Macaulay Valley trail photo
See all photos (5)
  |   Rate it:

Level: Advanced
Length: 24 mi (38.6 km)
Surface: 4x4 Trail
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +487/ -159 ft
Total: 1 riders

Mountain Biking Macaulay Valley

**   Add a review
#255 of 387 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#14,892 in the world

The Macaulay Valley is a huge glacial valley with towering mountains on either side and a broad braided gravel floor.

The first thing you have to do on this adventure is cross the Macaulay River and that's dangerous in spring and after heavy rain. But in late summer the river is generally only knee deep and not swift enough to wash away your bike if you hang on tight.

A four wheel drive track goes 19km (12 miles) up the valley to New Zealand's best alpine hut which is a popular base for deer hunters and mountain climbers, not to mention quad bikers, four wheel drivers and their families.

The trail surface is coarse gravel - bouldery in places. It's very jittery all the way and there are a dozen or so creek crossings deep enough to wet your feet - same on the way back! This adventure is about the awe of the rugged alpine environment rather than the cycling pleasure.

A similar trail that is more challenging and more stunning starts at the same place and goes 27km up the Godley River. The two trails can be added together and combined with some walking into a challenging two or more day alpine adventure.

First added by Jim Cummings on Mar 25, 2017. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Head east (towards Timaru) out of Tekapo and immediately turn left into Lilybank Road. Follow it for 38km as it winds its dusty way up the eastern shore of Lake Tekapo to the banks of the Macaulay River where there is a parking area on the grass. This is also where you access the Godley Valley.

Macaulay Valley Trail map

Add to or improve this map // Share this map on your website

Local Info

Club Sponsor


Local Bike Shop


Trail checkins

Jim Cummings (on Mar 23, 2017)
What's this?

Upcoming Events

Add one

Trail conditions

Good (on Mar 24, 2017)
login to update

Camping & Lodging

Coming soon!

Macaulay Valley videos

Add a video
We don't have any videos of this trail yet. Add one here.

Mountain Bike Trails Near Tekapo, New Zealand

Intermediate | 12 mi
Intermediate | 19 mi

Add a review



    Loading reviews...

Rider questions