moderate to challenging
  • 7 day road cycle
  • 1 day activities in Abel Tasman NP
  • 8 nights hotel/motel
  • 4 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 8 Breakfasts

9 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7831

Trip highlights

  • Immerse yourself on this scenic 8 day road cycle adventure at the top of NZ's South Island
  • Experience one of the best coastal rides in the world which takes us to the amazing geology of Punakaiki and its Pancake Rocks
  • Relax tired muscles in the hot pools of Hanmer Springs
  • Cycle over the Southern Alps via the picturesque Rahu Saddle
  • Experience the wonders of the Abel Tasman on a hike, kayak or sailing excursion
  • Travel through beautiful rain forest clad mountains and along scenic river valleys
  • Discover the beauty of Queen Charlotte Drive as we cycle alongside the Marlborough Sounds

Exploring the northern regions of the South Island, this action packed cycling tour is sure to inspire as you cycle past bush clad lakes and tracks, along wild coastlines as well as sample some of New Zealand's very best wines! Meeting in Picton, our journey begins by cycling through the breathtaking Marlborough Sounds before heading towards the golden sandy beaches of the Abel Tasman. Riding along flat or gently rolling terrain, through vineyards and along riverside roads, wearrive at the stunning Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park surrounded by high mountain peaks.

Next up is the mighty Buller Gorge which takes us downhill to meet the rugged beauty of the 'Wild' West Coast. We will continue along one of the best coastal rides in the world before encountering the famous Pancake Rocks and natural blowholes at Punakaiki. We then ride inland to reach Moana on the shore of the tranquil Lake Brunner nestled under the Southern Alps. We pedal along beech forest lined roads over the Rahu Saddle as we head towards Hanmer Springs to soak in the outdoor hot pools and experience their therapeutic qualities.

We then head to Kaikoura cycling along the base of the Seaward Kaikoura Ranges and take an early morning whale watching cruise. After a final walk on stunning Kaikoura Peninsula, we head towards Christchurch and into the Waipara region known for its many vineyards, and we enjoy lunch in one of the vineyards, providing a fitting finale to this memorable cycling adventure.

Character-filled towns, confortable accommodation and friendly welcomes are all part of the package, as is the passion and local knowledge of your guide.

On arrival into Picton, please make your own way to the group accommodation. It is only a short walk or taxi ride from the ferry terminal to High Street. You can check in after 2pm and are then free to explore Picton for the rest of the day. Accommodation: Broadway Motel - Picton - 113 High Street, Picton

Meals:  Nil

We meet our guide early for breakfast and a briefing and bike fit. We then set away from Picton by bike and follow the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive which winds along the edge of the Queen Charlotte Sound and offers scenic views over the shimmering ocean. We pass through the small settlement of Havelock, known for its mussels, with a few cafes and gallery and then continue to Pelorous Bridge. Here we finish our riding for the day and can enjoy a short walk through the ancient forest or a quick dip in the river, as the Pelorous River is a popular swimming hole in the summer. We then drive to Nelson an hour away and have some free time to explore the town, the Suter Art Gallery or walk to the Centre of NZ monument. Our final destination tonight is Kaiteriteri, which is a further hour away in the bus and takes us to the gateway of the Abel Tasman National Park. We settle into our eco lodge, nestled amongst the bush with panoramic views of Kaiteriteri beach and estuary and have our first evening meal together. Cycling Distance: 56km/35 miles (450m elevation) Accommodation: Kimi Ora Eco Lodge - www.kimiora.com

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we rest our cycle legs and are free to explore the Abel Tasman National Park by foot, kayak or sailing boat. There are options to take a water taxi into one of the many bays and then either walk all or part way back, join a sea kayaking excursion or take a half day hike into Anchorage and in the afternoon board a catamaran for an exciting sail around the heads and back to Kaiteriteri. The Abel Tasman track is well formed and drops into several beautiful sheltered bays and golden sand beaches, make sure to have a picnic lunch and your swimming gear with you as there are plenty of places to enjoy a swim and to sit and take in the views. Please let us know if you would like us to book any activities for you in advance. Your guide will have their rest day and will meet you the following morning.

Meals:  B

After breakfast we drive to Riwaka and leave the Abel Tasman behind. We cycle the quiet river road alongside the beautiful Motueka River and then through forestry roads towards St Arnaud, nestled in the heartland of the mountainous Nelson Lake District. Situated right on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, we recommend doing one of the many short walks through the native bush. This area is known as a “mainland island” and the results of the pest eradication programme means that the native birdlife is flourishing. Cycling Distance: up to 103km /64 miles (385m elevation) Accommodation: Nelson Lakes Motels - www.nelsonlakes.co.nz/our-accommodation

Meals:  B,L,D

Early risers are encouraged to take a walk into the nearby native forest at sunrise to hear the native birds & their “dawn chorus”. Leaving the Nelson Lakes we travel towards the Buller Gorge and cycle through the Upper Gorge with views over the Buller River whose white water attracts rafting and kayaking enthusiasts. We then drive southwards along the scenic and wild west coast coastline to reach Punakaiki. Here there is the chance to do a number of short walks, plus visit the famous Pancake Rocks. These rocks started forming 30 million years ago, the formation of the layers of limestone look like a pancake stack and at high tide water surges up through the blow holes! A short walk gives us panoramic views across the rocks, and the beautiful coastline. Cycling Distance 75km/ 47 miles (360m elevation) Accommodation: Punakaiki Beachfront Motel - www.punakaikibeachfrontmotels.co.nz

Meals:  B,L,D

We'll enjoy early morning views of the crashing sea at Punakaiki and then set away on our bikes following the coast road south. It is an undulating ride but we are rewarded with incredible views as we ride under forested rocky bluffs following the wild coast. On reaching the Grey River we head inland through the picturesque Arnold Valley towards the mountains and tranquil water of Lake Brunner. We overnight at the small settlement of Moana on the lake shore. Cycling Distance: 79km/49 miles (380m elevation) Accommodation: Hotel Lake Brunner - www.hotellakebrunner.co.nz

Meals:  B,L

This morning we begin with a visit to the old coal mining town of Blackball, famous for its salami and then set off riding up the quiet Grey River valley to Ikamatua. We then drive to Reefton, another interesting wild west gold mining town which boasts that in 1888 it was the first place in the Southern Hemisphere to have electric street lighting. We then get back on our bikes and cycle through a corridor of beautiful lush rain forest, crossing the Rahu Saddle from Reefton to Springs Junction. From here the beautiful beech forests of the Lewis Pass beckon and we travel the pictureque mountainous road to the thermal resort of Hanmer Springs. We will then visit the hot pools and soak our weary legs in the therapeutic waters before dinner. Cycling Distance: First ride – Blackball to Ikamatua 30km/19 miles (200m elevation), Second ride – Reefton to Springs Junction 44km/27 miles (510m elevation) Accommodation: The St James - www.thestjames.co.nz

Meals:  B,L

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 do an easy forest ride or walk and to revisit the hot pools depending on our energy levels. In the afternoon our ride towards Kaikoura follows quiet undulating rural roads alongside the Amuri and Seawards Kaikoura Mountains. From Mt Lyford Lodge we set away with a short climb over Whale Back Saddle where we are surrounded by tussock covered hills. The Inland road climbs several inclines and passes the historic Doone Station and gravesite before crossing over the Conway River. The landforms around here still show the effects of the massive November 2016 earthquake, with its faultlines and scars. We gradually ride downhill towards the coast, it is 60km to Kaikoura, but we can ride as much as we like and then drive the rest of the way there. On arriving in Kaikoura we settle into our accommodation and are free to relax before we meet for our final group dinner. Cycling Distance: My Lyford to Kaikoura - up to 60km (500m elevation) Accommodation: The White Morph Hotel - www.whitemorph.co.nz

Meals:  B,L,D

We have an early start to join a 7:15am whale watch tour offering a up-close encounter with the world's largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale. We might get to spot any number of Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Minke, Pilot, Orca and Southern Right Whales, Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, as well as Elephant Seals and Leopard Seals. After a snack we set off on the final journey to Christchurch there is an option to do a walk along the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula coastal track towards South Bay for impressive views of rugged cliff formations, tidal platforms and the Seaward Kaikoura Range. Alternatively if there is time we can ride from Cheviot to Domett passing Gore Bay and the Cathedral Rocks. We then head towards a boutique Waipara vineyard, for a wine tasting and platter lunch, a fitting way to celebrate all we've experienced and achieved. We arrive into Christchurch in the late afternoon and you will be delivered to your central city accommodation.

Meals:  B,L


  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 8 nights hotel/motel/lodge ensuite accommodation on a double share basis
  • Professional qualified Adventure South driver/guide
  • Kaikoura whale watch excursion
  • Winetasting at boutique vineyard
  • Entrance to Hanmer Springs Hot Pools
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Healthy snacks and fruit while cycling and hiking
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other then breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Abel Tasman walking, kayaking or sailing tour)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

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


moderate to challenging  

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the amount of climbing, the types of roads and the length of the trip. The Marlborough & West Coast Cycle is graded moderate to challenging. You will need to be a competent road rider with stamina and a good level of fitness, you should be able to cycle comfortably for up to 4-6 hours or up to 60-70km/30-40 miles per day, day after day, with some extended uphill ascents. You should be confident riding on main roads alongside traffic which can be travelling at speed. This tour is not for beginners. 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$950
  • Road Bike HireNZD$300
  • e-Bike HireNZD$500
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Jean Rannie & Friends - Marlborough & West Coast 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.

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