeys’ latest tourism attraction takes day-trippers from a cruise aboard one of the world’s oldest forms of conveyance, a coal-powered steamship, to an off-road adventure on the latest mode of transport – the Ubco electric trail bike.

The Walter Peak Electric Trail Bike trip begins by crossing beautiful Lake Wakatipu on the 104-year-old restored steamship TSS Earnslaw. Disembarking at Walter Peak high country farm, groups of up to 12 join a nature guide and put on protective clothing to ride the electric bikes. Riders enjoy uninterrupted views from the paddocks and hills.


Real Journeys is the first New Zealand company to provide a fleet of the brand new bikes as part of a tourism attraction. Commercial Director, Tony McQuilkin, says he chose the Ubco bikes because they are extremely functional, simple to use, silent and fit the company’s conservation ethos.

Designed in New Zealand, the dual electric drive bikes operate almost soundlessly, despite having a powerful motor in each wheel to provide complete control. “These bikes are the way of the future – there’s no noise, no internal combustion engine, no petrol tank, muffler, chain or clutch,” said McQuilkin. “But importantly for us, they’re incredibly fun and easy to ride and are a great way to enjoy the back country hills and magnificent views at Walter Peak. The things are extraordinarily sturdy, quiet and take you anywhere, through mud or gravel.”

The trips began in November and take 3.5 hours. Riders must be at least 13 years old, 150cm or taller and weigh less than 110kg. Anyone who can ride a mountain bike on tracks and trails will be able to ride the electric trail bike. Prices are $159 NZD (approx. $149 CAD).

Air New Zealand has direct non-stop flights from Vancouver to Auckland and offers flights from many other North American cities. Amazing new experiences are just one flight away.

For more information on New Zealand or to create your unique adventure, please visit: NewZealand.com check out the “wishlist” handy vacation planner.


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