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Queenstown Fat Tyres

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Queenstown is New Zealand's major adventure travel destination, a leader in adrenaline-pumping activities. Helicopters are used to heli-ski, heli-hike, heli-bungy and now visitors can indulge in heli-biking.

Fat Tyre, owned by Greg McIntyre (his real name), can give you the thrill of your life. Greg has been going to the Queenstown area since he was a child and after some heli-biking in Bolivia decided to get out of sheep farming and introduce Fat Tyre Adventures to Queenstown.

Trips start with a 12-minute helicopter ride from Queenstown Airport over The Remarkables, landing on the Old Woman Range in Central Otago, behind Old Man Range. Bikes are loaded onto special racks on the helicopter.

You land in an untouched world, which goes between being covered with snow and being desert-like. It's a flat alpine plateau with big boulders and lichen. Mount Cook is visible to the north.

Riders head off down the trail, which is a mixture of easy and difficult. It's mainly downhill but there are some little climbs. It really is for enthusiasts — Greg can tailor tours to suit levels of experience, but it's not just a touristy adventure. You are better off if you have some off-road experience.

There is some stopping and starting. Greg talks about the history of farming and gold mining and you will see some derelict farmhouses along the way. He usually takes up to five passengers and once you reach the township of Cromwell, you stop for refreshments.


The centre of New Zealand's South Island.


Fat Tyre Adventures has a variety of heli-biking tours, starting at around $260 per person. They operate from October to May.

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

PO Box 1068
Queenstown New Zealand
Ph: 0011 27 226 2822

The Helicopter Line
Queenstown Airport
Ph: 0011 64 3 442 3034

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