Mountain bike adventure park opens on Wanaka high country station

The country's newest mountain bike adventure park has opened in Wanaka in the middle of a high country station.

Third-generation farmer John McRae isn't giving up the family business, but believes modern farming is about more than just stock numbers.

Glendhu Station spans 3000 hectares with stunning views out to Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains.

McRae's family bought the sheep and beef high country station in the late 1960s, but has cut back the farming side to just 300 breeding cows.

"But we don't want to stop farming, you know. We want to be able to integrate this with farming, and just farm in a different way," he says.

He wants to create a sustainable farming future for the next generation - which means diversifying.

Glendhu Station already runs a wedding venue business, using a converted woolshed and historic homestead.

They have now partnered up to convert 1000 hectares of terrain into rugged mountain bike trails.

"We want it to have a natural appeal and we want it to be about environmental sustainability, biodiversity," he says.

There is 35 kilometres of track, covering a range of skill levels.

The Bike Glendhu team didn't want gondolas or chairlifts spoiling the views, meaning riders have to earn their downhill experience.

"It's all pedal power. Our track designers and track build team have done a really good job of building the uphill at an elevation that makes it easy to pedal," Bike Glendhu chairman John Wilson says.

The new trail is already getting a big thumbs-up from riders.

"It starts off through the forest, through a little bit of farming territory and then over rocks and cliff faces. It's very exciting," Wanaka rider Nicole David says.

"We look out to the mountains here from Wanaka with our mountain bikes, dying to get into them. This is an opportunity, so we're over the moon," adds Wanaka rider Tim David.

The park's sustainability goals flow through to the solar-powered base building and a programme of native plantings.

Overall, the initiative celebrates Wanaka's scenic beauty, while offering riders a natural shot of adrenaline.