Flexible cancellationsBook stress freeLearn more
4
Introductory to Moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 6 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 3 nights motel
  • 1 night historic lodge
  • 1 night historic school house
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days$3395NZD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms.

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to a maximum of 14 people


Trip Code: SOG6691

Alps to Ocean Trip highlights


  • Passionate foodie, Helen Jackson will inform and inspire
  • Meet the growers/producers of hazelnuts, honey, salmon, vineyards to name a few
  • Eat, taste, and ebike down the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Tekapo
  • Hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
  • Ride through the iconic Mackenzie Country tussocklands and surreal turquoise hydro lakes
  • Meet Philippa Cameron founder of "Whats For Smoko"
  • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct
  • Stargaze across world renown night skies
  • Stay at the Waitaki Braids Lodge & historic Old School House
  • Enjoy good company, & eat delicious food

Explore some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes and culinary delights as you embark in comfort on our fully guided and supported Alps to Ocean Cycle tour, hosted by NZ foodie, Helen Jackson.

From Tekapo, we commence riding 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.

Enjoy warm, southern hospitality, heritage charm as well as some fabulous local produce and producers along the way including salmon, hazelnuts, wine and so much more. An Alps to Ocean trip unlike any other.


Your food lovers adventure meets at 8am in Central Christchurch before we drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains along the Inland Scenic Route to the foot of the Southern Alps passing through thriving country towns. We stop for coffee at The Staveley Cafe and Store Established in 1876 where tasty gourmet treats sit alongside beautiful homewares inspired by near by Mount Somers Station. We continue on our travels south along to the country town of Geraldine where we enjoy a pit stop at the Barkers Foodstore and Eatery. We carry on through rolling farmland to reach the Farmbarn Cafe to fuel up before our first ride this afternoon. 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. We hop on our e-bikes, we’ll ease into our A2O ride along peaceful hydro-canal paths lined with epic panoramas before dropping down to the Tekapo B Power Station on the banks of Lake Pukaki where we load up and return to Lake Tekapo for the night. There will be an opportunity to visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd and some might like a dip in the hot pools at Tekapo Springs after dinner. Cycling distance: up to 30km

Meals:  L,D

Our second day starts with some easy riding from the Lake Pukaki viewpoint around the base of the lake to the Pukaki Flats and onto High Country Salmon where the farm manager will host a tour and tasting of the Chinook (King) salmon farm and learn how New Zealand came to inheriting one of the most beautiful and spectacular fish in the world from McLeod River, California. Lunch is at the farms floating cafe. After lunch we commence the fabulous drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park where we stop at the New Zealand Alpine Lavender farm which is the largest organic lavender farm in the Southern Hemisphere. Strong winds, fierce sunshine, snow and ice, and unexpected crispy cool days make up the volatile climate, and are some of the reasons New Zealand Alpine Lavender is so potent and unique. Driving into the vast glaciated alpine valleys of Mt Cook Village is a memorable experience. We have an opportunity 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 to view the Tasman Glacier. We spend the night under the towering alps in Mt Cook Village and and enjoy a group dinner at the prestigious Hermitage Hotel. Cycling distance: 25km (Pukaki Viewpoint to High Country Salmon)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we drive to Twizel where we get back on our bikes. The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside Lake Ruataniwha, then Lake Ohau where we stop for a gourmet platter lunch on the deck overlooking the lake and alpine peaks. 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. We then load up and drive to the Clay Cliffs a unique geological wonder; ‘bad land’ sharp pinnacles and ridges separated by steep and narrow ravines which look dramatic and 'otherworldly'. By mid afternoon we drive onto Omarama – our stop for the night. Translating as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies. They are best appreciated at the local hot pools where you can soak in fresh, mountain water (own expense). Cycle distance: 38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau); 41km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or 23km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option)

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 some of the best riding of the entire trail. We ride into Otematata to visit to the iconic Otematata High Country Station and Philippa Cameron who is the inspiration behind the website and Instagram account What's For Smoko. We will hear Phillipa's story, learn her secrets in feeding hoards of hungry workers and enjoy a tasty lunch. This afternoon we ride from Aviemore Dam and arrive in Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds, enjoy scones in the lodge or some winetasting at the award winning Ostler Vineyards tasting rooms. We’ll stay overnight in Kurow at Waitaki Braids Lodge, an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce by one of the regions most esteemed chefs. Cycle distance: 51km (Omarama to Otematata = 35km then Aviemore Dam to Kurow = 16)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River to a hazelnut farm then onto Waitaki Honey both business which deliver the highest quality produce to a following of chefs. We then ride past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon. From there, we head inland into rolling country and wander around the unique Elephant Rocks, huge formations strewn across a field. Picking up the old railway line, we’ll ride through Raki's tunnel before rolling downhill to the settlement of Windsor. The historic School House is a fitting place for our final night, our final evening meal will be served in the local Enfield Tavern where we enjoy great food and warm hospitality. Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) & 35km (Duntroon–School House, Enfield)

Meals:  B,L,D

We get to enjoy one more ride on the A2O before we begin our road trip back to Christchurch. Setting off from our accommodation, we keep on rolling through picturesque rural countryside. We pass Oamaru Stone quarry, where stone has been extracted since the nineteenth century. We’ll see its influence on local architecture once we reach Oamaru. After riding through the town’s delightful municipal gardens, we’ll reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park where the A2O finish-line sign offers the perfect photo-op. We wonder among the shops and galleries of the Victorian Precinct before our final foodie experience, a celebratory late lunch at the award winning Riverstone Kitchen which will be nice way to wrap up the Tastes of the Alps to Ocean ebike adventure! We'll begin our journey north across the Canterbury Plains, arriving in central Christchurch around 6pm. (Please do not book flights departing before 7:45pm) Cycle distance: 25km (School House–Oamaru)

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • All meals (5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners)
  • 5 nights hotel/lodge ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • 2 Professional qualified driver guides to keep you safe and informed
  • Private vehicle transport from/to Christchurch
  • Private support vehicle to rest sore muscles
  • Tasty energy snacks and drinks while cycling
  • Celebratory end of ride lunch at Riverstone Kitchen
  • Entrance fees and meet the growers produce tours
  • Ebike including helmet hire
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Tekapo hot pools, Omarama hot tubs, Steampunk Gallery)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

About Your Leader

Your cycle will be led by a fabulous local guide who will give you insightful information during your travels, answer questions you may have and provide a safe and happy environment during your travels so that you can relax, taste and enjoy what this land has to offer. The guides are there to guide you every step of the way through this stunning country.

Your Host:- Helen Jackson.

Think of cuisine and the name, Helen Jackson I am sure has appeared a few times. Helen Jackson is not only a mother to Daisy, Jemima and Freddie, and married to Ed, but she is a renowned NZ Foodie, Food Editor, author, radio co-host and cook and spends her working life immersed in food. Helen set up www.foodlovers.co.nz 15 years ago, and it continues to be one of NZs busiest recipe based sites.

Apart from her passion for food, Helen loves to travel often spending her time away from home experiencing new cultures and cuisines, allowing her to discover new dishes to share with budding cooks, or to reinvent new ones through her discoveries along the way. Helen’s passion for travel, love of food and desire to discover new and interesting produce and its uses makes her a great host heading out on one of NZ's iconic cycles. It is also Helen’s 6th 'Taste of' experience with World Expeditions, so she is no stranger to this style of travel and loves every minute. She is looking forward to being on this adventure with you, discovering our beautiful country and sampling local NZ produce along the way.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
4

The Alps to Ocean is graded introductory to moderate. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 90 minutes of cycling three to five times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Some of the trail is on hard packed gravel, some is loose gravel which can be rough and uneven in places and there are plenty of hills. We recommend practise cycling up hills and on gravel before your tour, it will make the experience more enjoyable.


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.

Total Priceper person from

$3395NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$695
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Tastes of the Alps to Ocean - with Helen Jackson 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


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