Flexible cancellationsBook stress freeLearn more
3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 6 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel/motel
  • 1 night historic homestead
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days$2545NZD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms.

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to a maximum of 14 people


Trip Code: ATC

Alps to Ocean Trip highlights


  • Cycle the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Tekapo
  • Hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
  • Cycle the shoreline of surreal turquoise hydro lakes
  • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct
  • Stargaze across world renown night skies
  • Enjoy good company, & eat delicious food
  • Soak in the hot pools at Lake Tekapo (optional)

Explore some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes by bike on our fully guided and supported Alps to Ocean Cycle tour.

From Tekapo, we head through the golden Mackenzie Country on canal paths to Lake Pukaki and the mountainous landscape around Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

From Twizel, the trail follows ancient pathways through the Waitaki Valley where you’ll be wowed by stunning lakes, fascinating hydro dams and picturesque vineyards. A ride through rolling countryside leads down to the historic port town of Oamaru.

Our expert guides will show you the A2O’s best trailside highlights including wine-tasting, geothermal hot pools, Maori rock art and otherworldly limestone outcrops. You’ll also enjoy warm hospitality in accommodation full of heritage charm.


Your Alps to Ocean (A2O) adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains. After refreshments in the country town of Geraldine, we’ll continue through rolling farmland to reach Fairlie where we’ll stop for lunch. The scenic journey over Burke’s Pass is a fitting introduction to the famous Mackenzie Country, where Lake Tekapo soon appears as a bright blue jewel. From here, we'll warm the legs up with a ride on quiet backroads to Lake Alexandrina, a serene high country lake. Back at Tekapo Village, there's time to wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, then soak away any first-day aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour. Cycling distance: up to 44km

Meals:  L,D

Our second day marks the start of our Alps to Ocean journey with a ride along the hydro canals to reach a high terrace overlooking Lake Pukaki and the surrounding mountains. The A2O then dips down to meet the lakeshore and across expansive tussockland to reach Twizel. From here we drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park where there is the chance to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the excellent national park visitor centre (free of charge) before we embark on a short but memorable walk. We'll then head back to Twizel, the friendly wee town that’s our stopping point for the night. Cycling distance: Tekapo to Lake Pukaki: 35km. Lake Pukaki to Twizel: 20km

Meals:  B,L

The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals, then Lake Ohau where we stop for lunch. Confident riders can continue on the trail to Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), the highpoint of the A2O. The vast Mackenzie Country views are just reward for the climb. Alternatively, riders can transfer to the historic woolshed at Quailburn for a much easier ride down to Omarama – our stop for the night. Translating as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies. They are best appreciated at the local hot pools where you can soak in fresh, mountain water (own expense). Cycle distance: 38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau); 44km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or 26km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s ride takes us down the Waitaki Valley, known for its hydro lakes and dams. First, 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’ll stay overnight in Kurow in an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce. Cycle distance: 67km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River, past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon. From there, we head inland into rolling country and wander around the unique Elephant Rocks, huge formations strewn across a field. Picking up the old railway line, we’ll ride through Raki's tunnel before rolling downhill to the settlement of Windsor. The historic Burnside Homestead is a fitting place for our final dinner together and a well-deserved night’s sleep. Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) & 40km (Duntroon–Burnside Homestead)

Meals:  B,L,D

We get to enjoy one more ride on the A2O before we begin our road trip back to Christchurch. Setting off from our accommodation, we keep on rolling through picturesque rural countryside. We pass Oamaru Stone quarry, where stone has been extracted since the nineteenth century. We’ll see its influence on local architecture once we reach Oamaru. After riding through the town’s delightful municipal gardens, we’ll reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park where the A2O finish-line sign offers the perfect photo-op. If time allows, explore the shops and galleries or visit the mind-boggling Steampunk HQ museum. After a late lunch, we’ll begin our journey north across the Canterbury Plains, arriving in central Christchurch early evening. Cycle distance: 19km (Burnside–Oamaru)

Meals:  B

Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.



Inclusions

  • Tasty breakfasts (x5), lunches (x5), dinners (x4) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 5 nights comfortable motel/lodge ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Transport from Christchurch (return)
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Rider fees paid to the A2O Trail Trust for ongoing maintenance and improvements

  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Tekapo hot pools, Omarama hot tubs, Steampunk Gallery)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Grading

moderate  
3

The Alps to Ocean is graded moderate. You will need a reasonable level of fitness with an average daily distance of 60km and the longest day upto 80km. We suggest 90 minutes of cycling three to five times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Some of the sections are on seal or hard packed gravel and are relatively easy to ride. Other sections are on looser gravel which can be rough and uneven in places. The moderate sections over the Tarnbrae Saddle and from Sailors Cutting to the Benmore Dam include narrower tracks with some switchbacks and exposure in places. There are also plenty of hills so cycling up hills and on gravel and rougher terrain before your tour will enable you to really enjoy the fantastic riding and diverse scenery. With the trip being fully supported, less confident riders can choose to miss the moderate sections with easier options available.


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season
P
Peak Holiday Supplement, Christmas, New Year, Easter etc
IT2
This tour is a winter tour and stays the night at Lake Ohau Lodge and Enfield School. It also includes e-bike hire and Tekapo Springs entry

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$2545NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Peak Holiday Supplement, Christmas, New Year, Easter etcNZD$100
  • Bike RentalNZD$150
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)NZD$560
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$695
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Alps to Ocean Classic trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Alps to Ocean Trip reviews


Alps to Ocean Videos

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail with Adventure South NZ

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