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9 Day Full Trail Alps to Ocean Self Guided

8 Cycling Days

Days
9

Pricing From
$1596

Difficulty

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Overview

This is the ultimate Alps to Ocean experience. Cycle from the towering Southern Alps to beautiful seaside township of Oamaru. Personalise your Full Trail Alps to Ocean Self Guided trip with our selection of bikes and accommodation levels.

Mt Cook Village to Oamaru

  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Start: Meet at our Depot in Twizel for a bike fitting
  • Stay the night in Twizel and take the shuttle to Mt Cook Village the following morning                                       
  • Or: Take the shuttle to Mt Cook Village on day 1 and stay the night
  • Start your Alps 2 Ocean ride from the Mt Cook starting point 
  • Helicopter across the Tasman River (included) on day 2 
  • Finish in Oamaru

Tekapo to Oamaru

  • Duration: 8 Days
  • (No helicopter required)
  • Start: Meet at the Cycle Journeys Depot in Twizel for a bike fitting
  • Stay the night in Twizel and take the shuttle to Tekapo the following day
  • Start your Alps 2 Ocean ride from Tekapo Village 
  • Finish in Oamaru

Alps to Ocean Self Guided Bike

Alps to Ocean Self Guided Bike

Alps to Ocean Self Guided Bike

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Arrive Twizel

We recommend allowing a day of travel to get to Twizel from Christchurch or Queenstown. Take the afternoon to explore this rural township before spending the night in Twizel.

Day 2Twizel - Mt Cook - Braemar Station35 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Moderate - Grade 2

Mount Cook Station and Lake Pukaki Itinerary

At 7:30am - Meet & Greet at Twizel depot for bike fitting and briefing.

By 9.00am, you will put the cycles on the trailer and drive along Haymens Road to Mt Cook station on the eastern shore of Lake Pukaki. If preferred you could also organize for your own conveyance to the start point.

From Tasman Point it’s 10.6km to the Jollie Car Park at the top of Hayman Rd [18km]. This track is rough in places and includes several creek crossings. On a clear day this section of trail offers views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, which at 3,754 metres towers above a range of snow washed peaks in the Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park. From the car park, it’s 16.8km on gravel road to Braemar Station.

Day 3Braemar Station - Twizel42 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

The trail continues along a quiet country road that follows the eastern shore of Lake Pukaki, passing the Tekapo B power station [18km]. Riders will enjoy outstanding vistas across Lake Pukaki towards the Southern Alps. A wide range of native plants grow along the lake edge including kowhai and flax, as well as exotic species such as larch and pines.

The off-road trail starts at the bottom of Hayman Road [23km] and follows the Lake Pukaki shoreline. With Aoraki/ Mt Cook as a backdrop, the trail passes over the Pukaki dam, taking you to the car park at Lake Pukaki Visitor Centre [31km]. You then cross the highway and follow the trail across Pukaki Flats – an expansive area of dry grasslands that are characteristic of the Mackenzie landscape. This takes you to the town of Twizel. Take care crossing the State Highway.

Lake Tekapo to Twizel Ride

54kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

Arrive the day before and stay in Twizel (accommodation included). Next morning, after bike fitting, you will take the shuttle to Lake Tekapo.

Starting in Lake Tekapo township the trail heads out towards Tekapo Canal Road. On the way stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd, nestled on the banks of Lake Tekapo, with views across to the Southern Alps.

As you descend towards Lake Pukaki, stop to take in the spectacular views up to Aoraki/Mt Cook. The trail passes over Lake Pukaki dam, taking you to Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Farm. The ride then takes you across Pukaki Flats - an expansive area of dry grasslands that are characteristic of the Mackenzie landscape - and on to Twizel for the night.

Day 4Twizel - Lake Ohau Lodge39 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

The next morning will begin with a ride through the streets of Twizel to Lake Ruataniwha Road and in the direction of the Lake Ohau sub station.  From there, riders will cycle on flat sealed roads to the weir at the bottom of Lake Ohau.  The total distance of this stretch is approximately 21km. 

Once riders cross the weir, they will begin the 9km dedicated cycleway that takes them on a winding journey along the edge of the lake and on to the sealed road.  Riders will then travel for another 9km via Lake Middleton and the Lake Ohau Villiage to reach the Lake Ohau Lodge.  Accommodation here comes in the form of holiday homes in the village or rooms at the lodge itself.

With just 39km completed in this day, you will have extra time to ride down and join a guided tour to the endangered Black Stilt Colony Recovery Centre just outside of Twizel.

Day 5Lake Ohau - Quailburn - Omarama42 kms - Fitness: Intermediate - Skill: Intermediate - Grade 3

If riders choose accommodation other than the lodge itself, they will need to reach the lodge in the morning to begin this day's ride.  Starting at the Lake Ohau Lodge, they will make their way along the cycle trail in an easterly direction along the face of the range.  The trail twists and turns across farm and conservation land for 18km.  Riders will make their way across the bush track at Freehold Creek and then on to the Quailburn stream complex.  The restored historic shearing shed located here gives visitors a glimpse into older methods of shearing and sheep handling.

Making you way down the valley along a road that is unsealed for the first 13km and sealed for the remaining 7km, the views are amazing.  Riders will pass Clay Cliffs on the right and continue on to the highway.  A dedicated trail around the Ahuriri River, riders will cross a bridge and continue along the road for 4km until they reach Omarama.  Here, many riders make the most of the opportunity to enjoy a soothing soak in the hot tubs, and stay a night in Omarama. 

Day 6Omarama - Otemata24 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

Upon leaving town on Highway 83, riders will continue until a 2.7km dedicated trail takes them by Sailors Cutting.  This is a popular camping site near the lake.  The cycleway follows the road along the edge of the lake and begins to climb over a distance of 2,5km to Otematata Saddle.  From here, a 6km descent takes the riders down to Otematata township.

Day 7Otemata - Waitaki - Kurow44 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 3

The sealed back road from the village takes riders to Benmore Dam and along a steady upward route to the lookout.  After crossing the dam, the road begins to descend back down to the lake and riders will continue along Te Akatarawa Road along the edge of Lake Aviemore.  Riders will notice some of the most scenic camping grounds as their travels take them across the Lake Aviemore Dam and along a scenic 30km stretch.

Below the dam, there is a dedicated cycleway that follows the edge of the lake for 5,5km before it returns to the road and reaching the Waitaki Dam after a total distance of 7,6km.

After enjoying the short cycleway below the dam, the trail continues on the road before diverting to the farmland and a 2,4km stretch away from the road.  The trail returns to the highway for one last flat ride into Kurow.  Riders should make the most of this time to enjoy a well-earned cup of coffee, stroll around and explore places like the historic bridge that crosses over to the Hakataramea Valley.

Day 8Kurow - Duntroon30 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

Upon embarking from Kurow, a 4,6km ride along a 4WD trail awaits.  This trail takes riders along the banks of the Waitaki River and through the Kurow Winery before joining up with Highway 83 again.  Riders will continue along State Highway 8 until they reach the historic Maori Cave Art site (to the right) and then continue on to Duntroon. Stay the night in rural Duntroon.

Day 9Duntroon - Windsor - Weston - Oamaru50 kms - Fitness: Intermediate - Skill: Easy - Grade 3

Once you leave Duntroon, riders will cross the Maerehenua bridge.  Here, the dedicated trail turns right for a short distance before rejoining the Livingstone - Duntroon road.  After reaching Island Cliff Road, the cycleway climbs for a distance of 2km to Elephant Road carpark before joining a 5,4km cycle trail through the farmland.  Hereafter, it rejoins Prydes Gulley Road.  The unsealed portion continues on Conlans Road and on to Tunnel Road where the trail includes 2,8km of an old branch railway line (including Raki's Tunnel).  The trail then climbs back up to Peaks Road and then riders are in for a downhill trip to Windsor.

A 1,5km dedicated trail takes riders out of Windsor, on the next metalled section (on Pig Island Road).  Riders must turn right onto Burnside Road and then continue to Whitestone (Five Forks Road).  Another right turn on the Weston – Ngapara Road and then the trail joins 2,1km of dedicated trail to the Lime Works.  It then takes riders into Weston.

From here, riders will follow Whiterocks Road before they turn left on Westview Drive (later becoming Weston Road), on the outskirts of the town.  After travelling for approximately 3km, the trail makes a left turn onto a new trail along Saleyards Road.  It continues into Oamaru and ends in the historic Victorian Precinct.

Cost per person (Twin share)

October 2020 - May 2021

9 Days: Mt Cook to Oamaru
(Inc. helicopter over Tasman River)

  • Standard level: NZ$1,990
  • Superior level: NZ$2,393

8 Days: Tekapo to Oamaru

  • Standard level: NZ$1,596
  • Superior level: NZ$1,918

8 Days: Jolly River to Oamaru

  • Standard level: NZ$1,641
  • Superior level: NZ$1,963

Note: All pricing is based on twin share rooms

* Superior Level Trip: The Alps 2 Ocean is situated in a remote area of New Zealand, and with that comes limited accommodation choices. Our Superior Upgrade offers a higher level of lodgings at locations where available. This is typically for 6 of the 8 nights of the trip.

Optional Extras

  • E-bike Upgrade: NZ$400 per person

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Arrive Twizel

We recommend allowing a day of travel to get to Twizel from Christchurch or Queenstown. Take the afternoon to explore this rural township before spending the night in Twizel.

Day 2Twizel - Mt Cook - Braemar Station35 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Moderate - Grade 2

Mount Cook Station and Lake Pukaki Itinerary

At 7:30am - Meet & Greet at Twizel depot for bike fitting and briefing.

By 9.00am, you will put the cycles on the trailer and drive along Haymens Road to Mt Cook station on the eastern shore of Lake Pukaki. If preferred you could also organize for your own conveyance to the start point.

From Tasman Point it’s 10.6km to the Jollie Car Park at the top of Hayman Rd [18km]. This track is rough in places and includes several creek crossings. On a clear day this section of trail offers views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, which at 3,754 metres towers above a range of snow washed peaks in the Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park. From the car park, it’s 16.8km on gravel road to Braemar Station.

Day 3Braemar Station - Twizel42 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

The trail continues along a quiet country road that follows the eastern shore of Lake Pukaki, passing the Tekapo B power station [18km]. Riders will enjoy outstanding vistas across Lake Pukaki towards the Southern Alps. A wide range of native plants grow along the lake edge including kowhai and flax, as well as exotic species such as larch and pines.

The off-road trail starts at the bottom of Hayman Road [23km] and follows the Lake Pukaki shoreline. With Aoraki/ Mt Cook as a backdrop, the trail passes over the Pukaki dam, taking you to the car park at Lake Pukaki Visitor Centre [31km]. You then cross the highway and follow the trail across Pukaki Flats – an expansive area of dry grasslands that are characteristic of the Mackenzie landscape. This takes you to the town of Twizel. Take care crossing the State Highway.

Lake Tekapo to Twizel Ride

54kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

Arrive the day before and stay in Twizel (accommodation included). Next morning, after bike fitting, you will take the shuttle to Lake Tekapo.

Starting in Lake Tekapo township the trail heads out towards Tekapo Canal Road. On the way stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd, nestled on the banks of Lake Tekapo, with views across to the Southern Alps.

As you descend towards Lake Pukaki, stop to take in the spectacular views up to Aoraki/Mt Cook. The trail passes over Lake Pukaki dam, taking you to Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Farm. The ride then takes you across Pukaki Flats - an expansive area of dry grasslands that are characteristic of the Mackenzie landscape - and on to Twizel for the night.

Day 4Twizel - Lake Ohau Lodge39 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

The next morning will begin with a ride through the streets of Twizel to Lake Ruataniwha Road and in the direction of the Lake Ohau sub station.  From there, riders will cycle on flat sealed roads to the weir at the bottom of Lake Ohau.  The total distance of this stretch is approximately 21km. 

Once riders cross the weir, they will begin the 9km dedicated cycleway that takes them on a winding journey along the edge of the lake and on to the sealed road.  Riders will then travel for another 9km via Lake Middleton and the Lake Ohau Villiage to reach the Lake Ohau Lodge.  Accommodation here comes in the form of holiday homes in the village or rooms at the lodge itself.

With just 39km completed in this day, you will have extra time to ride down and join a guided tour to the endangered Black Stilt Colony Recovery Centre just outside of Twizel.

Day 5Lake Ohau - Quailburn - Omarama42 kms - Fitness: Intermediate - Skill: Intermediate - Grade 3

If riders choose accommodation other than the lodge itself, they will need to reach the lodge in the morning to begin this day's ride.  Starting at the Lake Ohau Lodge, they will make their way along the cycle trail in an easterly direction along the face of the range.  The trail twists and turns across farm and conservation land for 18km.  Riders will make their way across the bush track at Freehold Creek and then on to the Quailburn stream complex.  The restored historic shearing shed located here gives visitors a glimpse into older methods of shearing and sheep handling.

Making you way down the valley along a road that is unsealed for the first 13km and sealed for the remaining 7km, the views are amazing.  Riders will pass Clay Cliffs on the right and continue on to the highway.  A dedicated trail around the Ahuriri River, riders will cross a bridge and continue along the road for 4km until they reach Omarama.  Here, many riders make the most of the opportunity to enjoy a soothing soak in the hot tubs, and stay a night in Omarama. 

Day 6Omarama - Otemata24 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

Upon leaving town on Highway 83, riders will continue until a 2.7km dedicated trail takes them by Sailors Cutting.  This is a popular camping site near the lake.  The cycleway follows the road along the edge of the lake and begins to climb over a distance of 2,5km to Otematata Saddle.  From here, a 6km descent takes the riders down to Otematata township.

Day 7Otemata - Waitaki - Kurow44 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 3

The sealed back road from the village takes riders to Benmore Dam and along a steady upward route to the lookout.  After crossing the dam, the road begins to descend back down to the lake and riders will continue along Te Akatarawa Road along the edge of Lake Aviemore.  Riders will notice some of the most scenic camping grounds as their travels take them across the Lake Aviemore Dam and along a scenic 30km stretch.

Below the dam, there is a dedicated cycleway that follows the edge of the lake for 5,5km before it returns to the road and reaching the Waitaki Dam after a total distance of 7,6km.

After enjoying the short cycleway below the dam, the trail continues on the road before diverting to the farmland and a 2,4km stretch away from the road.  The trail returns to the highway for one last flat ride into Kurow.  Riders should make the most of this time to enjoy a well-earned cup of coffee, stroll around and explore places like the historic bridge that crosses over to the Hakataramea Valley.

Day 8Kurow - Duntroon30 kms - Fitness: Easy - Skill: Easy - Grade 2

Upon embarking from Kurow, a 4,6km ride along a 4WD trail awaits.  This trail takes riders along the banks of the Waitaki River and through the Kurow Winery before joining up with Highway 83 again.  Riders will continue along State Highway 8 until they reach the historic Maori Cave Art site (to the right) and then continue on to Duntroon. Stay the night in rural Duntroon.

Day 9Duntroon - Windsor - Weston - Oamaru50 kms - Fitness: Intermediate - Skill: Easy - Grade 3

Once you leave Duntroon, riders will cross the Maerehenua bridge.  Here, the dedicated trail turns right for a short distance before rejoining the Livingstone - Duntroon road.  After reaching Island Cliff Road, the cycleway climbs for a distance of 2km to Elephant Road carpark before joining a 5,4km cycle trail through the farmland.  Hereafter, it rejoins Prydes Gulley Road.  The unsealed portion continues on Conlans Road and on to Tunnel Road where the trail includes 2,8km of an old branch railway line (including Raki's Tunnel).  The trail then climbs back up to Peaks Road and then riders are in for a downhill trip to Windsor.

A 1,5km dedicated trail takes riders out of Windsor, on the next metalled section (on Pig Island Road).  Riders must turn right onto Burnside Road and then continue to Whitestone (Five Forks Road).  Another right turn on the Weston – Ngapara Road and then the trail joins 2,1km of dedicated trail to the Lime Works.  It then takes riders into Weston.

From here, riders will follow Whiterocks Road before they turn left on Westview Drive (later becoming Weston Road), on the outskirts of the town.  After travelling for approximately 3km, the trail makes a left turn onto a new trail along Saleyards Road.  It continues into Oamaru and ends in the historic Victorian Precinct.

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