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7 Day Southern Lakes Cycle Tour

Days
7

Pricing From
$2795

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Explore the vast Mackenzie Basin by cycle and discover the grandeur of walking beneath Mt Cook. Stop at the old historic Cardrona Hotel, explore picturesque Arrowtown, and relax at beautiful Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Make friends with some New Zealand farmers as you stay in their home and tour their farm. Discover the grandeur of walking beneath Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest peak. Explore picturesque Arrowtown - famous from it's gold mining days.

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy incredible views from the Summit Road of Banks Peninsula
  • Cycle alongside the bright turquoise
  • hydro‑canals from Lake Tekapo
  • Wonder at the majestic Aoraki/Mount
  • Cook on a hike to a glacial lake
  • Admire the impressive dams and lakes of the Waitaki Valley
  • Explore the Victorian quarter of historic Oamaru
  • Visit Central Otago’s old gold mining settlements
  • Conclude the tour in iconic Queenstown,
  • New Zealand’s adventure capital

"Mountains unfold to reveal a lake, valleys give way to yield glaciers, I am at one with my bike. We loved every minute of it!" - Paul, Chris & Jamie Walton, Durham, UK.

Tour Grading:  Medium          

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

Southern Lakes Cycle

Southern Lakes Cycle

Southern Lakes Cycle

Cyclists on a bridge on Tekapo Canals

Tekapo Canals

Tekapo Canals

Southern Lakes Cycle

Cyclist at Ohau

Mayfield, Canterbury, New Zealand

Southern Lakes Cycle Tour

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand - Brian High

Southern Lakes Cycle Tour

Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook, New Zealand - Bron Freeman

Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch Port Hills & Banks Peninsula up to 50km riding distance

These trip notes represent the most current information for this itinerary, and may supersede any information in the current brochure, including but not limited to the itinerary and price. The itinerary should be seen as a guide only. This itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather, forces of nature and other circumstances beyond our control.

---

Arrive at least the day before, and book into your Christchurch accommodation to allow for an early start today.

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.

Today we have the opportunity to find our cycle legs with a warm up ride along the stunning Port Hills overlooking Banks Peninsula. We will follow the Summit Road, around the crater of an extent volcano with panoramic views towards the city, the snowy Southern Alps and into the vivid blue Lyttelton harbour. We will ride out to Godley Head at the entrance of the harbour where there are relics of the WW2 defence battery and another scenic lookout before heading towards the port town of Lyttelton. Our ride takes us around the sea shore, with lots of short climbs between bays and some fast descents.

Once we reach Governors Bay, those who would like a challenge can ride up to the top of Dyers Pass, climbing over 300m in 3km. Otherwise we will load up the bikes and hop in the van to drive back to the city centre and our hotel, arriving in the late afternoon. There will be time to explore the city centre before meeting for our first group dinner in the evening. 

Accommodation: Pavilions Hotel

Meals: L,D

Day 2Christchurch to Lake Tekapoup to 77km riding distance

After breakfast we will drive across the Canterbury Plains to Temuka. We cycle along quiet rural roads past small farmlets and communities, to the quaint town of Geraldine, nestled amongst gently rolling hills.

In the afternoon we explore more quiet rural roads with a photo stop at the historic St Davids Church at Raincliff before arriving at the rural town of Fairlie, where our cycling ends for today.

We will then transfer to our accommodation at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful destination amongst the snow capped alps and turquoise coloured glacial lakes. There could be time to take a dip in the
hot pools or visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd before our first group dinner together.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 3Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook up to 45km riding distance

Today has a relaxed start and after a hearty breakfast we can either walk or cycle to the Mt. John lookout with its spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The vast MacKenzie Basin with its views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Southern Alps provide an awesome backdrop as you ride. We continue onto Aoraki/Mount Cook and enjoy riding the quiet hydro canal roads, with the view getting more expansive as you get close to the mountains. Once we arrive in Mount Cook township there will be the opportunity to take a short walk to see panoramic views of the mountains, visit the Edmund Hilary Museum or interesting visitor information centre. We are then free to make our own dinner arrangements. Admire the setting sun on NZ's highest mountain peaks and take in the vast starry skies after dark.

Meals: B,L

Day 4Mt Cook to Lake Ohau 55-101km Riding distance

This morning we have the option to take a break from the bike and do some hiking in the lee of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Options include a three hour flat walk to the Hooker Glacier terminal lake or the shorter Tasman Glacier walk. New Zealand’s highest mountain dominates the region with its steep glacial slopes often providing a spectacular sideshow of avalanches. The prevailing wind should speed us along as the afternoon finds us cycling on the gradual downhill from Aoraki/Mount Cook towards beautiful Lake Ohau and our lodge accommodation for tonight.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Lake Ohau to Oamaru 62-89km Riding distance

An optional early morning lakeside cycle takes us away from the mountains into tussock-covered hill country. Our ride for today starts with a sweeping downhill before detouring onto a quiet back road around picturesque Lake Aviemore. The lake is part of the impressive Waitaki Hydro Electric scheme and we ride across the two dams at either end of the lake. In the afternoon we continue via the unusual formations of Elephant Rocks to the old Victorian town of Oamaru. Nestled on the Pacific Coast, Oamaru has some of New Zealand's oldest and most beautifully restored buildings as well as a thriving art culture. There are options to visit the creative Steam-punk Museum, the Penguin colony (best at dusk), and enjoy some fresh seafood for dinner.

Meals: B,L

Day 6Oamaru to Ranfurly28km Oamaru Coast Ride, and 53km Palmerston to Hyde

Early this morning we enjoy a beautiful coastal ride out of Oamaru before visiting the perfectly round Moeraki boulders which make spectacular photos if the tide is right. After some refreshments our next ride takes us into the heart of Central Otago, with the optional challenge of a climb over MaCrae's pass before a spectacular descent to the Taieri Plains. Tonight there's the option to go curling (own expense) at an indoor ice-rink, before enjoying a jacuzzi and traditional Kiwi BBQ at our lodge.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 7Ranfurly to Queenstown56km Riding distance Ranfurly to Ophir; Ophir to Clyde 33km

This morning we cycle the scenic Ida Valley to the historic village of Ophir, via the challenging but optional climb over the Raggedy Range. From the top there are panoramic 360 degree views. The ride continues to historic Clyde, our final cycling destination and another former gold-mining village with beautiful old stone buildings. We celebrate the end of our riding at the local pub before we drive to Queenstown where we say farewell and drop you off in the downtown area. With its spectacular scenery, great shopping and multitude of adventurous activities it is worth staying an extra day or two in this vibrant town.

Meals: B,L

(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

Cost per person

October 2019 - April 2020

  • Twin: NZ$2,795

Single supplement: NZ$695

Bike Rental: NZ$350

E-Bike Rental: NZ$560

Public Holiday Surcharge: NZ$50

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch Port Hills & Banks Peninsula up to 50km riding distance

These trip notes represent the most current information for this itinerary, and may supersede any information in the current brochure, including but not limited to the itinerary and price. The itinerary should be seen as a guide only. This itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather, forces of nature and other circumstances beyond our control.

---

Arrive at least the day before, and book into your Christchurch accommodation to allow for an early start today.

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.

Today we have the opportunity to find our cycle legs with a warm up ride along the stunning Port Hills overlooking Banks Peninsula. We will follow the Summit Road, around the crater of an extent volcano with panoramic views towards the city, the snowy Southern Alps and into the vivid blue Lyttelton harbour. We will ride out to Godley Head at the entrance of the harbour where there are relics of the WW2 defence battery and another scenic lookout before heading towards the port town of Lyttelton. Our ride takes us around the sea shore, with lots of short climbs between bays and some fast descents.

Once we reach Governors Bay, those who would like a challenge can ride up to the top of Dyers Pass, climbing over 300m in 3km. Otherwise we will load up the bikes and hop in the van to drive back to the city centre and our hotel, arriving in the late afternoon. There will be time to explore the city centre before meeting for our first group dinner in the evening. 

Accommodation: Pavilions Hotel

Meals: L,D

Day 2Christchurch to Lake Tekapoup to 77km riding distance

After breakfast we will drive across the Canterbury Plains to Temuka. We cycle along quiet rural roads past small farmlets and communities, to the quaint town of Geraldine, nestled amongst gently rolling hills.

In the afternoon we explore more quiet rural roads with a photo stop at the historic St Davids Church at Raincliff before arriving at the rural town of Fairlie, where our cycling ends for today.

We will then transfer to our accommodation at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful destination amongst the snow capped alps and turquoise coloured glacial lakes. There could be time to take a dip in the
hot pools or visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd before our first group dinner together.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 3Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook up to 45km riding distance

Today has a relaxed start and after a hearty breakfast we can either walk or cycle to the Mt. John lookout with its spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The vast MacKenzie Basin with its views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Southern Alps provide an awesome backdrop as you ride. We continue onto Aoraki/Mount Cook and enjoy riding the quiet hydro canal roads, with the view getting more expansive as you get close to the mountains. Once we arrive in Mount Cook township there will be the opportunity to take a short walk to see panoramic views of the mountains, visit the Edmund Hilary Museum or interesting visitor information centre. We are then free to make our own dinner arrangements. Admire the setting sun on NZ's highest mountain peaks and take in the vast starry skies after dark.

Meals: B,L

Day 4Mt Cook to Lake Ohau 55-101km Riding distance

This morning we have the option to take a break from the bike and do some hiking in the lee of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Options include a three hour flat walk to the Hooker Glacier terminal lake or the shorter Tasman Glacier walk. New Zealand’s highest mountain dominates the region with its steep glacial slopes often providing a spectacular sideshow of avalanches. The prevailing wind should speed us along as the afternoon finds us cycling on the gradual downhill from Aoraki/Mount Cook towards beautiful Lake Ohau and our lodge accommodation for tonight.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 5Lake Ohau to Oamaru 62-89km Riding distance

An optional early morning lakeside cycle takes us away from the mountains into tussock-covered hill country. Our ride for today starts with a sweeping downhill before detouring onto a quiet back road around picturesque Lake Aviemore. The lake is part of the impressive Waitaki Hydro Electric scheme and we ride across the two dams at either end of the lake. In the afternoon we continue via the unusual formations of Elephant Rocks to the old Victorian town of Oamaru. Nestled on the Pacific Coast, Oamaru has some of New Zealand's oldest and most beautifully restored buildings as well as a thriving art culture. There are options to visit the creative Steam-punk Museum, the Penguin colony (best at dusk), and enjoy some fresh seafood for dinner.

Meals: B,L

Day 6Oamaru to Ranfurly28km Oamaru Coast Ride, and 53km Palmerston to Hyde

Early this morning we enjoy a beautiful coastal ride out of Oamaru before visiting the perfectly round Moeraki boulders which make spectacular photos if the tide is right. After some refreshments our next ride takes us into the heart of Central Otago, with the optional challenge of a climb over MaCrae's pass before a spectacular descent to the Taieri Plains. Tonight there's the option to go curling (own expense) at an indoor ice-rink, before enjoying a jacuzzi and traditional Kiwi BBQ at our lodge.

Meals: B,L,D

Day 7Ranfurly to Queenstown56km Riding distance Ranfurly to Ophir; Ophir to Clyde 33km

This morning we cycle the scenic Ida Valley to the historic village of Ophir, via the challenging but optional climb over the Raggedy Range. From the top there are panoramic 360 degree views. The ride continues to historic Clyde, our final cycling destination and another former gold-mining village with beautiful old stone buildings. We celebrate the end of our riding at the local pub before we drive to Queenstown where we say farewell and drop you off in the downtown area. With its spectacular scenery, great shopping and multitude of adventurous activities it is worth staying an extra day or two in this vibrant town.

Meals: B,L

(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

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