Belying Queenstown's cosmopolitan reputation, city dwellers
of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga are converging on the
resort and its surrounds for cycle tours.
Husband and wife team Matt and Kate Belcher both have cycling
''in the blood'', Mr Belcher said, and were in their second
season running Revolution Tours.
The majority of cyclists on the four-day tours were New
Zealanders living in the main centres, Mr Belcher said,
though one-day trips were popular with international
He credited the domestic tourism boom with Queenstown's
appeal to New Zealanders.
''Queenstown is becoming a really popular destination for
Kiwis and flights are cheaper ... There's definitely a lot
more Kiwis in town.''
The relatively new company has proved to be successful, with
March already filled and vacancies for February and April
tours fast becoming scarcer.
Tours are conducted in the warmer months from October until
April, and this season was the business' first ''full
''This summer we have had a rapid growth,'' Mr Belcher said.
''We definitely have some plans under way which we are
keeping under wraps.''
With more and more cycling businesses sprouting in the
Queenstown Lakes area, due in part to the cycle trails, Mr
Belcher said his company differed by offering rides in
different areas which inevitably meant different scenery and
also offered a fully guided experience.
For example, an out of sight vehicle could provide assistance
to customers if necessary.
While the Belchers researched the business idea heavily
before committing, it was still a relief to proclaim its
success, Mr Belcher said.
''And we're loving it, too.''
Although he said they expected customers to book months in
advance, what he did not anticipate was to be fully booked
out months in advance.
''One lady booked 13-months out.''
Most of the groups were people who usually organised a
different activity every year, Mr Belcher said, ''and we get
a lot of people who have done the (Otago Central) Rail Trail
and want to do something else''.