Savvy fundraiser: Queenstown Trails Trust boss Mark Williams


In a typically savvy fundraising move, the Queenstown Trail Trust’s auctioning off 10 places on an exclusive guided ride of a backcountry section of the Coronet Loop Track.

Expected to be a jewel in the crown of New Zealand mountain biking when completed by the end of next summer, the track will take riders through the Green Gate, Deep and  Coronet Creeks as part of a 56km circuit, starting in Arrowtown and winding around Coronet and Brow Peaks.

For those who can’t wait until then, the trust’s offering 10 places on a four-hour, there-and-back ride on November 12, which will be guided by trust chief executive Mark ‘Willy’ Williams.

The 10 highest bidders take the spoils.

The proceeds of the auction, for which bidding’s starting today, will be used for the ongoing maintenance of this trail.

The trip, deemed suitable for only experienced riders with full suspension e-bikes, will start at Skippers Saddle and take in a descent down the Pack Track into Long Gully before the climb up to Green Gate Saddle.

It’ll continue past Green Gate Hut and above Deep Creek as far as a spectacular lookout point, Picnic Rock, for a breather and refreshments before turning for home.

The auction’s running via