Alps To Ocean Guided Cycle: Frequently Asked Questions

Cycling along the striking Lake Pukaki | Daniel Thour
Cycling along the striking Lake Pukaki | Daniel Thour

When To Ride The Alps To Ocean Trail?

Our Alps to Ocean itineraries run from October to April with each season providing it’s own unique experience on the trail. 

Spring (October - November)

Come spring, the weather is starting to warm up, the flowers start to bring colour to the trail and there are less people around meaning uninterrupted views. – There is a higher chance of rain, however the spring flowers can often make up for that.  Summer (December - February) 

Summer is a great time to ride the trail. The trail is buzzing with people, the Lupin’s are in bloom, the days are hot but not too hot for cycling and the daylight hours are longer meaning more time to explore.  Autumn (March - April) 

Crisp sunny days, long fine spells of weather and cooler temperatures make Autumn a great time to ride the trail. The summer crowds have moved on and autumn shows its true colours as the changing leaves transform the landscape into a golden paradise. 

What Gear Should I Bring?

The weather can change unexpectedly in NZ as cold fronts and warm highs quickly blow in. Because of this, you’ll need the right gear. This basically means having a good waterproof jacket and several layers of warm clothing for any cold spells and lightweight clothing for the hotter days. A fleece and/or jumper and good thermals are a must (even in summer). Gloves are always handy to have as well as padded cycling shorts for those long days on the bike! 

We supply a full gear list for the trip before you arrive to make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible. 

How Difficult Is The Alps To Ocean Cycle Trail ?

Our Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail is graded introductory to moderate and is suitable for almost anyone with a moderate level of fitness. 

Overall the trail descends 780m from the Southern Alps to The Pacific Ocean, although don’t be fooled into thinking it's all downhill. There are some introductory sections and some moderate sections with a variety of ‘cruisy’ downhill sections, flat trail sections and several rewarding uphills that you will need to be prepared for.

How Much Training Do I Need To Do?

Cycling distances range from 30km to 65km on the trail each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. We suggest 30 minutes of cycling three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. There is a mix of surfaces on the trail from gravel, to dedicated cycle trail (small stones) and sealed roads. We do recommend spending some time cycling on loose gravel to make your cycling experience more enjoyable.  

What Do I Do If I Get Tired On The Bike?

One of the best parts about a guided trip is having the support vehicle nearby if you get tired or want a break. Your guide will let you know where the next vehicle can next access the trail and you can jump on board. 

What Happens If I Get Hungry Or Thirsty While I’m Cycling?

There is always a selection of fresh fruit and snacks in the support vehicle, which you will have access to at the stops along the trail or can carry with you in your bike bag. There is also a supply of water in the support vehicle which you can access regularly to refill your water bottle.

Will I Have Cell Phone Reception?

There is good cellphone reception along most of the trail. 

Is Wifi Available Along The Trail?

Most of the accommodation we use along the trail will have WIFI. This may not be unlimited and there may be the occasional place without it but it's always good to detach from the screen every now and then.

Can I Bring My Own Bike?

Yes, you can bring your own bike. If you are bringing an e-bike you will need to look into your couriers policies on e-bike batteries.

Can I Bring My Own Pedals/Seat?

Yes, just check in with our bookings team to make sure they are the right fit for our bikes.

>> View all our Alps to Ocean cycling tours here.


More Information

Read our Alps to Ocean Itinerary Guide to decide the best itinerary for you.
We've answered the Frequently Asked Questions when cycling the Alps to Ocean.

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