• 14 days cycling
  • 16 nights hotel/motel/lodge/resort
  • 12 Dinners
  • 9 Lunches
  • 14 Breakfasts

17 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7635

Trip highlights

  • Cycle on the spectacular Alps to Ocean Trail, Otago Central Rail Trail and the West Coast Wilderness Trail all in one trip!
  • Enjoy 2 spectacular one-day rides in Central Otago, the Clutha Gold and the Lake Hawea Trails
  • Hike beneath Aoraki/Mt Cook in the World Heritage National Park
  • Discover the ancient Elephant Rock formations, part of the Waitaki Unesco Geopark
  • Explore the charming Victorian Precinct in Oamaru and the Victorian city of Dunedin
  • Enjoy the beauty of Wanaka and the numerous activities it has to offer
  • Take an optional jet boat up the Wilkin River Valley, surrounded by snow capped mountains
  • Bike past the rugged coastlines, pristine lakes and alpine landscapes of the West Coast
  • Complete the journey on the scenic and world famous TranzAlpine train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Join Adventure South NZ to savor majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines and emerald blue lakes. This ultimate 17 day adventure offers the perfect opportunity to experience several of the famous multi-day and one day cycle trails throughout the South Island.

After 2 days based in the garden city of Christchurch we begin our trail rides with the Alps to Ocean trail near Aoraki/Mount 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 Victorian port of Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean. We then travel to the Scottish settlement of Dunedin for a free day before heading inland for 3 days of spectacular riding in the Central Otago region. Here we'll follow the mighty Clutha River on the Clutha Gold trail, enjoy the best section of the Otago Rail Trail and enjoy some lovely riding around Lake Hawea.

We have a free day in Wanaka within the beautiful Lakes District where there are opportunities to kayak, walk, join a wine tour or simply relax in the stunning environment. Our journey continues northwards, crossing Haast Pass where you'll be greeted by lush rainforests and surreal coastlines featuring high cliffs and crashing seas. After an overnight stop in Franz Josef we'll continue North to Ross and the start of the West Coast Wilderness trail. We'll follow extensive water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines enjoying local hospitality and staying in the delightful coastal town of Hokitika. On our last day we cross the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train, reputedly one of the world's greatest train journeys; and then descend to Christchurch to the end of this amazing adventure.

Welcome to Aotearoa! Please make arrangements to travel to the Pavilions Hotel, 42 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch in time to build your bikes and attend a welcome meeting late afternoon followed by the first Group Dinner to celebrate the start of what will be a fantastic trip experiencing several of New Zealand's Great Rides throughout the South Island. Accommodation : Pavilions Hotel

Meals:  D

We will be collected from the Pavilions Hotel at 0900am and driven up onto the top of the Port Hills, a range of hills which are an eroded remnant of a volcano which erupted millions of years ago and lie between the city of Christchurch and its port at Lyttelton. Riding along the Summit Road we'll be surrounded by stunning scenery with the Southern Alps in the distance on one side and Lyttelton Harbour on the other. We'll drop down into Lyttelton and have a break to wander around this delightful port settlement. We'll head back up to the Summit Road and ride out to Godley Head, a prominent headland located at the entrance to the Harbour before dropping down into the seaside village of Sumner for an optional swim and/or ice-cream. A short drive back into town and a meal highlighting local Canterbury produce. Ride : up to 44km, 28mi/ 666m, 2184ft Accommodation : Pavilions Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we drive south to Geraldine for a refreshment break before heading into the arid Mackenzie Country for lunch at our destination, Lake Tekapo, which appears as a bright blue jewel. From here, we'll enjoy a ride on quiet backroads up the edge of Lake Tekapo to Lake Alexandrina, a serene high country lake, home to the protected crested grebe waterbird, with the option to extend the ride upto the Cass River. Returning the same way back at Tekapo Village, there's time to wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, and time permitting, soak away any aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour. Cycle Distance: Tekapo to Lake Alexandrina/Cass River - upto 42km,26mi/ 452m, 1483ft Accommodation: Lake Tekapo Village Motels

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we set away on the first of the three famous multi-day cycle trails we are to experience this tour - the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We start by following quiet roads alongside the turquoise blue waters of the canal system, cycling past a salmon farm and enjoying a fast down hill to the edge of Lake Pukaki with our first views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Next up is a short ride on well formed single track around the bottom of Lake Pukaki before rejoining the canal system through to our final glacial lake, Lake Ohau. Another short section of easy single track follows and finally onto a quiet back country road round to Lake Ohau Lodge, where we can relax overlooking the shimmering water and the impressive Ben Ohau Mountain Range. Cycle Distances : Lake Tekapo to Lake Ohau Lodge : 85km/53mi/ +467m/1532ft Accommodation : Lake Ohau Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we transfer from Mackenzie Country to the Waitaki Valley, recently awarded UNESCO Geopark status in recognition of its unique limestone geology. The area is also steeped in Maori and early European settler history. Starting our ride in the small farming settlement of Duntroon, we turn inland on beautiful quiet rural roads. We take a walk amongst the weird rock formations known locally as the Elephant Rocks. The rest of the day is spent amidst more spectacular limestone outcrops and landscapes and after negotiating Rakis Tunnel, an old railway tunnel, we follow part of an old railway line as we gradually descend towards the beautifully restored historic town of Oamaru. After riding through the town’s delightful municipal gardens, we’ll reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park, the official end of the Alps to Ocean Trail. We spend the night in this quaint town so there's an option after dinner to join an evening tour to watch the Blue Penguins, the world's smallest penguins, in their natural habitat as they return home from their day's fishing. Cycle Distance: Duntroon to Oamaru - 65km,41mi/+692m,2270ft Accommodation: The Mews Motel

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we make our way from the Victorian town of Oamaru to the Victorian city of Dunedin. We start the day with a coastal ride from Oamaru which provides breathtaking views of white sand beaches and the Pacific Ocean. We dismount in Waianakarua where the coastal traffic increases and drive the next section. Our next stop is the perfectly spherical Moeraki Boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach. Believed to be at least 60 million years old, each boulder weighs several tons and can be upto six feet high. Our cycling route then continues from Waitati on Blueskin Bay up Mount Cargill (option to get a lift to the top!), dropping down to the harbourside and out to the small coastal settlement of Aramoana. From here we head into Dunedin, New Zealand's oldest city with a rich Scottish, Chinese and Maori heritage. Cycling Distances : Oamaru coastal ride : 28km,18mi/ +242m,794ft Mt Cargill ride : 26km,16mi/ +494m,1620ft Accommodation : Dunedin Palms Motel

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is an official day off for your guide, to comply with New Zealand passenger transport regulations, so our suggested itinerary is completely optional as you will be self-guided! 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 of 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. So, options include a self guided walk around the city, a fascinating wildlife cruise in the Otago Harbour with an optional extra visit to Lanarch Castle or a self-guided bike ride starting from your motel and heading alongside the Otago Harbour to Portobello. This ride heads 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. Optional Cycling Distance: Dunedin to Portobello - 28 km, 315m one way Accommodation: Dunedin Palms Motel

Meals:  Nil

Today is the start of some sensational cycling through the Otago region with the first of 3 rides in this stunning area, the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail. We begin in the morning with a transfer to Lawrence, where we have the chance to explore this small historical and charming village, before jumping on our bikes for a gentle incline up to Big Tunnel Hill and through its namesake, the 434m tunnel. After being rewarded with a fun downhill into the small township of Beaumont, we’ll meet the swift turquoise waters of the Clutha River, NZ's second longest river, for the first time. From Beaumont we head into a stunning gorge for another 20kms of beautiful riverside cycling before reaching the small farming town of Millers Flat. The final 14km of today's ride sees us cycling past Dumbarton Rock, which once stretched all the way across the river, before riding past the network of orchards and rural farmland alongside the Clutha River. Our destination is Pinders Pond, a tranquil camping and swimming spot which might be inviting before a transfer to our accommodation in the art deco town of Ranfurly. Cycling Distance: Lawrence to Pinders Pond - 58km,36mi/ +1453ft

Meals:  B,D

Today we embark on the best section of 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. This was the first Great Ride and we start riding from our motel up the Maniototo Valley to the highest point of the trail (618m). We pass through Wedderburn where you will see the iconic green goods shed (subject of a well know painting by local artist Graeme Sydney) and the original Wedderburn Station. We descend into the Ida Valley and make a visit to the Hayes Engineering works, where some of New Zealand's first industrial farm equipment was invented. We continue onto the most dramatic part of the trail, crossing the 37m high Poolburn Viaduct, through 2 long tunnels and into the rocky and willow tree-edged Pooleburn Gorge before arriving at Lauder. After loading up, it's an hour's transfer to Cromwell, another settlement born from the gold rush days. Cycling Distance: Ranfurly to Lauder - 47km,29mi/ +1030ft Accommodation: Carrick Motel, Cromwell

Meals:  B,D

Today we start with a ride on the newest of New Zealand's Great Rides, the Lake Dunstan Trail. From the Bannockburn Bridge it's a short ride through to the Cromwell Heritage Precinct and then the trail heads along the shores of Lake Dunstan finishing part way up the lake. We'll load up the bikes here for a short transfer to our next ride on quiet back country roads through to the stunning lakefront of Lake Hawea, surrounded by epic mountain ranges. One final ride on a lovely track from Hawea following the Hawea River before we load up and have a very short transfer to Wanaka. Our home for the next 3 nights, this stunning township sits on the lakeside with a backdrop of snowy mountains. The evening is free to wander around Wanaka township or along the lake shore and to make our own dinner arrangements. Cycling Distance: Bannockburn Bridge to Smiths Way - 23km,14mi/ +155m,508ft Hawea Backroads : 20km,12mi/ +263m, 863ft Hawea River Trail : 12km,8mi/ +155m, 508ft Accommodation: Edgewater Resort

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a day at leisure in Wanaka. Here we are free to relax, enjoy a walk along the lake or up Mt Iron or Mt Roy to recharge our batteries. There are also shops and galleries to visit, numerous cafes and restaurants, if not partaking in a sky dive, jet boating, kayaking or another adrenalin activity! Accommodation: Edgewater Resort

Meals:  Nil

Back on the bikes, today it's a nice mix of bitumen and gravel roads. We head out past the lake to Glendhu Bay, a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wanaka. The road continues past rolling farmland and through the wilderness of the Matukituki Valley where the gravel starts along with with the high mountains and glacier views of Mt Aspiring National Park. Continuing past rocky outcrops, remnants of ancient glaciers and onto a graveled road, you ride past farmland following the Matukituki River upstream into epic views of glaciers, mountain peaks and tussock grasslands through to the end of the road at Raspberry Creek, where tramping access into Mt. Aspiring National Park begins. This is a stunning ride, so those still with energy to burn may like to ride back the same way whilst others can enjoy the views on the way back through the bus windows! Cycling Distance : 50km,31mi/ 467m,1532ft one way Accommodation : Edgewater Resort

Meals:  B,L

From Wanaka, we drive to the top of the Haast Pass, the boundary between the regions of Otago and Westland, and enter the famous West Coast forests. We cycle down through the 'Gates of Haast' on sealed roads to the flats of the Landsborough River for lunch. Our route continues along the Haast River with its rainforest clad mountain slopes and numerous waterfalls until the spectacular ride ends on the coast at Ship Creek. Here the ancient kahikatea swamp forest provides a glimpse back in time to what much of the West Coast may have looked like prior to human settlement. We drive the remaining distance to the township of Fox Glacier, home to one of only 3 temperate glaciers in the world. It's own dinner arrangements tonight before an early morning start. Cycling Distance : 77kms,48mi/ 589m,1932ft Accommodation: Mt Cook View Motel, Fox Glacier

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we take a 45 minute early walk around the jewel-like Lake Matheson, a photographer’s paradise with potential to capture brilliant mountainous reflections. After our walk we continue the drive north to the town of Ross, where we connect up with the last of our cycle trails - the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We follow the cycleway north through wetlands, native forest and old mill sites, with a stop at the Treetop Walkway and cafe. Here we will walk on custom built platforms experiencing temperate rainforest giants from up high. Continuing along the the historic Mahinapua Tramline and with views of Lake Mahinapua and a backdrop of the Southern Alps, we arrive in Hokitika. Hokitika is a quiet coastal town known for the crafting of Pounamu (greenstone) from the West Coast. We can enjoy a walk on the beach to admire a stunning West Coast sunset (if conditions are right) and the interesting driftwood sculptures. Cycling Distance: Ross to Hokitika - 3 km,20mi/ +200m, 656ft Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel

Meals:  B,D

This morning we'll start with an early breakfast to allow us to complete the best section of the Wilderness Trail. 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. Our ride continues through the amazing bush trails, first to Milltown, home of saw-milling in earlier times, and then via a kilometre of switchback climbing upto the high point. 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 Kumara. A short transfer back to Hokitika where there will be time for a wander around the town before dinner at your leisure. Cycling Distance: Hokitika to Kumara - Up to 72km,45mi/ +694m, 2276ft

Meals:  B,L

Today we head back across the Southern Alps by catching the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch. Rated as one of the best train journeys in the world, this makes a fitting end to our South Island adventure. There will be time this morning to pack up your bikes and luggage ready for your journey home. Tonight we'll all enjoy a final Dinner to celebrate new friendships and a fantastic riding adventure.

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, there will be a group transfer to Christchurch Airport for those heading home or onto another destination.

Meals:  B


  • Group arrival and group departure airport transfers
  • Healthy and nutritious meals (14 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 12 dinners)
  • Energy snacks, bars, fruit and drinks while cycling and morning and afternoon tea
  • Private vehicle transport/support vehicle with suitable tandem trailer
  • Entrance fee to West Coast Treetop Walkway
  • TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch
  • Family owned winery visit and tasting
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • Exclusive itinerary and arrangements for TEASE

  • Travel insurance - strongly recommended
  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast morning/afternoon tea
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (e.g. Steampunk Museum, activities in Wanaka, Wilkin jetboat safari)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)

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. Learn more about our guides on our team page at www.adventuresouth.co.nz.

Trail Surface



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 trails and the length of the trip. This cycle tour is graded moderate. You will need a good level of fitness and we suggest 2-3 hours of cycling three to five times a week in the months leading up to your trip. You will need to be able to cycle 50-60km each day, day after day. Some of the trails are on hard packed gravel, some sections are loose gravel which can be rough and uneven in places and there are hills. We recommend practise cycling up hills and on gravel before your tour, it will make the experience a lot more fun. 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


Base Price

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*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Tandem TEASE South Island Great Rides 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

Similar trips

The Tasman Sea from above | Lachlan Gardiner
New Zealand
151 Reviews
Cycle over the grand Poolburn Viaduct | Lachlan Gardiner
New Zealand
66 Reviews
Riding the Alps to Ocean | Gesine C
New Zealand
361 Reviews
Cycling the Lake Dunstan Trail | Ross Mackay
New Zealand
127 Reviews
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips