Traveller Rating


  • 7 day cycle trail
  • 2 nights hotel/motel
  • 1 night historic homestead
  • 1 night farmstay
  • 1 night glamping
  • 1 night ski-lodge
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days$3895NZD

Trip Code: OTA

Ocean to Alps Trip highlights

  • Cycle the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean Great Ride in reverse
  • Cycle the rolling countryside of the Waitaki Valley, passing natural limestone sculptures, stunning lakes and spectacular hydro dams.
  • Cycle the shoreline of surreal turquoise hydro lakes
  • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct
  • Hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
  • Stargaze across night skies of world renown
  • Enjoy a breathtaking heli-flight over the Tasman River to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village
  • Enjoy good company, eat delicious food and stay at hand-picked accommodation in stunning locations

This 7 day, fully supported cycling adventure follows the entire length of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail in reverse, for an entirely different and fresh perspective of the trail.

Starting from the historic port town of Oamaru we ride through rolling countryside and ancient pathways along the Waitaki Valley where you'll be wowed by stunning lakes, fascinating hydro dams and picturesque vineyards. From Omarama we head over the Tarnbrae saddle to Lake Ohau, follow canal paths to Twizel, and cycle across golden tussock-lands to the strikingly turquoise Lake Pukaki.

Our journey finishes with a stunning heli-flight across the Tasman River and a final short ride to Aoraki/Mt Cook village which nestles at the foot of the mighty Aoraki/Mt Cook itself.

Our expert guides will show you the best trailside highlights including wine-tasting, hot pools, Maori rock art and otherworldly limestone outcrops. You’ll also enjoy warm hospitality in hand-picked accommodation which is a highlight of the trip with a mix of lodges, premium backcountry farm stays, motels and luxurious glamping tents.

Your Ocean to Alps (O2A) adventure begins with a drive down the coast to the historic Victorian town of Oamaru. After lunch and time to explore the delightful Victorian Precinct or the mind-boggling Steampunk HQ musem we'll gather at the official 'finish' line at the harbourside for a photo-op to mark the start of our adventure. Setting off we'll ride through the Precinct and main street full of stunning 19th Century architecture showcasing the local Oamaru stone. Riding through the delightful municipal gardens we'll then head out of town and into picturesque rural countryside. Riding along an old tram line we'll then duck through the town of Weston before arriving at Enfield. We have special permission to divert off the trail and ride through the grounds of the Elderslie Estate, once home in the late 19th Century to one of the district's original farming families. The same family also built historic Burnside Homestead where we will finish our ride and enjoy our first overnight stay. Cycle distance: 19km (Oamaru-Burnside)

Meals:  D

This morning the cycle trail takes us through the settlement of Windsor and then back on the old railway line through Raki's tunnel. A climb to the ridgeline delivers stunning views across pastoral land developed by early settlers in the area. What goes up generally comes down and we drop into a pretty valley before emerging into rolling country and the first signs of some of the incredible natural limestone formations responsible for the area recently achieving UNESCO Geopark status. One such landmark, the unique Elephant Rocks, is particularly impressive with huge formations strewn across a field and worth a stop to explore before dropping into the small town of Duntroon. From here we ride along the banks of the Waitaki River, negotiating some river crossings and passing vineyards before finally arriving in Kurow. We will stay at either Duntroon or Kurow depending on where accommodation is available and enjoy a hearty meal together. Cycle distance: 40km (Burnside Homestead-Duntroon) 28km (Duntroon–Kurow)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s stunning ride introduces us to the Waitaki Hydro scheme with its impressive dams and the beautiful man-made lakes of Aviemore and Benmore. From Aviemore Dam we follow the quiet lakeside road leading to Benmore Dam, the largest earth dam in the country. Climbing up through bush with stunning views across the lakes and rolling countryside the trail then drops to the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rock outcrops, little beaches and tree covered islands before popping out at Sailors Cutting. Less confident riders can choose a shorter, easier option from Benmore Dam if they prefer to avoid the more technical section. Our final ride continues along the shores of Lake Benmore before turning away from the Lake and riding alongside farming country before emerging into Omarama, a small town nestled in a broad basin between mountain ranges. Omarama is called "Place of Light" in Maori terminology, a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky. This region is also famous for gliding due to some unique air wave systems and feisty thermals. This evening enjoy an optional soak in a private hot tub of fresh mountain water (own expense). Cycle distance: 67km

Meals:  B,L,D

From Omarama a short off-road trail takes us through to the Quailburn Road which is a quiet gravel road passing through rolling farmland leading to a historic woolshed. Confident riders can continue on the trail from the woolshed, a steady climb to the Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), the highpoint of the O2A providing vast Mackenzie Country views as just reward for the climb. This section is moderately technical with some rough and loose areas so less confident riders may prefer to take the alternative route wihich involves a short ride in the van to the Lake Ohau Road. From the Saddle high point it is a rolling descent with the Southern Alps and Lake Ohau keeping you company in the foreground and the Lake Ohau Lodge, where we stay tonight, ready to welcome you at the bottom. We should arrive in time to unwind at the Lodge where there are onsite hot tubs overlooking the lake as well as a relaxing communal lounge. For those keen on more active pursuits there's always the option of a dip in the lake or a wander around the lakefront. Cycle distance: 44km Omarama-Lake Ohau via Tarnbrae Saddle or via Lake Ohau Road

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast, we leave Lake Ohau Lodge and cycle around the lakeshore firstly on a quiet country road and then a delightful single track which pops out at the back of Twizel and the start of the hydro canals. Cycling alongside the Ohau and Pukaki canals brings us into Twizel itself in time for lunch. After lunch we cross the extensive tussock-lands of Pukaki flats to Lake Pukaki before following a trail around the edge of Lake Pukaki. The trail comes out on a sealed road which soon turns to gravel as we continue up the lake edge to the backcountry farmstay, Braemar Station. This is a trip highlight for many as we are rewarded with fantastic views over Lake Pukaki and treated to a delicious home cooked dinner. Cycle Distance: Lake Ohau to Twizel - 38km Twizel to Braemar Station - 42km

Meals:  B,L,D

Returning to the lakeshore we continue following the lake taking in views of Aoraki/Mt Cook to the Tasman River. Using Heliworks Mount Cook we take a short (but breath-taking) heli-flight with our bikes to meet up with the trail on the other side of the river. We then hop back on our bikes and cycle the final 7km across more tussock-land to the Aoraki/Mt Cook village. There should be time to visit the excellent national park visitor centre (free of charge) or the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) before we celebrate our cycling achievements with a final group dinner at the renowned Hermitage Hotel Cycle Distance: Aoraki/Mt Cook Village to Braemar Station - 38km Please note: Heliworks Mount Cook is operated by Southern Lakes Helicopters an established NZ owned helicopter company with an excellent reputation for flying excellence. They use As350B2 Squirrels for this service. Heliworks focus on achieving the highest standards of safety to ensure all our clients’ needs and expectations are both met and exceeded.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we are bound for Christchurch but not before exploring the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park a little more with a meomorable walk either up the Hooker Valley or to the Tasman Glacier Viewpoint. We then travel back to Christchurch via Mackenzie country and then over Burke's Pass and across the Canterbury Plains. We'll stop for lunch and to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo and have another short stop in the country town of Geraldine. We would expect to return to Christchurch around 5pm. No cycling today

Meals:  B,L


  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x6), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x6), two course restaurant dinners (x6) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 6 nights comfortable motel/lodge/farm stay accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Heli-flight across the Tasman River with bikes
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • 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
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • 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. 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.


Bike information

Trail Surface



The Ocean to Alps 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 Benmore Dam to Sailors Cutting 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


Holiday Season
High Season

Want to organise a private group?

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

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Bike RentalNZD$210
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)NZD$600
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$895
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Ocean to Alps Cycle 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.

Ocean to Alps Trip reviews

Ocean to Alps Videos

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail with Adventure South NZ

Similar trips

Untamed wilderness of the West Coast | Lachlan Gardiner
New Zealand
99 Reviews
Cycle over the grand Poolburn Viaduct | Lachlan Gardiner
New Zealand
48 Reviews
Celebrating at the top of the Tarnbrae high point! | Rebecca Ryan
New Zealand
288 Reviews
Stunning blue waters on the Lake Dunstan Trail | Lisa Jones
New Zealand
66 Reviews
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips