Introductory to Moderate
  • 12 days biking, walking and kayaking
  • 11 nights hotel/motel
  • 8 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 10 Breakfasts

12 Days$9295NZD

Trip Code: SOG8583

Trip highlights

  • Explore wild coast, lakes and rainforest –backed by the mighty Southern Alps
  • Enjoy a delightful ride around Lake Kaniere, one of New Zealand's most beautiful Lakes
  • Explore the outstanding beauty of some of NZ's stunning National Parks
  • Kayak on the largest unmodified estuarine lagoon, feeding ground for thousands of wading birds
  • Bike to remote Jackson Bay, overlooking the wild Tasman Sea.
  • Admire the majesty of NZ's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Hike up Rocky Mountain for outstanding views across Lake Wanaka
  • Enjoy an unforgettable kayak excursion on Lake Wanaka
  • Bike upto Aoraki Mt Cook Village and enjoy a hike up the Hooker Valley or Tasman Glacier
  • Take an optional excursion to Milford Sound
  • Hike to Ben Lomond saddle with exceptional views of Lake Whakatipu

This tour is packed full of stunning scenery with the jaw-dropping backdrops of the Southern Alps and several of New Zealand's National Parks. We start with our first traverse of the Alps as we head across from Christchurch to the West Coast, stopping along the way for a trek to the first of many beautiful waterfalls.

We reach the West Coast at Hokitika, a historic gold-mining town fronted by a dramatic beach and famous for pounamu (greenstone) and other arts & crafts. And sunsets. Whilst here, we'll enjoy a bike ride around Lake Kaniere, one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand.

Heading down the Coast, our next 2 days are spent in Glacier County, kayaking amongst 70 species of wading bird and hiking in the rainforest of the Westland National Park, all the while surrounded by mountains and glaciers.

Further down the coast we'll bike to the remote settlement of Jackson Bay with spectacular views of the Tasman Sea.

Our next ride takes us to Lake Country where our home will be Lake Wanaka, gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park and an outdoor haven. The Rocky Mountain Track offers outstanding views of Lake Wanaka and surrounding mountains and we'll get up close and personal with Lake Wanaka on an unforgettable kayak adventure.

Qúeenstown, New Zealand's Adventure Capital, is home for the next 3 nights, where you can choose to spend a day visiting Milford Sound with its towering peaks, waterfalls and dense bush or enjoy a hike on Ben Lomond high above Lake Whakatipu.

Our last 2 nights will be spent in the close company of Aoraki Mt Cook and its surrounding National Park. Biking up the side of Lake Pukaki towards Mt Cook National Park and hiking up the Hooker Valley in the Park will be memorable activities to end this scenic journey.

We meet in a central city location in Christchurch around 08:00am and after a short tour briefing we’ll head straight out of town towards the West Coast. We’ll break the journey for lunch and the delightful Devil’s Punchbowl walk through beech forest, zigzagging up 240 steps to one of New Zealand’s most stunning waterfalls. We’ll reach Hokitika, a historic gold-mining town fronted by a dramatic beach and famous for pounamu (greenstone) and other arts & crafts. And sunsets. In the evening we are hosted for our first group dinner by local couple, Rob and Col for a paddock to plate home cooked dining experience in their architecturally designed eco home. Hiking : 1 hr return including 240 steps Driving Time : 5 hours Accommodation : Beachfront Motel, Hokitika

Meals:  D

Our first trip ride today takes us inland through rural country to reach the bush-lined Lake Kaniere. Nestled in the forested foothills, Lake Kaniere is a grand sight indeed. We’ll follow its shores, partly on sealed road and partly on hard packed shingle, to reach the small township of Kokatahi where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch. Hokitika Gorge is up next. A short walkway offers a chance to see its granite boulders and swirling, surreal turquoise waters from many angles. From there, we'll transfer further down the West Coast to the village of Franz Josef in Glacier Country. Enjoy dinner of your choice in one of the town’s many restaurants and pubs. Cycling distance: 37km/21 miles, 379m/1243ft Hiking : Hokitika Gorge 2.5km/1.6miles loop Accommodation : Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef

Meals:  B,L

This morning we'll enjoy an easy cycle to the small coastal settlement of Okarito, New Zealand's largest unmodified estuarine lagoon - home to more than 70 bird species, including the beautiful kotuku or white heron and royal spoonbills. The lagoon is surrounded by lush native rainforest, above which rise the towering snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps. The area is an important feeding ground for thousands of wading birds and there's a huge area of shallow open water and tidal flats perfect for sheltered water kayaking. We’ll follow a guided kayak trail which brings us up close (but not too close) and personal with this amazing colony of birds. Heading back to Franz Josef there’ll be time to soak in the hot springs or enjoy a short walk to a Glacier viewpoint before dinner. Cycling Distance : 27km/17miles, +210m/689m Kayaking : 2 hrs Hiking : Optional 600m 30 mins Accommodation : Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we’ll continue traveling down the West Coast to the Haast area, situated on the western edge of Mount Aspiring National Park, in the heart of a world heritage area. On the way we'll enjoy native bush on one side and the wild West coast on the other, with numerous bridges crossing glacial rivers as they tumble from the Southern Alps out to the Tasman Sea. The West Coast road ends at Jackson Bay, a small remote village 50km south of Haast and given the road to Jackson Bay is often rated as one of the West Coast’s ‘best kept secrets’ by visitors, it's a given that cycling from Haast to Jackson's Bay is today's activity! Tonight we'll enjoy dinner at an iconic West Coast pub, likely surrounded by visiting hunters and fishermen, as well as a good number of the 90 locals. Cycle Distance : 49kms/31miles, +334m/1096ft Scenic Drive : 2.5 hours Accommodation : Haast Motel & Camping Ground

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we journey along one of the most scenic roads in New Zealand, linking Haast and the Lakes District via the Haast Pass - you'll see mountains, rivers, lakes and more! We start on our bikes and ride past tea-stained swamps, skirting undulating forests and following the stunning Haast River as it travels among steep mountains cloaked in lush rainforest. Reaching the base of the Haast Pass, we'll load up the bikes and head over the Pass into a dramatic change in terrain, with golden tussock-covered hills and the stunning wind-shipped glacial lakes of Hawea and Wanaka. We finish our journey in the picturesque alpine village of Wanaka where the late afternoon and evening are free for you to enjoy, including dinner on your own. Cycle Distance : 47km/35miles, 518m/1700ft Walks : Short walk to waterfall Scenic Drive : 1.5hrs Accommodation : Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Meals:  B,L

Lake Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s largest lakes situated in a glacier carved basin and is surrounded by the majestic snow capped mountains of the Southern Alps. This makes it the ideal location for an unforgettable morning kayaking adventure exploring the beautiful coastline whilst enjoying the outstanding scenery. After lunch we head to Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain, which offer a variety of short or half-day walks with spectacular lake and mountain views. We head back to our accommodation before a group dinner in this delightful resort town. Kayaking : 4 hours Hiking : 45min to 3 hours options Acommodation : Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we travel by bus and bike from one glacial lake to another, leaving Lake Wanaka in the van and arriving by bike in Queenstown on the edge of Lake Whakatipu. After breakfast, it's an hour transfer down the side of Lake Dunstan and through the stunning Kawera Gorge to the site of the World's First Bungy Jump at the Kawerau Suspension Bridge! From here, we'll spend the rest of the day enjoying biking on sections of The Queenstown Trail, one of New Zealand's Great Rides. Surrounded by sheer mountain ranges, the trail threads through the Whakatipu Basin on a mix of lakeside paths, country lanes, quiet roads and cross-country cycleways. We'll start on the Arrow River Bridges trail, riding alongside the Arrow River and crossing suspension bridges into historic Arrowtown in time for a leisurely wander and lunch. This afternoon, we head to Queenstown via quiet country lanes and easy, hard packed off road tracks following the Kawerau and Shotover Rivers and surrounded by mountains in all directions. Queenstown is New Zealand's Adventure Capital with plenty to keep us entertained for the next 2 days. Cycling distance: 43km/27miles Scenic Drive : 1hr Accommodation : Blue Peaks Motel, Queenstown

Meals:  B,D

Today there’s the option of a very long lie-in and spending the rest of the day cruising Queenstown’s many cafes and outdoor shops or you can stick with the active theme of the tour and choose one of the myriad of activities offered by NZ’s adrenaline capital! Bunjy jumping, jet boating, rafting, ziplining, off-road driving, mountain biking, hiking…the list is almost endless. Surrounded by mighty mountain ranges, glistening lakes and swooping trails there is literally something for everyone to enjoy in Queenstown. Further afield you could also choose to spend the day visiting Milford Sound, arguably the most stunning fiord in Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Area. It’s lined by sheer rock faces that soar 1,200m or more from the sea. At 1692 metres, the iconic Mitre Peak is a spectacular sight and New Zealand’s most photographed mountain. Visiting Milford Sound you will be in the heart of a rainforest, which creates walls of temporary waterfalls. Glorious on a fine day, the ethereal, moody beauty in the rain is equally spectacular. All meals at your leisure today. Accommodation : Blue Peaks Motel, Queenstown

Meals:  Nil

Today is our Queen stage hike! We take the gondola above the township and then access the walking track to Ben Lomond, slowly meandering our way to a highpoint lookout with spectacular panoramic views over Queenstown, Lake Whakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges. This is an out and back hike, so the turnaround point is flexible with the longest option a 7km/4.4mi return hike to the Ben Lomond saddle, at 1,326m/4349ft. Descending back the same way, there'll be time for a final wander to the Lakefront or Botanical Gardens before dinner. Hiking : upto 7km/4.4mi return; 3 hours Accommodation : Blue Peaks Motel, Queenstown

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we head to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, a rugged land of ice and rock, with 19 peaks over 3,000 metres including New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook. Leaving Queenstown, we pass back through the Gibbston Valley wine growing region and the historic gold mining district of the rugged Kawarau River Gorge. Next up the famous fruit growing region of Cromwell followed by a drive up the shores of Lake Dunstan that leads us to the dramatic Lindis Pass. Crossing the Pass we enter the high-country landscape of the MacKenzie Basin and stop for a wander and lunch in the town of Twizel, founded in 1968 to house construction workers on the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme. After lunch we cycle the final stretch of our journey, following the shore of the stunning Lake Pukaki to the Aoraki/Mt Cook village. Cycling Distance : 56km/49miles, +623m/2043ft Scenic Drive : 3 hrs Accommodation : The Hermitage, Mt Cook Village

Meals:  B,D

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of ice and rock. Walking one of the tracks is the best way to experience this ancient landscape. The Hooker Valley track leads up the Hooker Valley and along the Hooker River, ending at the glacier lake, where there are amazing views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the Mueller Glacier on a clear day. Along the way we’ll cross the Hooker River via three swingbridges and encounter picturesque icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains. The afternoon is free to stretch your legs on one of the short walks in the Park or perhaps explore the Edmund Hillary Centre or the highly recommended DOC centre Returning to our accommodation we’ll gather for a final trip dinner and enjoy reliving all the great experiences we’ve had! Hiking : Hooker Valley 10km/6.3mi rtn, 3hrs; Accommodation : The Hermitage, Mt Cook Village

Meals:  B,L,D

The drive back to Christchurch offers more great views as we head back down Lake Pukaki and continue through the MacKenzie Basin. We'll stop firstly at Lake Tekapo for a wander along the Lakefront to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the region’s most famous and photographed icons. With the aim to simply be part of the landscape in memory of the pioneers of the Mackenzie, the Church was built from local stone gathered from within 5 miles of the site. Close by, keeping watch over the lake, is a bronze sheepdog statue, a tribute to all the working dogs who have made sheep farming possible in the Mackenzie region. Continuing on to the pretty country towns of Fairlie and Geraldine, we then cross the vast Canterbury Plains to arrive back into Christchurch in the late afternoon.

Meals:  B


  • 11 nights hand picked hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x10), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x7), two course restaurant dinners (x8) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 8 x People Cycling Happy Hours
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Private vehicle transport with trailer for luggage
  • Kayak expeditions on Okarito Lagoon and Lake Wanaka
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Transport from Christchurch (return)
  • Hiking poles on request if required - please let our staff know in advance
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Bike Hire (including helmet)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Optional activities eg. Milford Sound excursion
  • 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. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. They come from all walks of life but they all have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, heaps of fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you. We provide you with the services of two guides for many of our trips, (this may depend on the size of the group). All are certified in first aid and CPR and many are advanced mountain guides.



Introductory to Moderate  

This trip is graded moderate. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 4 hours of cycling and hiking per week for three months leading up to your trip. You will need to be able to walk for 3-4 hours at a time on undulating paths. The bike rides are on either asphalt or hard packed gravel and we recommend completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip to get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time. 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. You do not need to have any previous experience of kayaking before you join this tour, it is an introductory kayak excursion. You will receive instructions and a full briefing by your experienced kayak guide before you set off on the water.

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Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed People Cycling NZ South Island Scenic Bike, Hike & Kayak 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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