5
Moderate
Activities
  • 7 days guided cycling on purpose built trails
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotel/motel/lodge
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days$6190AUD

Trip Code: SOG8360

Trip highlights


  • Cycle five spectacular Great Rides of South Island by e bike, all in one trip!
  • Take in the glistening lakes, pristine rivers and stunning alpine landscapes of the Southern Lakes and Otago regions.
  • Follow New Zealand’s mightiest river on the Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge Trails
  • Experience a scenic jet boat transfer on the mighty Clutha Ah Mata river
  • Soak up the glittering history of towns such as Arrowtown, Clyde, and Lawrence
  • Explore the wild nature of the Otago Peninsula
  • Taste award wining Pinot Noir in boutique Central Otago wineries
  • Have expert local guides deliver world class service allowing you to relax and ride
  • Stay in comfortable accommodation with twin share facilities
  • Enjoy healthy and delicious meals at hand-picked local cafes and restaurants

This exclusive Ghostriders itinerary will ensure you experience and ride a stunning part of New Zealand's South Island.

Majestic rugged mountains, emerald blue lakes, spectacular rivers and hidden gorges - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. Explore five of NZ's Great Cycle Trails on a 7 day adventure within the lower South Island.

After warming up on the stunning Queenstown Trails we head over to Wanaka where we ride several picturesque local trails, all connected to the mighty Clutha River, the longest river in the South Island. Next up is the Lake Dunstan Trail, initially following the glistening lake's edge to Cromwell, then into the picturesque Cromwell Gorge and through to the charming, historic town of Clyde.

From Clyde we then ride part of New Zealand's original 'Great Ride', the Otago Central Rail Trail, followed by the Roxburgh Gorge trail through a remote gorge and including a scenic jetboat transfer.

The next day we ride the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail, which passes Gabriel's Gully, the historic sight of the first gold strike in Central Otago. Enjoy riding the purpose built cycle way, past farmland and fruit orchards, following the beautiful turquoise waters of the mighty Clutha River.

Dunedin, a small city at the head of Otago Harbour is our final destination. It's known for its Scottish and Maori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture as well as great cycling around the dramatic landscape of the adjoining Otago Peninsula. The Peninsula is home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins.

This iconic, multi-day ride takes in grand landscapes, charming towns, country hospitality and rich history. Our expert guides will show you the best trailside highlights such as heritage sites, architectural gems, and vineyards with plenty of off-the-bike activities along the way.

You’ll also enjoy delicious local food and drink, and friendly welcomes in accommodation full of character.


After an early morning briefing in Queenstown we saddle up for our first ride on arguably the best of the Queenstown Trails. We set off riding from a central location and quickly join the Frankton Trail, a well formed shingle track along the shore of Lake Wakatipu with stunning mountain and lake views. On reaching the old Kawerau Bridge at Frankton, we join the Twin Rivers Trail and then the Countryside Trail through to Arrowtown, a quaint, old gold mining town, in time for lunch. We continue onto the Arrow River Bridges Trail, a delightful ride following the Arrow River and including 2 spectacular suspension bridges en-route to the historic Kawerau Bridge, where we can witness bungy jumpers and zipliners getting their adrenaline fix! From the Bridge it's a scenic one hour drive through the Kawerau Gorge to the lakeside town of Wanaka, our home for the next 2 nights. Today Cycling distance: 42km, Elevation 504m Accommodation: Oakridge Hotel, Wanaka

Meals:  D

After breakfast, we ride round straight from our accommodation around the lake edge on the Outlet Track to the outlet of the mighty Clutha Mata-Au, New Zealand's largest river by volume. This stretch of the river is world-renowned for its trout fishing and the track offers easy riding with many spots to stop and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way. The next trail follows the high side of the Clutha Mata-Au, offering stunning views down onto the River. Heading back in towards the mountains, we ride on quiet back roads under the flanks of Grandview Mountain through to another stunning glacial lake, Hawea, where we join up with a trail along the lakefront to our picnic spot, looking straight up the Lake and surrounding mountains, Our last trail is the delightful 10km Hawea River Track, an easy grade and beautifully scenic ride following the Hawea River to Albert Town where we'll load up for the short shuttle back to our accommodation. Today Cycling distance: 64km, Elevation 519m Accommodation: Oakridge Hotel, Wanaka

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we transfer a short distance to Smith's Way on the shore of Lake Dunstan. From here we ride the first section of the Lake Dunstan Trail along the lake through to the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Here we’ll park up and explore the boutique galleries, stores, and cafes on offer before rejoining the trail. We'll loop back and around the Bannockburn Inlet and continue toward Cornish Point, passing by vineyards and olive groves. The trail enters the stunning Cromwell Gorge where you’ll cycle around sheer rockfaces and over lake inlets on impressively engineered platforms and bridges rising above Lake Dunstan. Lake Dunstan was created from the damming of the mighty Clutha Mata-au River, New Zealand’s second longest river, and the trail passes the historically controversial hydroelectric Clyde Dam before finishing at the Red Bridge at Clyde. There will be time to explore this small historic town and enjoy a wine tasting at a boutique winery, before dinner in a cozy restaurant serving New Zealand cuisine in a stone-walled historic Post Office. Cycling distance: 54km, Elevation 570m Accommodation: Dunstan House, Clyde

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we embark on the best section of the original Great Ride, - the Otago Central Rail Trail, a beautiful, historic journey into the Central Otago heartland. As one of the historic gold mining locations of New Zealand, the Central Otago region is full of colonial history. We have chosen the best section of trail and have a 1 hour transfer to the start of our ride, from the small settlement of Wedderburn. It's then a short climb to the highest point of the trail (618m) before descending into the Ida Valley and onto the most dramatic part of the trail. We cross the 37m high Poolburn Viaduct, ride through 2 long tunnels and into the rocky and willow tree-edged Poolburn Gorge before arriving at our lunch-stop in Lauder. From Lauder we cross over Tiger Hill and follow the Manuherikia River downhill to Chatto Creek where we'll load up for the short drive back to Clyde. Dinner at your leisure tonight. Cycling Distance: Wedderburn to Chatto Creek - 53km, Elevation 281m Accommodation: Dunstan House, Clyde

Meals:  B,L

Our ride today starts on the Clyde to Alexandra River Trail, a delightful, mainly flat 10km ride along the bank of the Clutha Mata Au River. We then join our next Great Ride, the striking Roxburgh Gorge Trail. A trail in an otherworldly landscape of steep hillsides strewn with giant boulders leading down to a willow-lined river and lake. We ride the trail to Doctors' Point before loading our bikes onboard a jet boat for a scenic ride along an unrideable section of the gorge to Shingle Creek. Back on the bikes we continue following the gorge, climbing up from the river to Elbow Creek, passing through a small secluded valley with regenerating kanuka (tea tree) scrubland and into sweeping hill country farmland to finally emerge at the impressive Roxburgh hydro dam. The dam marks the end of the Gorge Trail but we'll cross the dam to continue riding on the neighbouring Clutha Gold Trail, following the bank of the mighty Clutha Mata-au River, with its distinctive turquoise water, fast flow and ever changing eddies. Surrounded by carpets of orchards on both sides of the valley, keep an eye out for stunning hillside rock formations before reaching Pinders Pond, perfect for a end of ride dip. It is then a 20 minute drive to our accommodation at the Lake Roxburgh village. Cycling distance: 49km, Elevation 449m Accommodation: Lake Roxburgh Lodge, Roxburgh

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue our ride on the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail, starting with a 20km stretch through the remote and beautiful Beaumont Gorge to the Beaumont Bridge. From Beaumont, the trail begins its climb towards the highest point of the trail and on through the 434m long Big Hill Tunnel. Beyond the tunnel, descend into lush green farmland, crossing the highway several times. Along the way, see reminders of the area’s history: the discovery of gold, the milling of flax fibre for rope making and the arrival of Chinese prospectors to the goldfields. We'll stop in the delightful village of Lawrence, birthplace of the 1860s gold rush. After a wander around and lunch, we’ll hop back on our bikes to ride the very new section of trail, only opened in late 2023, through to the settlement of Waitahuna. From here, it's a 70 minute transfer through to Dunedin. Cycling distance: 57km, Elevation 522m Accommodation: Dunedin Palms Hotel, Dunedin

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we head off to ride alongside the Otago Harbour to Portobello. This ride takes us down the harbour, surrounded by volcanic hills on both sides, and home to nesting albatross, penguins, and seals, as well as the site of historic shipwrecks. We’ll get a closer look as we board the vessel ‘Sootychaser’ for a mini wildlife tour across to Port Chalmers. The Sootychaser is named after the Sooty shearwater, New Zealand’s muttonbird, and on our tour we’ll hear about history of the area, see the boats, make a detour to see harbour birds and Larnach Castle from a distance. From Port Chalmers we’ll drive north stopping for a wander around the Victorian Precinct and portside park in Oamaru. After lunch we continue driving northwards across the Canterbury Plains, and on to Christchurch for a central city drop-off around 6pm. Cycling distance: 24km

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 6 nights comfortable hotel/motel/lodge accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Breakfasts (x6), picnic or cafe lunches (x6), two course restaurant dinners (x5) catered to all dietary requirements
  • Our legendary morning and afternoon teas!
  • 2 experienced guides who handle all the logistics
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • E bike with rear pannier (9L capacity)
  • Wine tasting at a Central Otago vineyard
  • Scenic jetboat ride on the Clutha River through the Roxburgh Gorge
  • Rider fees paid to the Trail Trusts for ongoing maintenance and improvements
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • Pre Departure Information kit to help plan and prepare

  • Travel to Queenstown/from Christchurch
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Helmet - please bring from home
  • Accommodation before and after the bike trip
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary, so you can explore the local cuisine at your leisure.
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. We will 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, full of fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Grading

Moderate  
5

The cycle trails on this trip are graded introductory-moderate. The trails are generally a good width with a compacted gravel trail surface but there can be some loose gravel sections plus exposure in places along the Gorges, as well as narrow sections with switchbacks, bridges and gates which will need to be negotiated so experience on this type of terrain or obstacles is needed. Most of the trails are a gentle gradient, however there are a few hills, switchbacks and sharp inclines. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 2-3 rides per week of 2-3 hours for the three months leading up to your trip. You will need to be able to cycle around 50km each day and as much as 80km on the longest day. 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 more training you have done on hills with switchbacks and narrow trails and on gravel, the more enjoyable your trip will be. 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

$6190AUD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single suplement - limitedAUD$1150
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Ghostriders 2025 Kiwi Capers 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.


Trip reviews


Videos

Lake Dunstan Trail and Roxburgh Gorge Trail | Adventure South NZ

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