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6 Day Alps to Ocean Highlights Guided Cycle Trail

Days
6

Pricing From
$2295

Difficulty

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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).

Your Alps to Ocean (A2O) adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains.

After refreshments in the country town of Geraldine, we’ll continue through rolling farmland to reach Fairlie where we’ll stop for lunch. The scenic journey over Burke’s Pass is a fitting introduction to the famous Mackenzie Country, where Lake Tekapo soon appears as a bright blue jewel.

Hopping on our bikes, we’ll ease into our A2O ride along peaceful hydro-canal paths lined with epic panoramas. Back at Tekapo Village, wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, then soak away any first-day aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour.

Cycling distance: up to 35km

Meals: L,D

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

Our second day starts with some easy riding along the hydro canal to reach a high terrace overlooking Lake Pukaki and the surrounding mountains.

The A2O then dips down to meet the lakeshore, following it to our pick-up point for the fabulous drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the excellent national park visitor centre (free of charge) before we embark on a short but memorable walk.

Returning to Lake Pukaki, we’ll get back on the bikes to ride across expansive tussockland to reach Twizel, the friendly wee town that’s our stopping point for the night.

Cycling distance: 30km (Tekapo–Pukaki) & 11km (Pukaki–Twizel)

Meals: B,L

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

The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside Lake Ruataniwha, then Lake Ohau where we stop for lunch.

Confident riders can continue on the trail to Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), the highpoint of the A2O. The vast Mackenzie Country views are just reward for the climb. Alternatively, riders can transfer to the historic woolshed at Quailburn for a much easier ride down to Omarama – our stop for the night.

Translating as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies. They are best appreciated at the local hot pools where you can soak in fresh, mountain water (own expense).

Cycle distance:

38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau);

41km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or

23km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option)

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Omarama to KurowUp to 52km Riding distance

Today’s ride takes us down the Waitaki Valley, known for its hydro lakes and dams. First, we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, either keep riding up to Otematata Saddle or skip the climb by hopping back on the van.

Regrouped, it’s a fun downhill cycle towards Aviemore Dam, where we’ll enjoy a picnic by the lake. We’ll arrive at Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds.

Highlights include beautifully restored St Albans Church and wine-tasting at local vineyards. We’ll stay overnight in Kurow in an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce.

Cycle distance: 47km (optional climb to Otematata saddle 5km)

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, past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon.

From there, we head inland into rolling country and wander around the unique Elephant Rocks, huge formations strewn across a field. Picking up the old railway line, we’ll ride through Raki's tunnel before rolling downhill to the settlement of Windsor.

The historic Burnside Homestead is a fitting place for our final dinner together and a well-deserved night’s sleep.

Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) &

35km (Duntroon–Burnside Homestead)

Meals: B,L,D

Day 6Burnside to Christchurch via Oamaru25km Riding distance

We get to enjoy one more ride on the A2O before we begin our road trip back to Christchurch.

Setting off from our accommodation, we keep on rolling through picturesque rural countryside. We pass Oamaru Stone quarry, where stone has been extracted since the nineteenth century. We’ll see its influence on local architecture once we reach Oamaru.

After riding through the town’s delightful municipal gardens, we’ll reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park where the A2O finish-line sign offers the perfect photo-op.If time allows, explore the shops and galleries or visit the mind-boggling Steampunk HQ museum.

After a late lunch, we’ll begin our journey north across the Canterbury Plains, arriving in central Christchurch early evening.

Cycle distance: 25km (Burnside–Oamaru)

Meals: B

Cost per person

October 2020 - April 2021

  • 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).

Your Alps to Ocean (A2O) adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains.

After refreshments in the country town of Geraldine, we’ll continue through rolling farmland to reach Fairlie where we’ll stop for lunch. The scenic journey over Burke’s Pass is a fitting introduction to the famous Mackenzie Country, where Lake Tekapo soon appears as a bright blue jewel.

Hopping on our bikes, we’ll ease into our A2O ride along peaceful hydro-canal paths lined with epic panoramas. Back at Tekapo Village, wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, then soak away any first-day aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour.

Cycling distance: up to 35km

Meals: L,D

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

Our second day starts with some easy riding along the hydro canal to reach a high terrace overlooking Lake Pukaki and the surrounding mountains.

The A2O then dips down to meet the lakeshore, following it to our pick-up point for the fabulous drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the excellent national park visitor centre (free of charge) before we embark on a short but memorable walk.

Returning to Lake Pukaki, we’ll get back on the bikes to ride across expansive tussockland to reach Twizel, the friendly wee town that’s our stopping point for the night.

Cycling distance: 30km (Tekapo–Pukaki) & 11km (Pukaki–Twizel)

Meals: B,L

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

The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside Lake Ruataniwha, then Lake Ohau where we stop for lunch.

Confident riders can continue on the trail to Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), the highpoint of the A2O. The vast Mackenzie Country views are just reward for the climb. Alternatively, riders can transfer to the historic woolshed at Quailburn for a much easier ride down to Omarama – our stop for the night.

Translating as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies. They are best appreciated at the local hot pools where you can soak in fresh, mountain water (own expense).

Cycle distance:

38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau);

41km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or

23km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option)

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Omarama to KurowUp to 52km Riding distance

Today’s ride takes us down the Waitaki Valley, known for its hydro lakes and dams. First, we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, either keep riding up to Otematata Saddle or skip the climb by hopping back on the van.

Regrouped, it’s a fun downhill cycle towards Aviemore Dam, where we’ll enjoy a picnic by the lake. We’ll arrive at Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds.

Highlights include beautifully restored St Albans Church and wine-tasting at local vineyards. We’ll stay overnight in Kurow in an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce.

Cycle distance: 47km (optional climb to Otematata saddle 5km)

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, past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon.

From there, we head inland into rolling country and wander around the unique Elephant Rocks, huge formations strewn across a field. Picking up the old railway line, we’ll ride through Raki's tunnel before rolling downhill to the settlement of Windsor.

The historic Burnside Homestead is a fitting place for our final dinner together and a well-deserved night’s sleep.

Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) &

35km (Duntroon–Burnside Homestead)

Meals: B,L,D

Day 6Burnside to Christchurch via Oamaru25km Riding distance

We get to enjoy one more ride on the A2O before we begin our road trip back to Christchurch.

Setting off from our accommodation, we keep on rolling through picturesque rural countryside. We pass Oamaru Stone quarry, where stone has been extracted since the nineteenth century. We’ll see its influence on local architecture once we reach Oamaru.

After riding through the town’s delightful municipal gardens, we’ll reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park where the A2O finish-line sign offers the perfect photo-op.If time allows, explore the shops and galleries or visit the mind-boggling Steampunk HQ museum.

After a late lunch, we’ll begin our journey north across the Canterbury Plains, arriving in central Christchurch early evening.

Cycle distance: 25km (Burnside–Oamaru)

Meals: B

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