3
moderate
Activities
  • 6 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 5 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG8358

Alps to Ocean Trip highlights


  • Cycle the full length of the spectacular Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail from Tekapo
  • Soak in the hot pools at Lake Tekapo (optional)
  • Hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
  • Cycle the shoreline of surreal turquoise hydro lakes
  • Stargaze across world renown night skies
  • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct
  • Enjoy good company, & eat delicious food
  • Relax and enjoy the ride while your guides look after the logistics and drive the support vehicle

Explore some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes by ebike on our fully guided and supported Fresh Eire Adventures Alps to Ocean Cycle tour.

From Tekapo, we head through the golden Mackenzie Country on canal paths to Lake Pukaki and the mountainous landscape around Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

From Twizel, the trail follows ancient pathways through the Waitaki Valley where you’ll be wowed by stunning lakes, fascinating hydro dams and picturesque vineyards. A ride through rolling countryside leads down to the historic port town of Oamaru.

Our expert guides will show you the A2O’s best trailside highlights including wine-tasting, hot pools, Maori rock art and otherworldly limestone outcrops. You’ll also enjoy warm hospitality in accommodation full of heritage charm.


Your Alps to Ocean (A2O) adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains. After refreshments in the country town of Geraldine, we’ll continue through rolling farmland to reach Fairlie where we’ll stop for lunch. The scenic journey over Burke’s Pass is a fitting introduction to the famous Mackenzie Country, where Lake Tekapo soon appears as a bright blue jewel. From here, we'll warm the legs up with a ride on quiet backroads to Lake Alexandrina, a serene high country lake. Back at Tekapo Village, there's time to wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, then soak away any first-day aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour. This evening we enjoy our first dinner of hearty food and NZ Wines in a relaxed atmosphere. Cycling distance: up to 44km Accommodation : The Grand Suites Tekapo

Meals:  L,D

Our second day marks the start of our Alps to Ocean journey with a ride along the hydro canals to reach a high terrace overlooking Lake Pukaki and the surrounding mountains. The A2O then dips down to meet the lakeshore and across expansive tussockland to reach Twizel. From here we drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park where there is the chance to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the excellent national park visitor centre (free of charge) before we embark on a short but memorable walk. We'll then head back to Twizel, the friendly wee town that’s our stopping point for the night. This evening we will dine overlooking Lake Pukaki, savouring a gourmet meal, featuring local produce. Cycling distance: Tekapo to Lake Pukaki: 35km. Lake Pukaki to Twizel: 20km Accommodation : The Alps - Twizel

Meals:  B,L,D

The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals with a vast mountainous backdrop, then Lake Ohau where we stop for lunch. Confident riders can continue on the trail to Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), the highpoint of the A2O. The vast Mackenzie Country views are just reward for the climb. Alternatively, riders can transfer to the historic woolshed at Quailburn for a much easier ride down to Omarama – our stop for the night. Translating from Maori as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies, offering incredible star gazing opportunities at night. Tonight we enjoy dinner with a cold beer at a friendly country pub. Cycle distance: 38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau); 44km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or 26km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option) Accommodation : Sierra Motel, Omarama

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s ride takes us down the Waitaki Valley, known for its hydro lakes and dams. First, we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting where we join a new section of trail which follows Benmore Dam and offers super views, swimming opportunities and arguably some of the best riding of the entire trail. Leaving our bikes at Benmore Dam we transit by vehicle the short distance to Otematata to visit Otematata High Country Station and Philippa Cameron who will host us for morning tea. Phillipa is the inspiration behind the blog and Instagram account What's For Smoko. We will hear how she feeds hoards of hungry workers and enjoy a tasty morning tea whilst learning about her most recent project, publishing her second cookbook, 'Winter Warmers: Recipes and stories from a New Zealand high country station'. Returning to our bikes we then ride across the Benmore Dam wall and follow the trail along Lake Aviemore where at a scenic picnic spot we will enjoy our tasty picnic lunch supplied by Philippa. We arrive in Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds, or a wine tasting at the award winning Ostler Vineyards tasting rooms. We’ll stay overnight at Waitaki Braids Lodge, an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce by one of the regions most esteemed chefs. Cycling Distance: Omarama to Kurow - up to 67km Accommodation: Waitaki Braids Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we hop back on the bike for our last ride towards the Pacific Ocean. We take a small interesting detour to visit a hazelnut farm where the owners tell us about the establishment and farming life, and we are rewarded with an amazing home baked morning tea. We pass by a Maori rock art site 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 Raki's tunnel before a downhill ride into the settlement of Windsor. After lunch we cycle 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 and a final group dinner. Cycle Distance: Valley Views to Oamaru - 77km Accommodation: Poshtel, Oamaru

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we have time to explore Oamaru's Victorian Precinct and harbourside park with its arty shops and galleries, before we visit Whitestone Cheese for a factory tour. After an informative guided tour and delicious cheese tasting, we set away on our drive north. Our final experience is a celebratory late lunch at the award winning Riverstone Kitchen, the perfect way to wrap up the Alps to Ocean cycle adventure! We head across the Canterbury Plains, and arrive in central Christchurch around 6-7pm.

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x5), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x6), three course restaurant dinners (x5) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 5 nights comfortable motel/lodge/hotel ensuite accommodation on twin or double share basis or single room option
  • 2 Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • eBike hire including helmet
  • Rider fees paid to the A2O Trail Trust for ongoing maintenance and improvements
  • Whitestone cheese factory tour and tasting
  • Celebratory end of ride lunch at Riverstone Kitchen
  • Entrance fees, meet the growers produce tours, and wine tasting
  • Lake Tekapo Hot Pools
  • Visit into Mt Cook National Park
  • Transport from Christchurch (return)
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance

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 Alps to Ocean is graded moderate. You will need a reasonable level of fitness with an average daily distance of 60km and the longest day upto 80km. We suggest 90 minutes of cycling three to five times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Some of the sections are on seal or hard packed gravel and are relatively easy to ride. Other sections are on looser gravel which can be rough and uneven in places. The moderate sections over the Tarnbrae Saddle and from Sailors Cutting to the Benmore Dam include narrower tracks with some switchbacks and exposure in places. There are also plenty of hills so cycling up hills and on gravel and rougher terrain before your tour will enable you to really enjoy the fantastic riding and diverse scenery. With the trip being fully supported, less confident riders can choose to miss the moderate sections with easier options available.


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

$NZD


Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Fresh Eire Adventures - Alps to Ocean NZ 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.


Alps to Ocean Trip reviews


Alps to Ocean Videos

Cycling the Alps to Ocean Trail in New Zealand

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