Over the hills, not far away

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The first couple of New Zealand mountain biking has given the new Cardrona Bike Park the thumbs up.

Cardrona Alpine Resort, between Queenstown and Wanaka, is opening the park from December 27-31 and January 3-7.

It then hosts the first round of the NZ mountain bike nationals on January 10 and 11.

Queenstowners Kate Fluker, NZ’s top-ranked cross country mountain biker, and her partner, top downhiller Reon Boe, test-raced the course last weekend.

After a disappointing start, Fluker finished eighth at the Common-wealth Games in Glasgow, in July.

Two weeks earlier, Boe finished third in the famous Megavalanche race in France.

Boe says Cardrona has a long track which is suitable for beginners – as well as a gnarly track for the experts.

“It’s awesome, they’ve already catered for every level of rider.”

Cardrona’s also receptive to riders creating other tracks, he says.

During its 10-day season, the bike park will open its Whitestar chairlift for downhillers, from 10am till 4pm.

A day lift pass will be $40 for adults and $30 for 17-and-unders.

Field access for non-lift riders will be $10.