Early this morning you will be collected from your central Christchurch accommodation and taken
to our depot for a bike fitting and tour briefing. We then drive south to Geraldine for a refreshment
break before starting our first ride. We cycle quiet sealed roads through picturesque countryside,
before stopping for lunch in Fairlie.
After lunch we drive to Lake Tekapo Village. Its picturesque lake is the first of the storage lakes which feed the hydro schemes in the basin and down the Waitaki Valley. Here we take our first ride from the alternate start on the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail, on the quiet roads that follow the turquoise blue waters of the canal system.
On return to Tekapo we have the option to visit the local hot pools to ease any first day muscle aches (own expense). The famous Church of the Good Shepherd and nearby statue standing as a tribute to the sheepdogs that make farming the Mackenzie Basin possible are local icons.
Today's cycling is approximately 35km.
After breakfast this morning we drive to our next cycling point on the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail
alongside the Tekapo hydro canal. We enjoy some flat easy riding past salmon farms to the edge
of Lake Pukaki, joining the lakeside cycle trail and with spectacular mountain vistas. From the road
end, Mt Cook beckons so we load up and drive to The Hermitage where we have the option to enjoy
a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the informative Aoraki/Mount Cook
National Park visitor centre (free of charge).
Stunning views of the 26 km long Tasman Glacier and Mt Cook are our reward for a short walk, before we drive back to Lake Pukaki for a final ride on the trail across the extensive tussock-lands of Pukaki flats to Twizel, where we stay tonight. Twizel was built for the Hydro project in the 1970’s and in recent years has been rejuvenated as a holiday and rowing destination, surrounded by rolling tussock hillsides.
Today's cycling is approximately 42km.
This morning we cycle past Lakes Ruataniwha and Ohau, mostly on cycle trail, to Lake Ohau Lodge
for lunch. After we’ve refuelled our bodies, those who would like a challenge can continue on the trail, which starts its steady climb up to the Tambrae Saddle. At 900m this is the highpoint of the
whole Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail and your efforts are rewarded with stunning views across the
Alternatively for those who want a relaxing afternoon there is the option to transfer by coach and
enjoy a final, mostly downhill and flat ride on the trail into Omarama, our stop for the night.
Omarama is called “Place of Light” in Maori terminology, a reference to its extraordinarily pure and
clear sky. This region is also famous for gliding due to some unique air wave systems and feisty
Today's cycling is between 61 - 79km.
We set off on our bikes from our accommodation this morning, following the trail to Sailors Cutting,
along the shores of Lake Benmore. From here there is the option to climb to the Otematata saddle
or to take the support van to the top and enjoy a fabulous downhill cycle towards Aviemore Dam,
where we will enjoy a lakeside picnic. From here we avoid the very busy main road by driving a
short distance to our accommodation in Kurow. The tiny village of Kurow can be explored by bike.
An interesting option is to ride from the bridge over the Waitaki River to the beautifully restored St.
Albans Church, then to the local Pasquale vineyards to taste award winning wines.
Tonights accommodation is at the Waitaki Braids Lodge where elegant ensuite rooms, open onto their own small conservatory and local art adorn the walls. Dinner is served in the comfortable onsite restaurant by an award winning chef serving local produce and wines. This is the perfect place to relax whilst recovering from a days biking.
Today's cycling is approximately 47kms, excluding the optional 5km climb to Otematata saddle.
This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River and through Kurow
vineyards. We pass by a Maori rock art site before reaching Duntroon where we turn inland to cycle
on a mixture of trail and quiet rural roads. A walk amongst the unusual rock formations known
locally as Elephant Rocks is a must on the way past. Following a short section of an old branch
railway line we cycle through Raki’s tunnel before a downhill ride into the settlement of Windsor. We
spend our last evening together at the historic Victorian Burnside Homestead and have a delicious
dinner to celebrate.
Today's cycling is approximately 63km with an elevation gain of 693m.
Today we are bound for Christchurch but not before we finish our Alps to Ocean journey with a final
ride. Cycling from our accommodation we ride through picturesque rolling rural countryside and
pass the Oamaru Stone quarry. Oamaru Stone has been extracted from the district since the 19th
Century and its influence on local architecture is clearly seen as we ride our final section into the
harbourside town of Oamaru. Here there is time to explore the old Victorian Precinct with its many
galleries, shops and cafes. There may also be time for an optional visit to the fascinating Steampunk Museum (own expense). After a late lunch we will travel back to Christchurch, passing through
some of the rich agricultural regions of the Canterbury Plains.
Today's cycling is approximately 25km.
After an incredible trip it's time to say goodbye and continue with your homeward travel.
If you're looking for bucket list rides, epic scenery and the world's playground, then you've found it in New Zealand. The country is littered with old railways converted into cycle trails taking you into the heart of the country. Crystal clear lakes reflect the towering snow capped mountains, suspension bridges snake their way through golden forests and on either side of the island, you can ride along the shore of New Zealand's crisp blue waters
The summer months between December and February are the best times to ride in New Zealand. Temperatures reach the mid 70s with warm breezes. Spring and autumn are also beautiful times to ride as the climate is mild, especially towards the coast, and the scenery becomes ever more spectacular as the seasons change.