3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 6 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 1 night farm stay
  • 3 nights motel
  • 1 night historic lodge
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

6 Days$4095NZD

Trip Code: TATC

Tastes of the Alps to Ocean Trip highlights


  • Eat, taste, and ebike down the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Tekapo
  • Visit a high country sheep station for a tasty BBQ lamb lunch
  • Meet the growers/producers of hazelnuts, salmon, gin and wine
  • Be awed by Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
  • Ride through the iconic Mackenzie Country tussocklands and surreal turquoise hydro lakes
  • Have renowned foodie and author, Philippa Cameron from "Whats for Smoko" fame, prepare a hearty lunch at her high country station
  • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct, tour the Whitestone Cheese Factory, enjoy lunch at the iconic Riverstone Kitchen
  • Stargaze across world renowned night skies
  • Stay in the remote Braemar Station, prestigious Waitaki Braids Lodge & historic Burnside Homestead

Explore some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes and culinary delights as you embark in comfort on our fully guided and supported Alps to Ocean Cycle tour.

Start with a visit to a Canterbury high country station to see the unusual Beltex sheep and have a BBQ lunch prepared with the best local ingredients, meet award winning Merino producers and see how salmon is filleted by a professional, taste boutique brews and wines and get to know the secrets behind some of the best chutneys, preserves and cheese makers in the region.

From Tekapo, we ride through the golden Mackenzie Country on canal paths to Lake Pukaki and the mountainous landscape around Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. We cycle around the surreal Lake Ohau to join the ancient pathways down the Waitaki Valley where you’ll be wowed by more stunning lakes, fascinating hydro dams and picturesque vineyards. Our journey through rolling countryside leads down to the historic port town of Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean.

Enjoy warm, southern hospitality, heritage charm as well as some fabulous local produce and producers along the way. If food is your travel inspiration, choose this culinary Alps to Ocean cycle tour and it will transform your holiday into an amazing experience.


Your food lovers adventure begins at 8am in Central Christchurch. We start with a drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains and along the Inland Scenic Route to the foot of the Southern Alps. We take a short walk to the Shaplin Falls before coffee at The Staveley Cafe and Store. Established in 1876, tasty gourmet treats sit alongside beautiful homewares inspired by near by Mount Somers Station. We then get on our bikes for a warm up ride following quiet country roads to reach a high country sheep station, nestled in the foot hills of Mount Somers. Rangiatea Farm is NZ's premier breeder of the curious Beltex Sheep, our hosts will tell us about their sheep farming experiences and serve a tasty BBQ lunch using produce from the farm. We continue on our travels south to the country town of Geraldine where we enjoy a pit stop at the famous Barkers Foodstore & Eatery, and the Humdinger Gin Distillery. 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. We visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd and head to our remote farm stay at Braemar Station. This is a trip highlight for many as we are rewarded with panoramic views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Lake Pukaki made all the better with a celebratory glass of wine and a cheese platter before being treated to a delicious home cooked dinner. Be sure to take a walk outside after dark to see the incredible starry skies. Please Note: accommodation tonight is split across 2 separate lodges - only some rooms have ensuites, yet the incredible location and views make it worthwhile. Cycling Distance: Staveley to Surrey Hills - 20km Accommodation: Braemar Station

Meals:  B,L,D

Our second day starts with some easy riding from the Lake Pukaki viewpoint around the base of the lake to the Pukaki Flats and onto High Country Salmon. Here we meet the team who have won awards filleting salmon and the farm manager will host a tour and tasting of the Chinook (King) salmon farm. We learn how New Zealand came to inheriting one of the most beautiful and spectacular fish in the world from the McLeod River, California. Lunch is at the farm's floating cafe. After lunch we commence the fabulous drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park surrounded by glaciated alpine valleys and NZ's highest peaks. We embark on a short but memorable walk to view the Tasman Glacier, and if there is time we can visit one of the visitor centres, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (entrance fee payable) or the excellent National Park Visitor Centre, or enjoy a drink in the bar of the Hermitage Hotel overlooking Aoraki/Mt Cook. We then drive to Twizel where we will overnight, and have dinner in a local restaurant known for its craft beers. Cycling Distance: 25km (Pukaki Viewpoint to High Country Salmon) Accommodation: Mountain Chalet Motels

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the stunning scenery keeps on coming as we ride alongside the Twizel Canals, then around the shore of Lake Ohau, taking a break at the alpine ski lodge for a tasty lunch on the deck overlooking the lake and alpine peaks. We will visit a prestigious merino farm on the way, supplying wool to make fabric for a top Italian tailor. 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. We then load up and drive to the Clay Cliffs a unique geological wonder; ‘bad land’ sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by steep and narrow ravines which look dramatic and 'otherworldly'. By mid afternoon we drive onto Omarama – our stop for the night. Translating as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies. Dinner will be served in the newly refurbished Boots & Jandals pub where you will experience true kiwi hospitality. Cycling Distance: 38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau); 41km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or 23km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option) Accommodation: Sierra Motels

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 where we join a new section of trail which follows Benmore Dam and offers super views, swimming opportunities and arguably some of the best riding of the entire trail. Leaving our bikes at Benmore Dam we transit by vehicle the short distance to Otematata to visit Otematata High Country Station and Philippa Cameron who will host us for morning tea. Phillipa is the inspiration behind the blog and Instagram account What's For Smoko. We will hear how she feeds hoards of hungry workers and enjoy a tasty morning tea whilst learning about her most recent project, publishing her second cookbook, 'Winter Warmers: Recipes and stories from a New Zealand high country station'. Returning to our bikes we then ride across the Benmore Dam wall and follow the trail along Lake Aviemore where at a scenic picnic spot we will enjoy our tasty picnic lunch supplied by Philippa. We arrive in Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds, or a wine tasting at the award winning Ostler Vineyards tasting rooms. We’ll stay overnight at Waitaki Braids Lodge, an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce by one of the regions most esteemed chefs. Cycling Distance: Omarama to Kurow - up to 67km Accommodation: Waitaki Braids Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River to a hazelnut farm then we ride 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 where we will receive a warm welcome at our final accommodation at Burnside Homestead. After being greeted by afternoon tea, there will be time to look around the gardens and grounds of this historic Victorian house. Tonight we will enjoy dinner served by our hosts and celebrate our week's cycling achievements. Cycling Distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) & 35km (Duntroon–Burnside Homestead) Accommodation: Burnside Homestead

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we jump on the bikes for the last ride and cycle through picturesque rolling rural countryside, past the Oamaru stone quarry to Friendly Bay and the end of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We celebrate our cycling achievements with a group photo at the famous picture frame. We have time to explore Oamaru's Victorian Precinct and harbourside park with its arty shops and galleries, before we visit Whitestone Cheese for a factory tour. After an informative guided tour and delicious cheese tasting, we set away on our drive north. Our final foodie experience is a celebratory late lunch at the award winning Riverstone Kitchen, the perfect way to wrap up the Tastes of the Alps to Ocean cycle adventure! We head across the Canterbury Plains, and arrive in central Christchurch around 6-7pm. Cycling distance: 19km (Windsor–Oamaru)

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x5), gourmet cafe or picnic lunches (x6), and two course hearty dinners (x5) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 5 nights hotel/lodge/farm stay accommodation on twin share basis, ensuite where possible
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and ensure you can relax and enjoy the experience (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Private vehicle transport from/to Christchurch
  • Private support vehicle to rest sore muscles
  • Tasty morning teas, snacks, fruit and drinks while cycling
  • Whitestone cheese factory tour and tasting
  • Celebratory end of ride lunch at Riverstone Kitchen
  • Entrance fees, meet the growers produce tours, and wine tasting
  • Ebike rental including helmet hire (valued at $600)
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

About Your Leader

Your cycle will be led by a fabulous local guide who will give you insightful information during your travels, answer questions you may have and provide a safe and happy environment during your travels so that you can relax, taste and enjoy what this land has to offer. The guides are there to guide you every step of the way through this stunning country.

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 Taste of 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


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

$4095NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$950
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

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


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