• 6 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

10 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG5918

Trip highlights

  • Be reunited with your best cycling friends in NZ
  • Discover the magic of the Catlins Coast, home to an ancient petrified forest, fur seals, rare Hector's dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins
  • Visit Stewart Island, known for its bird and marine life as well as untouched native forest, perhaps see a kiwi!
  • Overnight on the luxury Mariner Boat on the majestic Milford Sound
  • Paddle into the Milford Sound in a sea kayak
  • Cycle to the remote Von Valley and Mavora Lakes, featured in the Lord of the Rings
  • Journey on the historic TSS Earnslaw steamer across shimmering Lake Wakatipu

Majestic fiords, glacial lakes, wild windswept coastlines and unique wildlife experiences characterise New Zealand's southernmost region. This remarkable tour starts in Dunedin where we will explore the Otago Peninsula with the chance to spot a Royal Albatross. We travel southwards along the Catlins Coast, which is known for its beautiful beaches and exotic wildlife. It is a place where forests and farmland harmonise in postcard perfection beside the windswept southern coast. We take a day off the bikes to explore remote Stewart Island, visiting more scenic bays and inlets surrounded by untouched natural forest and experience the incredible bird life on Ulva Island. Returning to the mainland we cycle on very quiet roads bordering Fiordland National Park before an overnight on the remote and magical Milford Sound with its spectacular glaciated walls and rainforests. Finally, where we travel through the isolated Von Valley to arrive at Lake Wakatipu, we cross the shimmering lake by boat to take us to Queenstown.

Once you arrive in Dunedin, please make your way to the group hotel. Airport shuttles and taxis can be arranged in advance to take you to the central city. You are then free to explore Dunedin and make your own dinner arrangements. Accommodation: Dunedin Palms Motel, 185 High Street, Dunedin -

Meals:  Nil

This morning we will meet our guides at 7:30am and head to breakfast before a bike fit and setting off our tour. The sensational cycling begins today on the Otago Peninsula, the edge of an extinct volcanic crater and a picturesque haven of rolling hills, secluded bays, sandy beaches and clifftop vistas. We will drive to Pukehiki on Highcliffe Road to start with a downhill ride to Hoopers Inlet. We follow the shores of the bay round to Papanui Inlet and then up to the northern most point of the peninsula at Taiaroa Head, famous for its Royal Albatross Colony. There is a view point where we have the chance to see these amazing birds soaring overhead, for those interested there is a viewing and information centre which can be visited (an entry fee is payable). We then load up the bikes and drive southwards out of Dunedin towards the coastal settlement of Brighton. Our afternoon ride is flat and follows the beautiful sandy coastline where there are seals and sea lions roaming the beaches. We end todays cycling at Taieri Mouth, where the mighty Taieri River reaches the sea and transfer to our accommodation at Owaka. Tonight we will meet for our first group dinner together and hear more about our week's activities. Cycling Distance: Pukehiki to Taiaroa head - 25km (50% gravel) Island Park Reserve to Taieri Mouth - 23km (paved)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we drive a short distance to Kaka Point on the northern edge of the Catlins. We start today by riding the scenic coastal road towards the iconic Nugget Point, known for its nugget shaped rocks with a short walk taking about 10 minutes to reach the prominent Tokata lighthouse. The point is home to many seabirds, including penguins, gannets and royal spoonbills, and a large breeding colony of fur seals making the perfect spot for a photoshoot. We then backtrack down the coastal road before heading inland and cycling to the small settlement of Pounawea for a picnic lunch overlooking a coastal estuary. In the afternoon our cycling route skirts the beautiful Catlins Lake and climbs to the start of the Purakaunui Falls track. Here we can enjoy a 20 minute walk through native bush to see the stunning cascades. For those keen to keep riding, we can continue through the Catlins Forest Park and follows a hilly road with sea views through to Papatowai to our accommodation near to McLean Falls. Or we can load up the bikes here and drive to visit the McLean Falls, as well as visiting the Cathedral Caves if the tide allows. Cycling Distance: Kaka Point to Pounawea via Nugget Point - 35km (3km gravel) Pounawea to Purakaunui Falls - 17km (mostly gravel) Optional Ride: Purakaunui Falls to Mcleans Falls - 23km (9km gravel)

Meals:  B,L,D

Our cycling route today finds us taking on more scenic cycling along quiet winding roads as we continue along the dramatic Catlins coast. We leave our accommodation and set off along the remote Chaslands Highway, after 12km we can make a short walk to the Koropuku Falls before cycling round the Waikawa Harbour and Porpoise Bay to Curio Bay. We have a relaxed lunch with time to visit the petrified forest and if we are lucky we will see rare Hector's dolphins, fur seals and yellow-eyed penguins while walking on the beach. Our ride this afternoon continues on quiet undulating country roads, past Slope Point, the South Island's southernmost point, towards Waipapa Point Lighthouse, the site of a a major ship wreck and home to many seals and sea lions. We then load up the bikes and drive to Invercargill and our accommodation for the next 2 nights. Cycling Distance: McLean Falls to Curio Bay - 32km (paved) Curio Bay to Waipapa Point - 25km (50% gravel)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a cycling free day to visit the southern most island of NZ; Stewart Island, known for its extraordinary birdlife and beautiful bays. We will take a ferry from Bluff across the Foveaux Strait to Oban, a journey of approx 1 hour. On arrival we will join a tour to visit the unique predator-free Ulva Island, which includes a cruise around Paterson Inlet. We are then free to explore Oban and enjoy more coastal walkways such as to Ackers Point Lighthouse or the famous Rakiura Track. You might even see a Kiwi! The ferry departs Stewart Island at 5:15pm allowing a full day to explore. On arrival back into Bluff we transfer to Invercargill for our second night there. This evening we are free to explore Invercargill, lunch and dinner is at our own expense.

Meals:  B

This morning we start with a drive as we head towards Fiordland and make a few short scenic stops on the way. We can visit the historic fishing town of Riverton, admire stunning sea views from McCracken's Rest on the Southern Coast and the historic suspension bridge at Clifden. We then unload the bikes at Blackmont and cycle towards Manapouri. The road is quiet and is undulating through the rolling pastures of Southland farm country towards the stark arid mountains of the wildest and most pristine part of the far south. Once we reach Manapouri we are dwarfed by the mountains looming all around us and there is no question that we are on the edge of the wonderfully remote Fiordland National Park. In the afternoon we have a choice to cycle or to walk depending on how our legs are feeling. We can ride the Lake to Lake Trail from Lake Manapouri to Lake Te Anau or walk on part of the Kepler Track. The walk option leaves from Rainbow Reach and follows the Waiau River through beautiful beech forest to the Lake Te Anau outlet. In the early evening before dinner we meet to go to a performance at the Fiordland Cinema to see "ata whenua" a beautiful movie showcasing Fiordland landscapes from the air. Cycling Distance: Blackmount to Manapouri - 37km (paved) Optional Cycle: Lake to Lake Trail - approx 25km (gravel) or Walking Distance: 9km taking 2 - 3 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we drive into the Fiordland National Park amid the beech forests and mountains, that the region is famous for. The beautiful Milford road tracks through the wilderness and we stop to enjoy some of the short walks and views on the way, before arriving at The Divide. From here we walk to Key Summit, a 3 hour return hike that gives spectacular views of the Hollyford Valley and Humboldt and Earl mountain ranges. We drive through the Homer Tunnel and onto Milford Sound, stopping en-route to explore the famous Chasm walkway before arriving at our accommodation for the night, our very own floating hotel! This boat takes us out of the Milford Sound and there is the option to take a tender craft to shore to do a short nature walk along the Milford Track. There is also the opportunity to paddle into the calm waters of the sound by sea kayak from our boat, no experience required. Steep walls of the fiord surround us and we have wonderful views of Mitre Peak from our kayak. We relax into an evening of entertainment, fine food and comfortable sleep in our private cabins. In the heart of the wilderness of the Fiordland National Park we are surrounded by magnificent views of the mountains, and under the vast starry sky we can feel quite insignificant amongst this grandeur. Walking Distance: Key Summit - 7km return (385m ascent) Note to solo travellers: All cabins and bathrooms on the Milford Sound Cruise are shared.

Meals:  B,L,D

The next morning after a hearty breakfast, we’ll head out into the Tasman Sea and further explore the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife, hoping to see seals, dolphins and penguins. Back at shore we climb to the Homer Tunnel by bus, if weather conditions allow, we hop on the bikes here and enjoy the wonderful cycle down the Milford Sound Highway and along the very quiet and scenic Hollyford road. A short walk takes us to see the 275m high Humboldt Falls (30 mins return) which are particularly spectacular after rain. We load up our bikes here and transfer by bus back to Te Anau, admiring the wonderful Fiordland scenery and rain forest vegetation on the way. We arrive back in the early evening with time to relax or wander through the small town or for a walk along the lake shore. We are then free to make our own dinner arrangements. Cycling Distance: Hollyford Road - 27km (50% gravel)

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast, we leave Te Anau and journey into the hidden Mavora Lakes, a site of scenes from Lord of the Rings. We cycle by the lakeside and through the beech forest surrounded by high mountains, before continuing on to the isolated Von Valley for lunch. We farewell our supporting coach as we continue downhill towards Mount Nicholas station on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Here we marvel at the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and snow covered Mount Earnslaw at the head of the lake. We cycle around the lake shore to Walter Peak Station where there will be time to wander around the sheep station. We then board the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamer to take us to our final destination, Queenstown. We will be picked up from the wharf and delivered to our downtown accommodation. Tonight we enjoy a final group dinner to celebrate our week's cycling achievements. Cycling Distance: Mavora Lakes to Walter Peak Station - 50km (gravel)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after our final breakfast we say a sad farewell to our guides and cycling companions and make our own onward travel arrangements. Taxis, shuttles and buses are readily available to Queenstown Airport and can be organised in advance. Additional accommodation can be booked in Queenstown for you if required (own expense).

Meals:  B


  • 8 nights hotel/motel accommodation, based on twin share with ensuite facilities
  • 1 night on the Mariner boat on Milford Sound, twin share with shared facilities
  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 evening meals
  • 2 professional qualified driver/guides
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Hybrid mountain bike hire (including helmet)
  • Ferry journey to Stewart Island and guided walk on Ulva Island
  • Entrance fee to the Fiordland Cinema in Te Anau
  • Kayaking on Milford Sound
  • A journey on the TSS Earnslaw steamer across Lake Wakatipu
  • Water and snacks while cycling
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • e-Bike Hire (upgrade fee is payable)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg Royal Albatross Colony, Glowworm cave tour)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • 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. Learn more about our guides on our team page at



To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the trails, daily distances, the amount of climbing and the length of the trip. The McPherson & Friends Deep South Cycle Tour is graded moderate. You will need a good level of fitness and we suggest 90 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling, jogging or swimming) three to four times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Practise riding on loose gravel roads with some hills to get the maximum enjoyment out of your cycling adventure. 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

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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$1250
  • e-Bike UpgradeNZD$400
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed McPherson & Friends Deep South 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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