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7 Day Marlborough and West Coast Cycle

Up to 670 kms riding distance

Days
7

Pricing From
$2595

Difficulty

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Overview

A 7 Day scenic New Zealand Cycling Tour through bush clad lakes and tracks, wild coastal rides and a small sampling of the best New Zealand Wines. Great wines, coastal roads, native forests and spectacular mountain lakes. From whale watching to hot pools, this is seven days not to be missed.

This trip travels from coast to coast via the beech forest slopes of Lewis Pass, before dropping down to Punakaiki and one of the best coastal rides in the world. This tour also includes night at St Arnaud in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

Trip Highlights

  • Challenge yourself on this scenic 7 day road cycle adventure at the top of NZ's South Island
  • Experience one of the best coastal rides in the world which takes us to the amazing geology of Punakaiki and its Pancake Rocks
  • Relax tired muscles in the hot pools of Hanmer Springs
  • Cycle over the Southern Alps via the picturesque Rahu Saddle
  • Travel through beautiful rain forest clad mountains and along scenic river valleys
  • Discover the beauty of Queen Charlotte Drive as we cycle alongside the Marlborough Sounds
  • Swim with the dolphins or join a whale watch tour in Kaikoura (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.

"The trip was a great experience. Our Guides did a mighty job of looking after us, one of the many highlights was the picnic breakfast which they arranged - magic! The country we passed through was magnificent and we had perfect weather throughout" - Jack Shaw, Heideberg, Australia.

Note - this tour follows our "cycle the best & drive the rest policy" - it is not possible to cycle the whole route. Distances as mentioned below are guidelines, these tours have an element of flexibility and actual distances on the day will depend on the weather, other activities and group/individual fitness. On all our tours strong riders will get as much cycling as they want and slower riders always have the option of a ride in the support vehicle.

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Cyclists ride through Lower Awatere Valley with the Kaikoura Seaward...

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Hawks Crag, Lower Buller Gorge, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Port Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Punakaiki Coast, West Coast, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Lookout Point on the West Coast, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

The Old Post Office, Hanmer Springs, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

Punakaiki, Pancake Rocks, New Zealand

Marlborough and West Coast Cycle Tour

St Arnaud, Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Hanmer Springs60km riding distance

After a pick up from a central city location and a bike fitting at our depot in Christchurch we drive out of the city and start to cycle. The Canterbury Plains are vast and with Hanmer Springs being our objective it's a matter of turning the pedals and watching the road slip by.

By late afternoon we arrive at the thermal resort with a chance to soak in the hot pools before dinner.

Meals: L

Day 2Hanmer Springs to Lake BrunnerMorning: up to 45km; Afternoon: Optional 30km ride

This morning the beautiful beech forests of the Lewis Pass beckon. By cycle and coach we gradually climb over the picturesque Lewis and Rahu Saddles, after each climb is a downhill rush with long sweeping corners. On beautifully sealed roads with lush temperate rainforest lining the roadside we ride until we reach the rugged beauty of the West Coast Region.

The afternoon sees us finish our ride at a country pub called "Formerly the Blackball Hilton." There is a story to be told over your drinks before we drive to Moana, nestled between the spectacular Southern Alps and tranquil Lake Brunner.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 3Lake Brunner to Punakaiki 76km Riding distance

Heading out of Moana, we follow an undulating and winding course through the picturesque Arnold Valley to Stillwater. A flat ride beside the banks of the Grey River takes us out to the coastal township of Greymouth. One of the trips many highlights is the coastal riding as we head along the coast to the famous Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. The riding is pure quality – with enough hills to keep you honest.

Meals: B,L

Day 4Punakaiki to St Arnaud Morning: up to 91km

We cycle the sealed roads through the impressive Buller Gorge where the upper gorge landscape provides us with snapshot vistas of the Buller River whose white water attracts many a rafting and kayak enthusiast. There are plenty of photo opportunities on this scenic and gently undulating ride, before we board our coach for a final ride into St Arnaud, nestled in the heartland of the Nelson Lakes National Park.

We recommend doing one of the many short walks around nearby Lake Rotoiti. This area is known as a “mainland island” and the results of the pest eradication programme means that the native birdlife is flourishing.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5St Arnaud to NelsonUp to 97km Riding distance

Early risers are encouraged to take a walk into the nearby native forest at sunrise to hear the native birds & their “dawn chorus”. From behind St Arnaud we cycle the sealed forestry roads on a long mainly downhill ride towards the coast. We continue along a quiet road beside the beautiful Motueka River and through an area known for growing hops. We enter the township of Motueka and transfer by coach to nearby Nelson where we have time to explore the arts and craft capital of New Zealand. 

Meals: B,L

Day 6Nelson to Kaikoura 60km Riding distance

By coach we motor over the steep outlying hills to arrive at the start of the beautiful Queen Charlotte Drive, which skirts the Marlborough Sounds into Picton. From here it is a short hop over the hill to Blenheim, NZ’s premier wine producing region.

After a great lunch at one of the countries leading wineries, we head south down the dramatic East Coast to reach Kaikoura, home of whale watching in New Zealand. 

Meals: B,L,D

Day 7Kaikoura to ChristchurchUp to 60km Riding distance

For the early risers, an optional chance to view one of the great natural sights as whales surface against the spectacular mountain backdrop of the seaward Kaikoura Mountains (www.whalewatch.co.nz). Swimming with or watching dolphins is also highly recommended (www.dolphinencounter.co.nz). Due to the popularity, however, it is essential to make a booking well in advance.

Following a late breakfast we head further south cycling some of the great back roads and enjoying the scenery as we eventually return to Christchurch and drop you in the downtown area around 6pm. 

Meals: B,L

Cost per person

November 2019 - April 2020

  • Twin: NZ$2,595
  • Single supplement: NZ$695

Extra:

  • Bike Rental: NZ$350
  • Public Holiday Surcharge: NZ$50 

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Hanmer Springs60km riding distance

After a pick up from a central city location and a bike fitting at our depot in Christchurch we drive out of the city and start to cycle. The Canterbury Plains are vast and with Hanmer Springs being our objective it's a matter of turning the pedals and watching the road slip by.

By late afternoon we arrive at the thermal resort with a chance to soak in the hot pools before dinner.

Meals: L

Day 2Hanmer Springs to Lake BrunnerMorning: up to 45km; Afternoon: Optional 30km ride

This morning the beautiful beech forests of the Lewis Pass beckon. By cycle and coach we gradually climb over the picturesque Lewis and Rahu Saddles, after each climb is a downhill rush with long sweeping corners. On beautifully sealed roads with lush temperate rainforest lining the roadside we ride until we reach the rugged beauty of the West Coast Region.

The afternoon sees us finish our ride at a country pub called "Formerly the Blackball Hilton." There is a story to be told over your drinks before we drive to Moana, nestled between the spectacular Southern Alps and tranquil Lake Brunner.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 3Lake Brunner to Punakaiki 76km Riding distance

Heading out of Moana, we follow an undulating and winding course through the picturesque Arnold Valley to Stillwater. A flat ride beside the banks of the Grey River takes us out to the coastal township of Greymouth. One of the trips many highlights is the coastal riding as we head along the coast to the famous Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. The riding is pure quality – with enough hills to keep you honest.

Meals: B,L

Day 4Punakaiki to St Arnaud Morning: up to 91km

We cycle the sealed roads through the impressive Buller Gorge where the upper gorge landscape provides us with snapshot vistas of the Buller River whose white water attracts many a rafting and kayak enthusiast. There are plenty of photo opportunities on this scenic and gently undulating ride, before we board our coach for a final ride into St Arnaud, nestled in the heartland of the Nelson Lakes National Park.

We recommend doing one of the many short walks around nearby Lake Rotoiti. This area is known as a “mainland island” and the results of the pest eradication programme means that the native birdlife is flourishing.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5St Arnaud to NelsonUp to 97km Riding distance

Early risers are encouraged to take a walk into the nearby native forest at sunrise to hear the native birds & their “dawn chorus”. From behind St Arnaud we cycle the sealed forestry roads on a long mainly downhill ride towards the coast. We continue along a quiet road beside the beautiful Motueka River and through an area known for growing hops. We enter the township of Motueka and transfer by coach to nearby Nelson where we have time to explore the arts and craft capital of New Zealand. 

Meals: B,L

Day 6Nelson to Kaikoura 60km Riding distance

By coach we motor over the steep outlying hills to arrive at the start of the beautiful Queen Charlotte Drive, which skirts the Marlborough Sounds into Picton. From here it is a short hop over the hill to Blenheim, NZ’s premier wine producing region.

After a great lunch at one of the countries leading wineries, we head south down the dramatic East Coast to reach Kaikoura, home of whale watching in New Zealand. 

Meals: B,L,D

Day 7Kaikoura to ChristchurchUp to 60km Riding distance

For the early risers, an optional chance to view one of the great natural sights as whales surface against the spectacular mountain backdrop of the seaward Kaikoura Mountains (www.whalewatch.co.nz). Swimming with or watching dolphins is also highly recommended (www.dolphinencounter.co.nz). Due to the popularity, however, it is essential to make a booking well in advance.

Following a late breakfast we head further south cycling some of the great back roads and enjoying the scenery as we eventually return to Christchurch and drop you in the downtown area around 6pm. 

Meals: B,L

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