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6 Day Alps to Ocean Highlights Guided Cycle Trail

Days
6

Pricing From
$2295

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Experience the majesty of Aoraki Mt Cook and the sweeping tussocklands of the Mackenzie Basin in this 6 day cycling trip as you experience the ancient Maori trading and food gathering routes out to the coast at historic Oamaru.

Along the way you will be enchanted by the beautiful canal bike rides from Tekapo to Lake Pukaki and onwards to Lake Ohau.

Tour Grading:  Medium      

This trip is ideal for recreational cyclists. All tours can be adapted by the guides for recreational or stronger cyclists wanting to cover more ground.

Trip Highlights

  • Cycle the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Tekapo.
  • Take in the stunning views of Lakes Pukaki, Ohau, Benmore and Aviemore
  • Soak in the hot pools at Lake Tekapo (optional)
  • Hike beneath Mt Cook in the World Heritage National Park
  • Cycle through the golden tussock lands of the Mackenzie Country
  • Enjoy a delicious platter lunch at Lake Ohau Lodge
  • Spend a night at the historic Burnside Homestead and elegant Waitaki Braids Lodge
  • Discover the ancient Elephant Rock formations
  • Explore the charming Victorian Precinct in Oamaru

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Cyclist on Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Cyclist on Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Support vehicle and cyclists on Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Cyclists on a bridge on Tekapo Canals on Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Cyclists at Ohau on Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Mount Cook Lily at Mount Cook, New Zealand

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Reflections in Lake Tekapo - Fraser Gunn

Alps to Ocean Cycle Tour

Sunset at Evans Crossing near Timaru

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Tekapo Up to 35km riding distance

Important: The night before your tour, your guide will call your pre tour Christchurch accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying).

Early this morning you will be collected from a central Christchurch location around 08:00am 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. 

Meals: L,D

Day 2Lake Tekapo to Twizel Up to 41km Riding distance

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.

Meals: B,L

Day 3Twizel to Omarama41km Riding distance (short option 23km)

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 Mackenzie Basin.

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 thermals. This evening enjoy an optional soak in a private hot tub of fresh mountain water (own expense). (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner).

Day 4Omarama to KurowUp to 50km Riding distance

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.

Tonight's 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.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Kurow to BurnsideUp to 63km Riding distance

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.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 6Burnside to Christchurch via Oamaru25km Riding distance

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, arriving at our destination around 6:00pm.

Meals: B

Cost per person

October 2019 - April 2020

  • Twin: NZ$2,295
  • E-bike Tour: NZ$2,495
  • Single Supplement: NZ$645

Bike Rental: NZ$180
E-Bike Rental: NZ$480

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Tekapo Up to 35km riding distance

Important: The night before your tour, your guide will call your pre tour Christchurch accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying).

Early this morning you will be collected from a central Christchurch location around 08:00am 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. 

Meals: L,D

Day 2Lake Tekapo to Twizel Up to 41km Riding distance

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.

Meals: B,L

Day 3Twizel to Omarama41km Riding distance (short option 23km)

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 Mackenzie Basin.

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 thermals. This evening enjoy an optional soak in a private hot tub of fresh mountain water (own expense). (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner).

Day 4Omarama to KurowUp to 50km Riding distance

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.

Tonight's 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.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Kurow to BurnsideUp to 63km Riding distance

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.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 6Burnside to Christchurch via Oamaru25km Riding distance

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, arriving at our destination around 6:00pm.

Meals: B

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