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7 Day Alps to Ocean End to End Guided Cycle Trail

Days
7

Pricing From
$3695

Difficulty

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Overview

This 7-day cycling adventure allows you to appreciate and cycle the full length of the Alps to Ocean trail. Covering 320km of breathtaking and diverse country, this Alps to Ocean End to End Guided Cycle Trail trip starts in Queenstown where you will meet your guide. You will be driven to the trail start where your cycle begins at the foot of Aoraki/Mt. Cook to the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of highlights along the way including a helicopter flight across the Tasman river. Cycle through vast tussock lands, vineyards, and braided rivers.

Your accommodation is hand-picked where you stay at a mix of lodges, motels, premium backcountry farm stays, and luxury glamping tents.

Looking for a shorter ride? Try the 6 day Alps to Ocean itinerary starting at Lake Tekapo.    

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the adventure capital of the world in Queenstown
  • Cycle the full length of the Alps to Ocean trail from end to end
  • Enjoy a breathtaking heli-flight over the Tasman River from Aoraki/Mt Cook Village
  • Hike beneath Aoraki/Mt Cook in the World Heritage National Park
  • Cycle along the edges of Lakes Ohau, Benmore and Aviemore
  • Spend a night in a luxurious Glamping tent
  • Explore the Victorian Precinct in Oamaru
  • Soak in the hot tubs at Lake Ohau (optional)

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.

Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle Trail

Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle Trail

Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle Trail

Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle Trail

Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle Trail

Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle Trail

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstownt to Aoraki/Mt. CookCycle Distance: 14km; Hiking Distance: up to 10km

You will be collected by your guide from a central location in Queenstown around 8:00am.

We start our journey with a warm up ride from the old gold mining town of Arrowtown. Our route follows a trail high above the Arrow River, crossing 5 impressive bridges. On reaching the historic Kawarau Bridge, where we can watch the brave bungy jumpers, we load up the bikes and drive towards Aoraki/Mt Cook Village; the official start to the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We have the option to visit the famous Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the informative Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park visitor centre (free of charge). You'll also have the chance to put your walking shoes on and take in the stunning glacier and mountain views from the Hooker Valley Track or Tasman Glacier Track.

In the evening we will meet for our first group dinner.

Cycle Distance: Arrow River Trail - 14km

Hiking Distance: up to 10km

Accommodation : Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Mt Cook

Meals:  D

Day 2Aoraki Village to Braemar StationCycle Distance: 38km

After breakfast this morning we have time to explore the village some more. We then hop on our bikes and cycle the first 7km to the airport.

Using Heliworks Mount Cook we take a short (but breath-taking) heli-flight with our bikes to meet up with the trail on the other side of the Tasman River. We then cycle along the edge of Lake Pukaki, taking in views of Aoraki/Mt Cook. After a picnic lunch we continue cycling to Braemar Road and on to the backcountry farmstay, Braemar Station. This is a trip highlight for many as we are rewarded with fantastic views over Lake Pukaki and treated to a delicious home cooked dinner.

Cycle Distance: Aoraki/Mt Cook Village to Braemar Station - 38km

Please note: Heliworks Mount Cook is operated by Southern Lakes Helicopters an established NZ owned helicopter company with an excellent reputation for flying excellence. They use As350B2 Squirrels for this service. Heliworks focus on achieving the highest standards of safety to ensure all our clients’ needs and expectations are both met and exceeded.

Accommodation : Braemar Station, Lake Pukaki

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 3Braemar Station to Lake OhauCycle Distance: 80km

After a hearty breakfast, we leave Braemar Station and start our ride for the day. The trail winds around the edge of Lake Pukaki to the visitors centre before crossing the extensive tussock-lands of Pukaki flats to Twizel.

After lunch we cycle alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals, then Lake Ohau and then onto Lake Ohau Lodge, where we stay tonight.

This evening there is time to unwind and soak in the onsite hot tubs while overlooking the lake.

Cycle Distance:

  • Braemar Station to Twizel - 42km
  • Twizel to Lake Ohau - 38km

Accommodation : Lake Ohau Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Lake Ohau to OmaramaCycle Distance: 44km (Short Option 26km)

After we've refuelled our bodies with breakfast, those who would like a challenge can continue on the trail, which starts as a 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. The rough shingle Tarnbrae track is steep and narrow and is suited to the more confident and fitter riders.

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 from the historic wool shed at Quailburn 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).

Cycle Distance:

  • Lake Ohau to Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle - 44km
  • Short Option: Quailburn to Omarama - 26km

Accommodation : Sierra Motel

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5Omarama to KurowCycle Distance: 67km (Shorter option: 13km)

This morning we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, we join the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rocky outcrops, little beaches and even tree covered islands. The trail then drops us down from above the Benmore Dam to rejoin the quiet lakeside road. There is an easier option for less confident riders who would prefer to avoid this more technical section.

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 stay at the luxurious Valley Views Glamping where your own private tent awaits. Don't be fooled by the word 'tent' as you'll enjoy all your creature comforts. Each tent has a king size bed or 2 single beds with luxury down duvets, lighting, cell phone charger, an ensuite toilet and a private balcony. This is the perfect place to relax whilst recovering from a great days biking.

Cycle Distance:

  • Omarama - Kurow 67km
  • Kurow to Valley Views: 13km (option to ride in the support vehicle)

Accommodation : Valley Views Glamping, Kurow

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 6Kurow to OamaruCycle Distance: 81km

After breakfast, we hop back on the bike for our last ride towards the Pacific Ocean. 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 among the unusual rock formations known locally as Elephant Rocks is a must-do 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. After lunch we cycle through picturesque rolling rural countryside, past the Oamaru stone quarry to Friendly Bay and the end of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We celebrate our cycling achievements with a group photo at the famous picture frame and a final group dinner.

Cycle Distance:

Valley Views to Oamaru - 81km

Accommodation : Highfield Mews

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 7Oamaru to Christchurch

Today we are bound for Christchurch but not before exploring the white-stone township of Oamaru. Here there is time to browse around 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). We then travel back to Christchurch, passing through some of the rich agricultural regions of the Canterbury Plains, arriving at our destination around 3pm, where the tour concludes. No cycling today

Meals:  B,L

 

 

 
 

Cost per person

October 2023 - April 2024

  • Trip Price: NZ$3,695
  • High Season Rate: NZ$3,795
  • Single Supplement: NZ$895

Bike Rental: NZ$210
E-Bike Rental: NZ$600

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstownt to Aoraki/Mt. CookCycle Distance: 14km; Hiking Distance: up to 10km

You will be collected by your guide from a central location in Queenstown around 8:00am.

We start our journey with a warm up ride from the old gold mining town of Arrowtown. Our route follows a trail high above the Arrow River, crossing 5 impressive bridges. On reaching the historic Kawarau Bridge, where we can watch the brave bungy jumpers, we load up the bikes and drive towards Aoraki/Mt Cook Village; the official start to the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We have the option to visit the famous Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the informative Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park visitor centre (free of charge). You'll also have the chance to put your walking shoes on and take in the stunning glacier and mountain views from the Hooker Valley Track or Tasman Glacier Track.

In the evening we will meet for our first group dinner.

Cycle Distance: Arrow River Trail - 14km

Hiking Distance: up to 10km

Accommodation : Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Mt Cook

Meals:  D

Day 2Aoraki Village to Braemar StationCycle Distance: 38km

After breakfast this morning we have time to explore the village some more. We then hop on our bikes and cycle the first 7km to the airport.

Using Heliworks Mount Cook we take a short (but breath-taking) heli-flight with our bikes to meet up with the trail on the other side of the Tasman River. We then cycle along the edge of Lake Pukaki, taking in views of Aoraki/Mt Cook. After a picnic lunch we continue cycling to Braemar Road and on to the backcountry farmstay, Braemar Station. This is a trip highlight for many as we are rewarded with fantastic views over Lake Pukaki and treated to a delicious home cooked dinner.

Cycle Distance: Aoraki/Mt Cook Village to Braemar Station - 38km

Please note: Heliworks Mount Cook is operated by Southern Lakes Helicopters an established NZ owned helicopter company with an excellent reputation for flying excellence. They use As350B2 Squirrels for this service. Heliworks focus on achieving the highest standards of safety to ensure all our clients’ needs and expectations are both met and exceeded.

Accommodation : Braemar Station, Lake Pukaki

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 3Braemar Station to Lake OhauCycle Distance: 80km

After a hearty breakfast, we leave Braemar Station and start our ride for the day. The trail winds around the edge of Lake Pukaki to the visitors centre before crossing the extensive tussock-lands of Pukaki flats to Twizel.

After lunch we cycle alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals, then Lake Ohau and then onto Lake Ohau Lodge, where we stay tonight.

This evening there is time to unwind and soak in the onsite hot tubs while overlooking the lake.

Cycle Distance:

  • Braemar Station to Twizel - 42km
  • Twizel to Lake Ohau - 38km

Accommodation : Lake Ohau Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 4Lake Ohau to OmaramaCycle Distance: 44km (Short Option 26km)

After we've refuelled our bodies with breakfast, those who would like a challenge can continue on the trail, which starts as a 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. The rough shingle Tarnbrae track is steep and narrow and is suited to the more confident and fitter riders.

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 from the historic wool shed at Quailburn 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).

Cycle Distance:

  • Lake Ohau to Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle - 44km
  • Short Option: Quailburn to Omarama - 26km

Accommodation : Sierra Motel

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5Omarama to KurowCycle Distance: 67km (Shorter option: 13km)

This morning we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, we join the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rocky outcrops, little beaches and even tree covered islands. The trail then drops us down from above the Benmore Dam to rejoin the quiet lakeside road. There is an easier option for less confident riders who would prefer to avoid this more technical section.

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 stay at the luxurious Valley Views Glamping where your own private tent awaits. Don't be fooled by the word 'tent' as you'll enjoy all your creature comforts. Each tent has a king size bed or 2 single beds with luxury down duvets, lighting, cell phone charger, an ensuite toilet and a private balcony. This is the perfect place to relax whilst recovering from a great days biking.

Cycle Distance:

  • Omarama - Kurow 67km
  • Kurow to Valley Views: 13km (option to ride in the support vehicle)

Accommodation : Valley Views Glamping, Kurow

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 6Kurow to OamaruCycle Distance: 81km

After breakfast, we hop back on the bike for our last ride towards the Pacific Ocean. 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 among the unusual rock formations known locally as Elephant Rocks is a must-do 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. After lunch we cycle through picturesque rolling rural countryside, past the Oamaru stone quarry to Friendly Bay and the end of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We celebrate our cycling achievements with a group photo at the famous picture frame and a final group dinner.

Cycle Distance:

Valley Views to Oamaru - 81km

Accommodation : Highfield Mews

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 7Oamaru to Christchurch

Today we are bound for Christchurch but not before exploring the white-stone township of Oamaru. Here there is time to browse around 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). We then travel back to Christchurch, passing through some of the rich agricultural regions of the Canterbury Plains, arriving at our destination around 3pm, where the tour concludes. No cycling today

Meals:  B,L

 

 

 
 

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