Gibbston Valley Station in Queenstown has been granted consent to build a new resort adjacent to the award-winning Gibbston Valley Winery. The resort is in very early planning stages and will complement the year-round Rabbit Ridge Bike Park which is set to open in just a few weeks on April 20.

It is anticipated that construction for the hotel will begin in 2014 and will include accommodation, a commercial hub, a golf course, walking tracks and other recreational activities. It will primarily be based around the bike park which is a unique attraction in itself.

Gibbston Valley Winery collaborated with local bike tour operator Around The Basin to create the dedicated bike park. Unlike others around Queenstown which are targeted to adrenalin riders, the Rabbit Ridge Bike Park will have more services, be accessible to all levels of riders, and is planned to have tutoring and product offerings.

Designed and developed by trail builder Ben Rafferty, the first tracks are almost complete and will provide a unique family-friendly resort with a base area for relaxing between runs. It is set on the Gibbston Valley Station’s land with 30 kilometres of tracks over 400 hectares of land, suitable for all levels of rider. Bikers will be able to cycle to the top of the Rabbit Ridge bike trails or use a shuttle bus. There are also plans for heli-biking options in the future.

Gibbston Valley Winery CEO Greg Hunt said he was excited about the new project which had developed very quickly as a result of the explosion in popularity of mountain biking in the region.

“Biking is a growing market and we’ve got something really special here which will add to the region’s already strong biking experiences,” he said.

“This will be the area’s only year-round dedicated and serviced bike resort and will help put Queenstown on the map with biking enthusiasts everywhere.”

Around The Basin director John Knight said he was blown away by the beauty of the site and the biking opportunities it offered.

“This terrain really is stunning. It’s world-class and a mountain biker’s paradise, with accessible trails for everyone, not just the adrenalin junkies,” he said.

The resort opens the same week Skyline’s gondola access to its downhill mountain biking tracks close for winter.