Welcome to Hammy’s up the gondola, down by bike

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Queenstown’s new mass-appeal mountain bike track with gondola access has been named after a local tourism pioneer.
 
Queenstown tourism giant Skyline Enterprises has christened its 6km trail in the Bob’s Peak Reserve Hammy’s Track – paying homage to Ian Hamilton. 

Hamilton, who was known as Hammy to his mates, used his bulldozer to form the original road to Bob’s Peak in the summer of 1961-62. 

Skyline chief executive Jeff Staniland says the track – catering to a wide cross-section of mountain bike riders – is almost complete. 

“The easy terrain and wide track is suitable for families with challenging components for the more experienced rider, including rollers and jumps and a number of log rides.” 

Hammy’s Track also offers access to other bike tracks within the Ben Lomond forest. 

Skyline, which is opening up its gondola for use by riders and their bikes, has invested about $100,000. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council’s district forester Briana Pringle says: “It is great to see one of the town’s tourism industry pioneers honoured in such a way with this fantastic new asset for locals and visitors.” 

Skyline ran a competition to find the track name – offering a $475 mountain bike season gondola pass as a prize.

Hammy’s Track was suggested by Skyline director Grant Hensman, but the pass has been won by Russell Barker – who suggested more than 25 names and got several on the shortlist. 

Gondola access to recreational riders with passes will be available for the first time from January 24 to May 29.