• 13 days cycling
  • 15 nights hotel/motel
  • 11 Dinners
  • 12 Lunches
  • 15 Breakfasts

16 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7280

Trip highlights

  • Cycle the best sections of the Alps to Ocean cycle trail
  • Helicopter across the Tasman River surround by the Southern Alps
  • Enjoy the Wilderness Trail on the wild West Coast
  • Ride 5 other stunning one day off road trails
  • Enjoy the beauty and action of Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand
  • Taste some of NZ's world famous Pinot Noir wine at a Central Otago winery
  • Visit one of NZ's craft breweries.
  • Have expert local guides deliver world class service which allows you to relax and ride
  • Enjoy healthy and varied meals at mix of cafe, restaurant or gourmet picnics
  • Have fun riding in Hanmer forest, followed by a soak in the natural thermal pools

The trip builds on Tom Ryan's successful previous off-road traverse of the South Island, and focuses on two of the most popular trails, the Alps to Ocean and the West Coast Wilderness Trails, plus five other one-day rides. The 16 day tour begins and ends in Christchurch and is limited to 14 experienced cyclists, including your Tour Leaders.

We depart from Christchurch, travelling by minivan to Lake Tekapo to begin our cycling adventure. Over the next 4 days we will ride the best sections of the Alps to Ocean cycle trail, the longest of New Zealand’s Great Rides. The riding includes canal roads, gravel roads and fun single track. Surrounded by the Southern Alps and glacial Alpine lakes and valleys the scenery is stunning and our journey includes spending time at Mount Cook village with a short scenic helicopter ride with views of the Tasman Glacier and the South Face of Mount Cook, as we cross the Tasman River. We then transfer to Clyde, to ride the newest Great Ride, the Lake Dunstan Trail, an engineering masterpiece through the Cromwell Gorge. Our next 3 nights are in Queenstown, and from there we’ll cycle the most scenic part of the Round the Mountain Trail, south of Lake Whakatipu, and have a rest day to enjoy the ‘Adventure Capital of New Zealand’. Before transferring to the World Heritage Haast region on the West Coast we’ll ride 2 more trails along the mighty Clutha River and upto Lake Hawea. From Haast we cycle a quiet paved road past spectacular beaches, wetlands and forest to Jacksons Bay and then continue our journey up the West Coast through glacier country and onto the town of Ross. Our next Great Ride, the West Coast Wilderness Trail starts here and over the next 3 days we’ll pass through historic gold mining towns, wetlands and native forest. Turning inland we transfer across to Hanmer Springs to enjoy cycling in the local forests and soaking in the local thermal pools. Our final ride heads through the Waipara Gorge route to Amberley, before ending the tour in Christchurch.

The cycling will mostly be on purpose-built cycle paths and trails and lightly used gravel roads with occasional quiet paved roads.

The tour meets in Christchurch on day 1, February 13th 2023. There will be airport pick-ups between 9-11.00am and a hotel pick up from the Pavilions Hotel at 11.30am. Otherwise please make your way to the depot of Adventure South at 29 Iversen Terrace, Waltham in time for a 12noon welcome meeting and lunch. Please confirm your arrival time and therefore which of the above collection/meeting options you will be taking. After lunch, a bike fitting session and a safety briefing we will head off for an introductory ride before returning to the Pavilions Hotel, our first night's tour accommodation. Ride -Warm up 14km/9mi Accommodation: Pavilion Hotel, Christchurch

Meals:  L,D

We transfer from Christchurch to Tekapo leaving at 8am. We'll cycle the alternative start of the Alps to Ocean cycle trail from Tekapo, along the Tekapo Canal Road, past the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon farm to Lake Pukaki and over the MacKenzie flats to Twizel. Cycle Distance: Tekapo to Lake Pukaki - 34mi/ +1000ft Accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Meals:  B,L,D

It’s a 1 hour drive from Twizel to Mount Cook Village, where we cycle to the official start of the Alps to Ocean Trail at Whitehorse Hill. Today we include a short helicopter ride across the Tasman River to Tasman Point, weather permitting. From Tasman Point, we cycle along the gravel Braemar Road to Lake Pukaki and from there it's a short transfer to our accommodation in Omarama. N.B. Helicopter flying and its use for off-road adventure travel is common in New Zealand. However, for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, a slightly shorter version of the same ride starting at Braemar Station is available. Ride - 34mi / +872ft Accommodation: Sierra Motel, Omarama

Meals:  B,L

This morning is easy riding, southward along the hydro road from Twizel to the Lake Ohau outlet. From there we take the bike path around the southern shore of Lake Ohau to lunch at Lake Ohau Lodge. After lunch, we tackle a gradual climb on rougher terrain for 11km, gaining 400m, for the reward of spectacular views across Mackenzie country and Lake Ohau before descending 8km to the Quailburn Road. The ride into Omarama is on a mix of gravel and paved road with a short final section back on trail. Some sections of the afternoon’s ride are rough and are inaccessible for the support vehicle, so we recommend less confident cyclists take the support vehicle to miss the climb and descent. Ride - 52mi / +2608ft Accommodation - Sierra Motel, Omarama

Meals:  B,L,D

The trail today starts from our lodgings and follows the Waitaki Valley for 13km to Sailors Cutting, beside Lake Benmore, where our support crew will meet us with coffee. From there it’s into the wilderness for the next 17km on a new purpose-built bike trail overlooking Lake Benmore. This section is a Grade 3, reflecting a narrower trail in places with tight corners and exposure to the lakeside and no access for the support vehicle. Those wanting to avoid this more challenging section can ride in the van to the Lake Benmore power station for lunch. The afternoon is a van transfer to Cromwell in the Central Otago region. Ride - 19mi / 984ft Accommodation - The Carrick Motel, Cromwell

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we cycle the new Lake Dunstan Trail, leaving from Lake Dunstan lakeside, and riding to the delightful old gold mining town of Clyde. Along the way we’ll spend time exploring the Cromwell Heritage Precinct, then pass vineyards, ride through the Cromwell Gorge and finish in Clyde itself after viewing the Clyde Dam. After loading up, we’ll stop in at one of the Bannockburn wineries, famous for its Pinot Noir, and then transfer to Queenstown for the next 3 nights. Ride - 34mi, +2014ft Accommodation -Blue Peaks Motel, Queenstown

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s adventure starts with a boat cruise across Lake Whakatipu to the historic high country farm, Walter Peak Station. From here we cycle the most scenic part of the Round the Mountain Great Ride through the Von Valley into the Mavora Lakes before transferring back to Queenstown. Ride - 38mi / +2745ft Accommodation : Blue Peaks Motel, Queenstown

Meals:  B,L

Today is a rest day in Queenstown with the option to explore or relax. The guides will be on an official day off and will not be available for guiding or transport but can help to book any activities you would like to enjoy. For those looking to get in some extra miles, there is an optional self-guided ride along the shore of Lake Whakatipu to Frankton Arm and return. Otherwise non riding options include a day trip to Milford Sound, plenty of stunning hikes, bungy jumping, jetboating, a game of golf or just relaxing. Ride - Optional self-guided Accommodation – Blue Peaks Motel, Queenstown

Meals:  B

After breakfast we transfer from Queenstown to Luggate where we ride the Upper Clutha River Trail or Newcastle Trail through to Alberttown and from there the Hawea River Track to Gladstone on the shore of Lake Hawea. It's then a lengthy, but incredibly scenic 100 mile van transfer over the Haast Pass to the spectacular World Heritage Haast region, known for its remote beauty, hiking, wildlife, and hunting. Ride - 18mi / +667ft Accommodation Haast River Motels

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s ride is on a very quiet paved road, following the coast from the Haast Bridge to our destination at Jackson's Bay and back. We cycle past spectacular beaches, wetlands and forests to the end of the road at Jacksons Bay. Enjoy a fish lunch, (fish and chips recommended), at the caravan cafe, http://www.newzealand.com/int/article/jackson-bay-fishing-village/ before returning back to our accommodation by bike or in the van. • Ride - 59mi / +164ft • Accommodation - Haast River Motels

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we drive up the stunning West Coast from Haast to Ross, passing more wild beaches and native bush with the Southern Alps often visible. In Ross we begin cycling on one of our favourite routes, the West Coast Wilderness Trail, with today’s ride taking us to Hokitika, home of the highly valued native pounamu stone and a delightful settlement right on the coast. Ride - 21mi / +305ft Accommodation : Jade Court Motel, Hokitika

Meals:  B,D

Our ride today takes us inland through rural country to reach the bush-lined Kaniere water race – always a favourite for its flowing riding and babbling waters. Nestled in the forested foothills, Lake Kaniere is a grand sight indeed. We’ll follow its shores to reach the small township of Kokatahi where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch. Hokitika Gorge is up next. A short walkway offers a chance to see its granite boulders and swirling, surreal turquoise waters from many angles. From there, we’ll drive back to Hokitika where there’ll be time to explore the town some more and hopefully enjoy another West Coast sunset. Enjoy dinner of your choice. Cycling distance: 40km/24 miles Accommodation – Jade Court Motel, Hokitika

Meals:  B,L

Today we drive back to Lake Kaniere and continue our ride through the amazing bush trails of this cycleway. Firstly on rural roads to morning coffee at Milltown and then back on dedicated trail which crosses a swing bridge and then via a kilometre of switchback climbing to the highpoint. From here it's mainly downhill, as we follow water races, bush tracks and reservoir roads taking in the spectacular views as we gradually descend to our overnight at Kumara and the beautiful historic hotel that is our accommodation. Cycle Distance: Lake Kaniere to Kumara - 55km / 34miles Accommodation: Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

Meals:  B,L,D

Our final day on the Wilderness Trail sees us riding north to Greymouth on a combination of riverside and coastal pathways.The old road and rail bridge is just one highlight as we head towards the town centre. After lunch at the historic Monteith's Brewery, we drive to Hanmer Springs where we can finish the day soaking in the town's well known thermal waters. Ride - 18mi / +330ft Accommodation – Alpine Lodge Motel, Hanmer Springs

Meals:  B,D

Hanmer Springs is a hub for mountain biking and hiking, and a great place to rest, relax and enjoy the mountain air. This morning we have a choice to ride or walk or to revisit the hot pools depending on our energy levels. Cycle Option: Enjoy riding the tracks in Hanmer Forest - ranging from easy to more technical trails Hiking Option: A short relaxed walk takes us through the forest to a lookout at Conical Hill. After time for a coffee and snack, we'll leave Hanmer late morning and head to a boutiqe Waipara vineyard, Georges Road winery, for a tasting and platter lunch, a fitting way to celebrate all we've experienced and achieved. t's a final hour's drive which should see us back in Christchurch around 5pm. Ride : Optional Accommodation – Pavilion Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Transfer after breakfast to Christchurch airport for flights home between 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.

Meals:  B


  • 15 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 11 dinners
  • 15 nights hotel/motel accommodation on twin share basis with private facilities
  • 2 Professional qualified guides
  • Private vehicle transport/support vehicle
  • Bike hire of a mountain bike (with helmet)
  • Wine tasting at a Central Otago vineyard
  • Mt Cook Helicopter over Tasman River
  • Entry to Hanmer Springs thermal pools
  • Fruit and snacks while cycling
  • Daily People Cycling happy hour drinks and nibbles
  • Group arrival and departure airport transfers at specified times
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • Goods & Service Tax 15%
  • Pre Departure Information Kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Ferry across Lake Whakatipu to Walter Peak

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages (other than breakfast, trailside or daily happy hour)
  • e-Bike Hire (a surcharge is payable)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (e.g. activities in Queenstown)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Airport transfers outside specified times

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. You will have 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 Best Of New Zealand's Off Road trip is graded moderate. You will need a good level of fitness and we suggest 90 minutes of cycling three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. You will need to be able to cycle 50-60km each day and as much as 100km on the longest day. The trail surfaces vary from hard packed to loose gravel and some rougher terrain with switchbacks and exposure, yet all are purpose built for cycling and are well maintained. We recommend training on gravel trails, and completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip to get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time. The tour is fully supported and if at any stage you feel like having a rest from cycling you will be able to ride in the support vehicle.

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


Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementNZD$2200
  • e-Bike upgradeNZD$695
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed The Best of New Zealand's Off Road 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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