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7 Day Southern Coast Cycle Trail

Days
7

Pricing From
$2695

South Island
Book Now

Overview

Join us and cycle through lush green rolling plains, untamed windswept coastlines, and experience the unique wildlife of New Zealand’s southernmost region. Our 7 Day Southern Coast Cycle Trail begins in Queenstown and we cycle through the scenic boarder roads of the Fiordland National Park before we continue on to Invercargill, the world’s southernmost city. Our next stop is the Catlins Coast; home to an ancient petrified forest, fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins, and rare Hector’s dolphins. We will then continue on towards Dunedin, known for its Scottish history.

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle the Catlins rugged coastline
  • Visit the lighthouse at NZ's iconic Nugget Point
  • Explore the remote beaches of Cannibal & Curio Bay (tide dependent)
  • Walk to Mcleans Falls and Cathedral Caves
  • Challenge yourself on the rolling hills of the breathtaking Otago Peninsula

Tour Grading: Moderate

You will need to have a good level of fitness. You need to be a competent road rider with stamina and should be able to ride comfortably for 4-6 hours or around 80km/50miles per day, everyday. The road features some long undulating and hilly sections. You should also be confident riding on main roads, alongside traffic which can be travelling at speed. This is not for beginners. 

Southern Coast Cycle

Southern Coast Cycle

Southern Coast Cycle

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown to Te AnauCycling Distance: 126km | Shorter Option: 67km

You will meet the tour in central Queenstown around 08:00am for a bike fit. From Queenstown we drive the narrow lakeside road alongside Lake Wakitipu to Kingston, where we start our ride for the day on the rolling rural roads of upper Southland.The native red tussock covered hills lead us into the township of Te Anau, perched on the edge of the Fiordland National Park, our goal is the remote Five Rivers cafe for lunch and then onto Mossburn, but stronger riders can be challenged by the possibility of a metric century ride today. 

Meals: L,D

 

Day 2Te Anau to InvercargillCycling Distance: 108km

The morning’s ride takes us alongside Lakes Te Anau & Manapouri before we head south through an ever-changing landscape. The stark arid mountains give way to more gentle pastures as we enter the productive Southland farm country. Small communities dot the landscape and the coastal riding becomes spectacular. This coast is exposed to southerly blasts creating some surreal windswept scenery. Gradually we quit the farmlands and approach Invercargill where we'll stay tonight. 

Optional: Blackmount to Tuatapere – 42km

Meals: B,L

Day 3Invercargill to McLeans FallsCycling Distance: 115km

The route today skirts the beautiful and undiscovered Catlins Forest Park and coastline. The roads are quiet and the scenery diverse as the coastline increasingly becomes spectacular. The morning ride ends at beautiful Curio Bay where we enjoy a leisurely picnic by the sea, short walks along the beach, a swim for the brave & a visit to a petrified forest on the sea-shore. This is a renowned wildlife area & you are likely to see the rare Hectors Dolphins, Fur Seals & Yellow Eyed Penguins. After lunch there is an optional ride to our overnight accommodation near McLeans Falls. 

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4McLeans Falls to OwakaCycling Distance: 38km

We have a relaxed start this morning to explore our beautiful surroundings here in the Catlins coast, with options to walk to the nearby McLeans Falls and/or explore Cathedral Caves. Then it is back on the bikes for more scenic cycling along quiet roads. The cycling is tough with some serious climbs but the rewarding views of the coastline make the effort well worth it. Another picnic by the sea gives us the chance for a beach walk before we continue cycling on to Owaka. Late afternoon we drive out to Cannibal Bay for a yet another walk on a remote and beautiful beach to visit the resident Sea Lions. 

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Owaka to DunedinCycling Distance: 62kms

This morning we ride to the seaside village of Kaka Point then drive out to Nugget Point and enjoy a short walk to the lighthouse. We drive the busy main road section through rural landscapes to Balclutha for lunch. This afternoon we cycle from Waihola down to the coast for the final gentle ride along the beach to Brighton, on the outskirts of Dunedin. This cosmopolitan university town is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand due to it's rich Scottish heritage and is where we stay tonight. 

Meals:  B,L

Day 6Dunedin Peninsula to OamaruCycling Distance: up to 59km

Today we explore the Otago Peninsula by bike. This ride has some challenges, taking you first up and over the Portobello hill for sweeping views of the whole Peninsula before dropping down to finish with some relaxing, flat riding beside the ocean. After lunch back in Dunedin we'll make our way to historical Oamaru, stopping at the Koekohe Beach along the way to see the Moeraki Boulders, some unusually large and spherical boulders lying on the beach. There is also the option for some more beautiful coastal riding on quiet roads as we reach our destination. We'll stay in Oamaru for the evening.

Meals:  B,D

Day 7Oamaru to ChristchurchCycling Distance: up to 48kms

Today we are Christchurch bound - but not before more rural cycling. We have an option to visit the award winning Whitestone Cheese factory in Oamaru or nearby Riverstone Kitchen, to see their amazing gardens where they grow most of their own culinary produce. We then start cycling on quiet roads through small farmlets and communities along the Pareora River valley. An optional challenge is the climb over Pareora Gorge before we visit the spectacular St Davids Pioneer Church, made without nails out of local river stones and timbers. A final burst of cycling takes us to a late lunch at Pleasant Point and the start of the final drive back to Christchurch. With good traffic flows we should be into Christchurch by around 6pm.

Meals:  B

COST PER PERSON

October 2019 - April 2020

  • Twin: NZ$2,695
  • Single supplement NZ$695

Optional

  • Bike Hire: NZ$350

* NZ$50 per person surcharge applies for public holidays departures

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown to Te AnauCycling Distance: 126km | Shorter Option: 67km

You will meet the tour in central Queenstown around 08:00am for a bike fit. From Queenstown we drive the narrow lakeside road alongside Lake Wakitipu to Kingston, where we start our ride for the day on the rolling rural roads of upper Southland.The native red tussock covered hills lead us into the township of Te Anau, perched on the edge of the Fiordland National Park, our goal is the remote Five Rivers cafe for lunch and then onto Mossburn, but stronger riders can be challenged by the possibility of a metric century ride today. 

Meals: L,D

 

Day 2Te Anau to InvercargillCycling Distance: 108km

The morning’s ride takes us alongside Lakes Te Anau & Manapouri before we head south through an ever-changing landscape. The stark arid mountains give way to more gentle pastures as we enter the productive Southland farm country. Small communities dot the landscape and the coastal riding becomes spectacular. This coast is exposed to southerly blasts creating some surreal windswept scenery. Gradually we quit the farmlands and approach Invercargill where we'll stay tonight. 

Optional: Blackmount to Tuatapere – 42km

Meals: B,L

Day 3Invercargill to McLeans FallsCycling Distance: 115km

The route today skirts the beautiful and undiscovered Catlins Forest Park and coastline. The roads are quiet and the scenery diverse as the coastline increasingly becomes spectacular. The morning ride ends at beautiful Curio Bay where we enjoy a leisurely picnic by the sea, short walks along the beach, a swim for the brave & a visit to a petrified forest on the sea-shore. This is a renowned wildlife area & you are likely to see the rare Hectors Dolphins, Fur Seals & Yellow Eyed Penguins. After lunch there is an optional ride to our overnight accommodation near McLeans Falls. 

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4McLeans Falls to OwakaCycling Distance: 38km

We have a relaxed start this morning to explore our beautiful surroundings here in the Catlins coast, with options to walk to the nearby McLeans Falls and/or explore Cathedral Caves. Then it is back on the bikes for more scenic cycling along quiet roads. The cycling is tough with some serious climbs but the rewarding views of the coastline make the effort well worth it. Another picnic by the sea gives us the chance for a beach walk before we continue cycling on to Owaka. Late afternoon we drive out to Cannibal Bay for a yet another walk on a remote and beautiful beach to visit the resident Sea Lions. 

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Owaka to DunedinCycling Distance: 62kms

This morning we ride to the seaside village of Kaka Point then drive out to Nugget Point and enjoy a short walk to the lighthouse. We drive the busy main road section through rural landscapes to Balclutha for lunch. This afternoon we cycle from Waihola down to the coast for the final gentle ride along the beach to Brighton, on the outskirts of Dunedin. This cosmopolitan university town is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand due to it's rich Scottish heritage and is where we stay tonight. 

Meals:  B,L

Day 6Dunedin Peninsula to OamaruCycling Distance: up to 59km

Today we explore the Otago Peninsula by bike. This ride has some challenges, taking you first up and over the Portobello hill for sweeping views of the whole Peninsula before dropping down to finish with some relaxing, flat riding beside the ocean. After lunch back in Dunedin we'll make our way to historical Oamaru, stopping at the Koekohe Beach along the way to see the Moeraki Boulders, some unusually large and spherical boulders lying on the beach. There is also the option for some more beautiful coastal riding on quiet roads as we reach our destination. We'll stay in Oamaru for the evening.

Meals:  B,D

Day 7Oamaru to ChristchurchCycling Distance: up to 48kms

Today we are Christchurch bound - but not before more rural cycling. We have an option to visit the award winning Whitestone Cheese factory in Oamaru or nearby Riverstone Kitchen, to see their amazing gardens where they grow most of their own culinary produce. We then start cycling on quiet roads through small farmlets and communities along the Pareora River valley. An optional challenge is the climb over Pareora Gorge before we visit the spectacular St Davids Pioneer Church, made without nails out of local river stones and timbers. A final burst of cycling takes us to a late lunch at Pleasant Point and the start of the final drive back to Christchurch. With good traffic flows we should be into Christchurch by around 6pm.

Meals:  B

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