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Cycle New Zealand: Alps to Ocean tour
Alps Pacific Ocean Cycle New Zealand: Alps to Ocean Trip

Cycle New Zealand: Alps to Ocean

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4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
6 days
From: $ 1,940 $ 323 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • The South Island scenery will take your breath away in more ways than one – enjoy a short hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park then cycle mostly traffic-free trails from the majestic Southern Alps to the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Taste some of New Zealand’s best produce, from trying lake-caught salmon to sampling drops from the country’s newest wine region before the rest of the world discovers them.
  • Experience firsthand the famous hospitality of the locals, with memorable stays from lakeside lodges to unique, historic huts.
  • Experience the best New Zealand scenery has to offer – from peaks and gorges to turquoise-coloured lakes – with nothing but fresh air separating you.

Short Description

If there’s a land made for cycling, this is it. After a visit and short hike in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park follow the path of the bright blue waters of Lake Pukaki near Twizel as it flows down from the Southern Alps, twisting through valleys, passing through lakes, and rolling out into the open Pacific Ocean at Oamaru. Jump on the saddle and you’ll flow down descents from forested summits, twist along roads squeezed between peaks and shores, and roll along backroads, side trails and the official Alps 2 Ocean trail. With an expert leader directing the pack, the only directions you’ll need is when to detour to the best trails and special stops only the locals know. With memorable accommodation and tastes of New Zealand along the way, this is a real gateway to some seriously great outdoors.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Christchurch
End City Oamaru

Destinations

New Zealand

Attractions & Cities Visited

Alps Pacific Ocean

Activities & Interests

N/A

Age Requirement

15-99

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Christchurch - Aoraki (Mt Cook) NP - Twizel

Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch. This cycling adventure from the Alps to the Ocean kicks off with a pick-up at 8am. After the meeting you’ll jump in a private vehicle to head past Lake Tekapo (approximately 4 hours), and on to the southern shores of the turquoise-coloured Lake Pukaki. With the stunning peaks of the Southern Alps and the towering Mt Cook close by, it’s a truly remarkable sight. Continue to nearby Twizel for a quick bite for lunch then be fitted with your bike. After lunch drive north (approximately 1 hour) to the iconic Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and swap your biking shoes for hiking shoes and enjoy a short hike in the national park along part of the Hooker Valley Track. The views of Mt Cook are nothing short of spectacular. Afterwards return to Twizel and perhaps join the locals for dinner (the locally caught trout and salmon are amazing!) before settling in for a well-earned sleep.

Day 2 Twizel - Lake Ohau

Enjoy breakfast at the cafe next door then take the short drive (approximately 20 mins) to the eastern shores of Lake Pukaki for your first ride, a flat and leisurely 24 kilometre cycle back down to Twizel, arriving in time for lunch. From here set off on a longer ride (approximately 38 kilometres) from Twizel to the western shore of Lake Ohau, where the clear waters of the Hopkins and Dobson Rivers flow directly off the Southern Alps. While longer in distance this is an easy ride as you make your way in the shadows of the Ben Ohau mountain range along flat sealed road beside the Pukaki canal and past Loch Cameron and the Ohau canal. Leave the tarmac and take the smooth gravel road that skirts the south shore of Lake Ohau, passing a property known as Maori swamp. Re-join the tarmac and enjoy some stunning views of the crystal-clear lake on your right and the brooding mountains on your left – truly spectacular. Cycle on to your secluded home for the night, the locally owned and spectacularly located Lake Ohau Lodge.

Day 3 Lake Ohau - Omarama

Today is a tougher and slightly more technical day as you leave Lake Ohau behind and enjoy an easy cycle to Freehold Creek (with stunning views back across to the Ben Ohau Mountain Range) before starting your first real climb of the trip. Test your fitness (or e-bike battery) among the native Beech forests as you cycle up (approximately 11 kilometres) to the highest point of the trail. At 900 metres above sea level the magnificent views over the Mackenzie Basin, Ben Ohau and Lake Ohau and Lake Ruataniwha make the climb worthwhile. As does the rolling descent to the historic woolshed at Quailburn Road where you'll pause for a well-earned packed lunch. From here it is a gentle ride on a quiet backroad and a short side trail to take you all the way into the small town of Omarama. Depending on the fitness and preferences of the group, there is an option to use the support vehicle for the harder parts of the trail. There is also an option today to cycle to the nearby Omarama Clay Cliffs. This side trip will add an extra 14 kilometres, but the sight of these surreal cliffs – tall pinnacles separated by narrow ravines – makes it a worthwhile diversion.

Day 4 Omarama - Kurow

It’s your longest day in the saddle today – around 67 kilometres in total but not overly strenuous or technical – as you make your way through lake country along 30 kilometres of dedicated trail from Omarama. Ride east down the Waitaki Valley, past the Chain Hills Viewpoint, then follow the edge of Lake Benmore to the oddly named Pumpkin Point (seriously, we’ve never seen a single pumpkin here!). This section includes a new route through the Benmore Gorge onto the top of the dramatic Benmore Dam. After lunch enjoy the quiet sealed road from Otematata alongside the southern shore of Lake Aviemore, once again cycling right up to the Hydro-dam wall before enjoying the last 16 kilometres of dedicated trail, past the haunting Wharekuri ruins, mostly downhill to Kurow. On the banks of the braided Waitaki River which separates the Canterbury and Otago provinces, Kurow (birthplace of the legendary All Black Ritchie McCaw) is an ideal place to simply put your feet up at the end of a long day’s ride, and perhaps enjoy a well-earned drink from one of the local producers in New Zealand’s newest wine region.

Day 5 Kurow - Duntroon - Tokarahi

Leaving sleepy Kurow behind you, enjoy a relaxed ride of 28 kilometres down the valley on the mostly traffic-free smooth shingle road alongside the Waitaki River. Pass vineyards (stopping at the River-T winery), the Takiroa Maori rock art site and Duntroon Wetlands, before arriving into Duntroon itself just in time for lunch (not included) at the charming and iconic Duntroon Hotel. No need to worry about your sweaty cycling clothes here as the local proprietors are incredibly welcoming to cyclists of all kinds. After lunch it’s back onto the bikes as you deviate slightly from the official trail and take an 19-kilometre side trip into Otago to your home for the night, the historic and welcoming Tokarahi Huts. Built by one of Oamaru's finest craftsmen using salvaged materials from the original building that once stood on the site, and with a welcome from the farm owner himself, this is one of the best examples of locally owned and operated sustainable businesses in the region, and one we’re proud to be associated with.

Day 6 Tokarari - Oamaru

Today is your last day on the bike as you make your way to the South Pacific Coast and the charming seaside town of Oamaru. After a good early breakfast leave Tokarari behind and rejoin the ‘official’ trail, passing through the historic Rakis Railway Tunnel and following the old railway line to Windsor and all the way through to Enfield. Take an early lunch then enjoy your final ride of the trip with a last 12 kilometres into Oamaru via the Botanical gardens – the oldest such gardens in New Zealand – and Historic Victorian precinct, with a stunning finish at Oamaru Harbour and the shores of the Pacific Ocean itself.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,940
Price Per Day: $ 323 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Jan-31-2023Feb-05-2023$ 2,59511 spots left Reserve
Mar-07-2023Mar-12-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Mar-21-2023Mar-26-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Apr-18-2023Apr-23-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
May-02-2023May-07-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Aug-29-2023Sep-03-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Sep-26-2023Oct-01-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Oct-17-2023Oct-22-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Oct-31-2023Nov-05-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Nov-21-2023Nov-26-2023$ 1,99011 spots left Reserve
Dec-05-2023Dec-10-2023$ 2,59511 spots left Reserve
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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

4,186 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,164
Great 667
Average 132
Disappointing 66
Terrible 157
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Cycle New Zealand: Alps to Ocean

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I had a really fun time travelling to…

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Viewing wildlife in a natural setting with an experienced naturalist is outstanding

Great trip made better by the guide.

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Great trip made better by the guide.

This trip is an excellent mix of cultural experience, adventure and nature.

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Had the best time! Over 5 days we hiked up hill, down dale, across creeks and through beautiful pockets of ancient Gondwana rainforest. The scenery was stunning, the company was awesome, and I can't recommend Intrepid Travel (and our tour leader, Joel) highly enough!
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Bicycle (e-bike available,subject to availability),minivan

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 11

Accommodations

Hotel/Guesthouse (3 nts),Lodge (1nt),Hut (1 nt)

Guides

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Our cycling leaders are all passionate cyclists, as you’d expect, but they also go through some pretty rigorous cycle-trip specific training. Each one has undergone on-road training and supervision and knows how to do safety checks, basic repairs and emergency first-aid. And at the end of the day they’re still regular Intrepid leaders, which means they will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed) There may be times when a client is asked to be the back marker, ensuring no one else rides behind them, if the vehicle cannot travel directly behind the group. Your leader will discuss this at the initial group meeting.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Oamaru
  • Array
  • Oamaru
  • NEW ZEALAND

Trip ID#:

intrepid-PHXA

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