3
moderate
Activities
  • 7day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotel/motel
  • 1 night comfortable farmstay
  • 2 nights Top 10 Holiday Parks
  • 1 night rustic ski lodge
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 3 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

11 Days$5375NZD

Trip Code: SOG8526

Trip highlights


  • Cycle the spectacular Alps to Ocean, Clutha Gold, Roxburgh Gorge and Central Otago Rail Trails all in one trip!
  • Cycle along the edges of Lakes Pukaki, Ohau, Benmore and Aviemore with mountains all around
  • Soak in the hot tubs at Lake Ohau and Omarama (optional)
  • Explore the Victorian Precinct in Oamaru
  • Enjoy a marine wildlife cruise on the Sootychaser in Otago Harbour (optional)
  • Taste award wining Pinot Noir in a boutique Central Otago winery
  • Follow NZ’s mightiest river on the Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge Trails
  • Experience a scenic jet boat transfer
  • Enjoy a final easy ride amongst epic landscapes with big skies on the Otago Rail Trail

Why Book With Us

  • Pioneers in group cycle tours since 1992
  • Stay at the picturesque Braemar Station overlooking Lake Pukaki and the luxurious Valley Views Glamping
  • Our support vehicle is always nearby if you are feeling tired
  • Flexibility to change the itinerary on tour if effected by weather or trail closures

Majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. Explore four of NZ's Cycle Trails on a 10 day adventure within the South Island.

We begin with the Alps to Ocean trail near Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. We cycle past the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, turquoise glacier-fed lakes and lush pastures dotted with sheep to end this trail at the small port of Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean.

After a rest day in the delightful city of Dunedin, we head inland to embark on the second of our trails, the Clutha Gold, starting near 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. This leads us onto the Roxburgh Gorge Trail which includes a scenic jet boat ride on the Clutha through the narrow, rugged gorge. Finally we ride the best section of the Central Otago Rail Trail, New Zealand's original cycle trail, which follows the course of the historic railway, crossing viaducts and traveling through rail tunnels and quaint sleepy railway towns.

Our trip finishes on the last morning in Queenstown, New Zealand's Adventure Capital, so worth staying an extra couple of nights if you have time!


We will meet our guides at 9:00am in the reception of our hotel, and then set away southwards to Geraldine for a short break before continuing through the Mackenzie Country to beautiful Lake Tekapo in time for lunch. There will be time to visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd and then we embark on our first ride along the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail, on the quiet roads that follow the turquoise blue waters of the hydro canal system. In the late afternoon we head northwards along the edge of Lake Pukaki, giving us panoramic views of Aoraki/Mt Cook. We'll settle into our comfortable accommodation on a high country sheep station in the early evening where we can relax, be treated to a delicious home cooked dinner and hopefully also be rewarded with a spectacular sunset over Lake Pukaki. Cycle Distance: Lake Tekapo to Tekapo B Power Station - 30km Tekapo B Power Station to Braemar Station - 18km Accommodation: Braemar Station

Meals:  D

After a hearty breakfast, we leave Braemar Station and drive back to Tekapo B Power Station to start our ride for the day, keen riders can set away from Braemar Station. The trail winds around the edge of Lake Pukaki before crossing the extensive tussock-lands of Pukaki flats to Twizel. We can admire the impressive views of Aoraki/Mt Cook in the distance. After lunch we cycle past Lakes Ruataniwha and Ohau to the wonderful Lake Ohau Lodge, our accommodation tonight. Surrounded by mountains, overlooking the shimmering lake, there is time to unwind and soak in the onsite hot tubs with a glass of wine. Cycle Distance: Braemar Station to Twizel - 42km Tekapo B Power Station to Twizel - 24km Twizel to Lake Ohau - 38km Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, those who would like a challenge can continue on the trail, which starts as a steady climb up to the Tambrae Saddle. At 900m this is the highpoint of the whole Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail and your efforts are rewarded with stunning views across the Mackenzie Basin. The rough shingle Tarnbrae track is steep and narrow and is suited to the more confident and fitter riders. Alternatively for those who want an easier morning ride, there is the option to ride out from the Lodge on a sealed road down to the highway and then transfer in the bus to meet the rest of the group for an undulating ride on the trail from the historic wool shed at Quailburn into Omarama, our stop for the night. Omarama is called "Place of Light" in Maori terminology, a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky. This region is also famous for gliding due to some unique air wave systems and feisty thermals. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the staggering natural landform, the Clay Cliffs, a geological wonder of ‘bad land’ sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by steep and narrow ravines. The Cliffs were created out of layers of silt and gravel deposited by ancient lakes and rivers around 20 million years ago which have since been uplifted and tilted by the nearby active Ostler Fault, and eroded. There may also be time for an optional soak in a private hot tub of fresh mountain water (subject to availability and at own expense). Cycle Distance: Lake Ohau to Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle - 44km Alternative Option: Lake Ohau Lodge to Highway 23km; Quailburn to Omarama - 26km Accommodation: Omarama Top 10 Holiday Park

Meals:  B,D

This morning we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, we join the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rocky outcrops, little beaches and even tree covered islands. There is an easier option for less confident riders who would prefer to avoid this more technical section. Regrouped, the trail then drops us down from above the Benmore Dam to join a quiet lakeside road and a fun, mostly downhill cycle to Aviemore Dam before our final scenic ride into the small settlement of Kurow. There may be time to explore the town's surrounds or enjoy a wine-tasting at a local vineyard. Tonight we stay and dine at the Kurow Hotel, an 1880 heritage hotel in the town centre. Cycle Distance: Omarama - Kurow 71km Accommodation: Kurow Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we hop back on our bikes for our last ride towards the Pacific Ocean. We ride beside a local vineyard and alongside sections of the Waitaki River before reaching Duntroon, where we turn inland to cycle on a mixture of trail and quiet rural roads. A walk among the unusual rock formations known locally as Elephant Rocks is a must-do on the way past. Following a short section of an old branch railway line, we cycle through the historic Rakis Railway tunnel before a downhill ride into the settlement of Windsor. Our final ride on the trail is 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 before enjoying an evening in the Victorian port. Cycle Distance: Kurow to Oamaru - 77km Accommodation: The Mews, Oamaru

Meals:  B,L

Today we are bound for Dunedin but not before exploring the white-stone township of Oamaru. Here there is time to browse around the old Victorian Precinct with its many galleries, shops and cafes. There may also be time for an optional visit to the fascinating Steampunk Museum (own expense). We then drive South before riding up Mount Cargill, the largest peak in the region with stunning views across the Otago Peninsula, and dropping down onto the edge of the Harbour for a flat pedal beside the water to Aromoana, a tranquil settlement and wildlife hotspot at the mouth of the Otago Harbour. Loading up the bikes, we retrace our steps beside the harbour, before arriving into the city of Dunedin via a visit to Baldwin Street, officially the world's steepest street. Dunedin’s street layout is identical to Edinburgh, Scotland, but the city planners neglected to take into account the topography! Best to walk up Baldwin, rather than try and cycle the 35% gradient! Cycle Distance: - Waititi to Aromoana 29km Accommodation: Dunedin Palms Motel

Meals:  B,D

Today you're free to explore, starting with breakfast when and where you please! By the time the Scottish settlers arrived in Dunedin around the mid-19th century, they found an area rich in Maori history. The rough, tough and enterprising whalers added another element of diversity to this burgeoning Otago harbour. The cultural mix of Maori, whaler and Scot gave early Dunedin a character all its own, and here you will find some of the finest examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. Dunedin’s railway station, known as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations, is said to be the most photographed building in New Zealand. Optional activities include a self-guided cycle on the Otago Peninsula, a wildlife boat cruise on the Harbour, a visit to the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross in the world and a visit to a craft brewery, so take your pick! No guided riding or vehicle support as it's a statutory day off for the guides. Accommodation: Dunedin Palms Motel

Meals:  Nil

This morning, we travel into the stunning region of Central Otago where our cycling adventure continues on the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail. The day begins with a drive to Waitahuna, a small rural hamlet which once thrived in the 19th century after the discovery of gold. Our first section of the trail takes us to another historic gold mining settlement, Lawrence, which was actually the birthplace of the 1860s gold rush. From here the trail passes lush green farmland and reminders of the area’s history before climbing gently up to the 434m-long Big Tunnel. Downhill at Beaumont we’ll meet the mighty Clutha River, New Zealand's largest river by volume and a mass of swirling, turquoise waters. We'll follow the river through the scenic Beaumont Gorge to the small farming settlement of Millers Flat and then across pastoral farmland and past stunning hillside rock formations to our accommodation near Roxburgh. Cycling distance: 80km Accommodation: Clutha Top 10 Holiday Park

Meals:  B,D

Riding from our accommodation, we finish the Clutha Gold Trail at the foot of the Roxburgh Dam, the earliest of the large hydroelectric projects in the lower half of the South Island, built in 1949. Crossing the Dam takes us from the Clutha Gold Trail to the start of our 3rd trail, the striking Roxburgh Gorge Trail. With amazing northerly vistas across the Lake Roxburgh the trail drops into the Gorge and then heads away from the water passing through a small secluded valley with regenerating Ka-nuka (tea tree) scrubland and into sweeping hill country farmland. At Elbow Creek, it’s a gradual descent to Shingle Creek, the halfway mark where we take a scenic jet boat ride for the next 10km to Doctor’s Point. The second half of the trail is equally remote and awe-inspiring with stone-walled water races and other remnants of gold mining activity. We continue tracing the gorge to finally emerge in Alexandra in time for lunch. This afternoon there's an optional loop ride starting along the River Trail offering yet more impressive views of the mighty Clutha river and taking us through to the quaint historic gold mining of Clyde. We head back to Alexandra via the first section of our last trail, the Central Otago Rail Trail, riding past orchards, vineyards and pastures to our accommodation. Cycling distance: Roxburgh to Alexandra : 33km; Alexandra Loop via Clyde : 24k Accommodation: Avenue Motel, Alexandra

Meals:  B

Our final ride is appropriately on the trail that inspired all the other trails! The Central Otago Rail trail was opened in 2000 and was the catalyst for the development of the fantastic trail network that exists today. Built on a disused railway line, it's a relaxing way to finish our trip with easy riding amongst stunning scenery and big skies. Riding on the best section of the trail includes experiencing the Poolburn Gorge, with its impressive viaduct and tunnels, as well as a side visit to Hayes Engineering Homestead, home to Ernest Hayes who back in the 19th century was the original Kiwi innovator, backyard boffin and all-round No 8 wire Einstein! Riding back to our accommodation in Alexandra, we will freshen up and head over to visit a boutique vineyard in Clyde, followed by our final dinner in a cozy restaurant & bar serving upscale New Zealand cuisine in a stone-walled 19th-century store. Cycle Distance : Wedderburn to Alexandra : 71km Accommodation : Avenue Motel, Alexandra

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, it's a 90 minute van transfer to Queenstown, arriving around 10.30am. You can either be dropped at Queenstown airport or at a central location in the town. Queenstown is New Zealand's Adventure Capital, surrounded by mountains and sitting on the shores of the stunning Lake Whakatipu, so it's highly recommended to stay on and spend at least a couple of days exploring this playground. There are numerous hiking and biking trails, as well bungy jumping, jetboating, paragliding, horsetrekking and any other outdoor activity you can think of. There are also day trips to Milford Sound or Glenorchy as well as plenty of world class restaurants and cafes to enjoy.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Tasty breakfasts (x9), picnic or cafe lunches (x3), two course restaurant dinners (x7) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 10 nights comfortable motel/lodge/Top 10 accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 2 experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories
  • Scenic jet boat ride on the Clutha River (Roxburgh Gorge)
  • Wine tasting at a boutique Central Otago vineyard
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • All transport during the trip
  • Rider fees paid to the A2O Trail Trust for ongoing maintenance and improvements
  • Rider fees paid to the Trail Trusts for ongoing maintenance and improvements

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Omarama hot tubs, Otago Harbour Marine cruise)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • 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. 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 rides chosen for this trip are a mixture of Grades 1,2 and 3, with the harder grade 3 sections suitable for regular, experienced cyclists with a good level of fitness and comfortable riding on slightly technical mountain bike trails. The trails can be narrow, single track in places and may include hills, steep drop-offs and small river crossings. Trail surfaces are mainly firm but may include muddy or loose sections, and obstacles such as rocks or tree roots. With the trip being fully supported, less confident riders can choose to miss the Grade 3 sections with easier options available. You will need a reasonable level of fitness with an average daily distance of 50-60km and the longest day around 80km. We suggest 2-4 hours of cycling three to five times a week for the three months leading up to your trip.


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season
H
High Season

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

$5375NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Bike RentalNZD$300
  • Ebike RentalNZD$500
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$1295
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Leanne Adamthwaite & Friends SI Adventure 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

Cycling the Alps to Ocean Trail in New Zealand

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