• 10 day cycle trail
  • 9 nights basic motel, holiday parks, cottages
  • 2 Dinners
  • 9 Breakfasts

10 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7311

Trip highlights

  • Experience 9 days of cycling along beautiful cycle trails
  • Option to travel on the TranzAlpine Express, one of the top 10 train journeys in the world
  • Take in the rugged coastlines, pristine lakes and alpine landscapes of the West Coast
  • Admire NZ's native birds and forest from a Treetop Walkway (optional)
  • Cycle the full Lake Dunstan Trail on this stunningly engineered trail
  • Follow NZ’s mightiest river on the Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge Trails
  • Experience a scenic jet boat transfer
  • Soak up the glittering history of gold mining towns of Cromwell, Clyde, and Lawrence
  • Ride through the remote Von Valley and steam across Lake Whakatipu on the Earnslaw steamship

Wedged between the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea is one of the South Island's most diverse, rugged and beautiful Cycle Trails. Snaking through the dense rainforests, glacial rivers, lakes and wetlands is the West Coast Wilderness Trail - a graded cycle trail formed from a series of tracks originally carved by pioneering gold miners. The track also follows extensive water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines. This 140km trail opens up some of the West Coast’s wildest and most spectacular natural settings.

Next we head South to Central Otago to explore 2 lovely tracks near Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea before tackling the full Lake Dunstan, Clutha Gold and Roxburgh Gorge trails. The Lake Dunstan Trail initially follows the glistening lake's edge to Cromwell, and the following day we head across the Bannockburn Bridge, into the picturesque Cromwell Gorge and follow the trail through to the charming town of Clyde.

The next day we ride into the narrow, rugged Roxburgh Gorge on a trail which includes a scenic jet boat ride on the Clutha. The Clutha Gold Cycle Trail is our next adventure on a purpose built cycleway past farmland and fruit orchards and through the picturesque Beaumont Gorge continuing to follow the beautiful turquoise waters of the mighty Clutha River.

Finally we'll enjoy the most scenic sections of the Around the Mountains Trail, finishing with a ride through the remote Von Valley and a steamship ride across Lake Whakatipu.

The scenic TranzAlpine Express from Christchurch to Greymouth is rated as one of the top 10 train rides in the world and is an option for you to take today. You will be collected from your central Christchurch accommodation and driven to the railway station in time for a 8:15am departure. The journey takes us across the the Southern Alps via Arthur's Pass to arrive on the western side of the Alps at around 1pm. After lunch we set off on our bikes along the first section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, following water races, logging tramways and remnants of the 1883 gold rush era. The route starts by following the coast, before crossing a large rail bridge and then heading inland along a beautiful river. We follow the old Kumara bush tramway and cross a large suspension bridge before we arrive in Kumara for the night. We will enjoy our first group dinner at the historic Theatre Royal Hotel. Cycle Distance: Greymouth to Kumara - 29km

Meals:  D

After breakfast we set off from Kumara along the trail to pass the Kapitea Reservoir for fine views of the surrounding mountains and ancient podocarp forest. We wind our way along smooth bush tracks to our high point and after crossing a swing bridge we descend to Cowboys Paradise, a replica wild west town. We enjoy a sweeping descent to Milltown, home of saw-milling in earlier times before the final climb up and over to beautiful Lake Kaniere. We load up the bikes and drive the rest of the way to Hokitika, a quiet coastal town known for the crafting of Pounamu (greenstone) from the West Coast. There will be time to explore the town and later for a walk on the beach to admire a stunning West Coast sunset (if conditions are right). You will be free to make your own dinner arrangements. Cycle Distance: Kumara to Lake Kaniere - 47km

Meals:  B

Returning to the beautiful Lake Kaniere we enjoy the final section of Trail to the gold mining town of Ross. From the Lake, the trail heads up into the bush and meanders along the historic Kaniere Water Race (hand-dug in 1875) before following the Hokitika water supply line to the Kaniere River. From here, you'll then ride the very quiet Lake Kaniere Road, enjoying some cracking views of the surging Hokitika River, and then it's back onto easy trail through to the Hokitika River Bridge. Crossing the bridge, the trail follows the Mahinapua Creek, and then a historic tramline through wetlands, native forest and old mill sites with views of Lake Mahinapua. There's the option to divert slightly to the West Coast Treetop Walkway, where we can view the temperate rainforest giants from elevated platforms. Our last ride will be against a backdrop of stunning views on a fine day across to Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. In Ross we will load up the bikes and drive approx 2 hours south to the Franz Josef township, Cycle Distance: Lake Kaniere to Hokitika Gorge - 53km

Meals:  B

Today we have a day off the bike with time to enjoy the scenic highlights along the West Coast. Starting with an easy walk to view the Franz Josef glacier we then drive over the Three Sisters to take a walk around the jewel-like Lake Matheson, a photographer’s paradise with potential to capture brilliant mountainous reflections. Continuing our drive South, we will hopefully enjoy a backdrop of mountain views on one side, weather permitting (!) and the Tasman Sea appearing at times on the other. Stops along the way at Bruce Bay and Thunder Falls, we'll then reach the Gates of Haast and cross from Westland over the Haast Pass into Otago. The final drive alongside Lakes Wanaka and Hawea is spectacular and leads us to the picturesque lakeside town of Wanaka, our destination for the night. Cycling Distance : 0kms; Short walks upto 45mins-1hr

Meals:  B

After a hearty cafe breakfast we head out of Wanaka on the Outlet Trail following the crystal clear waters of the Clutha River/Mata-Au from the Lake Wanaka outlet to Albert Town. This stretch of the river is world-renowned for its trout fishing and the track offers easy riding with many spots to stop and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way. Next up is the delightful Hawea River Track, easily accessed from the end of the Outlet track. This 10km bike trail following the Hawea River from Albert Town to Lake Hawea is an easy grade and beautifully scenic. After lunch we transfer the short distance to Smith's Way on the shore of Lake Dunstan. From here we ride the first section of the Lake Dunstan Trail along the lake through to the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. Here we’ll park up and explore the boutique galleries, stores, restaurants and cafes on offer before checking into our accommodation. Cycling distance: 41km

Meals:  B

Today we rejoin the Lake Dunstan Trail which loops back and around the Bannockburn Inlet and continues toward Cornish Point, passing by vineyards and olive groves. The trail enters the stunning Cromwell Gorge where you’ll cycle around sheer rockfaces and over lake inlets on impressively engineered platforms and bridges rising above Lake Dunstan. Lake Dunstan was created from the damming of the mighty Clutha Mata-au River, New Zealand’s second longest river, and the trail passes the historically controversial hydroelectric Clyde Dam before finishing at the Red Bridge at Clyde. After some time to explore this lovely historic gold-mining town, our final ride today is on the Clyde to Alexandra River Trail, a delightful, mainly flat 10km ride along the bank of the Clutha River. Cycling distance: 53km

Meals:  B

The stunning Roxburgh Gorge Trail begins in Alexandra and makes its way down the gorge to Doctors Point Boat Ramp with amazing vistas along the way as well as remnants of gold mining activity. Here you will meet with a local boat operator who will transfer you to Shingle Creek. Relax on board the boat while you take in the stunning scenery and hear all about the history of the area. At Shingle Creek it's back on the bikes for a steady climb to Elbow's Creek with the trail heading away from the water passing through sweeping hill country and a small secluded valley with regenerating Ka-nuka (tea tree) scrubland. The trail continues to Lake Roxburgh Village and from there we connect to the Clutha Gold Trail by dropping down from the ridge and crossing the Roxburgh Dam. The first half of the Clutha Gold trail travels deep into the orchard-lands of the Teviot Valley and passes interesting riverside landmarks through to the small farming settlement of Millers Flat where we'll be staying tonight. Cycling distance: 51km

Meals:  B

Our cycling adventure continues on the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail. From Millers Flat we head into our final Gorge, the Beaumonth Gorge which we follow for twenty scenic kilometres with the mighty Clutha keeping us company all the way. Then we're back following farmland, including a short climb upto the 434m-long Big Tunnel, and then back downhill for the last stretch through to Lawrence, birthplace of the 1860s gold rush and the end of the Clutha Gold trail. After a wander around this delightful village, we’ll drive 2 hours through scenic country to the small settlement of Mossburn, known as the deer capital of New Zealand. Cycling distance: 44km

Meals:  B

This morning we have a short transfer to Five Rivers cafe where you can enjoy breakfast whilst the bikes are unloaded. Here we join the Around the Mountains Trail and today's ride passes through rich farm lands by the banks of the Oreti River and then carries on along a mix of old railway line and well-graded track, threaded between the highway and farmland back to Mossburn. A lunch stop here allows us the option to sample the region's famous venison pies and 'Southland sushi'. This afternoon we continue to follow the Oreti River on purpose built trail, with views towards the imposing Fiordland mountains. At Centre Hill the trail meets a busy gravel road and here we load up the bikes and return to Mossburn. Tonight we'll enjoy our final dinner together. Cycling : Five Rivers to Centre Hill - 47km

Meals:  B,D

This morning we leave Mossburn and drive into the hidden Mavora Lakes, a site of scenes from Lord of the Rings. We ride by the lakes and through the beech forest before continuing on to the colourful Von Valley. There is a real sense of isolation and the huge mountain and tussock landscape is vast. We farewell our supporting van as we cycle downhill to the shores of Lake Whakatipu and Mount Nicholas station. Here we are greeted with stunning views of alpine peaks and snow covered Mount Earnslaw at the head of the lake. We follow the lakeside trail to Walter Peak Station, where we board the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamer and cross Lake Whakatipu to Queenstown in the early evening. It's time to say a sad farewell as we pick you up from the wharf and drop you off in the central city. Cycling Distance: Mavora Valley to Walter Peak Station - 55km

Meals:  B


  • 9 breakfasts, 2 evening meals
  • 9 nights ensuite or shared bathroom accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Professional guide/driver
  • Private vehicle transport (except for TranzAlpine Train)
  • Scenic Jet boat ride on the Clutha River
  • Ride snacks and water
  • Concession and access fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • NZ GST

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. TranzAlpine train, Treetops walk, hot pools)
  • 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 and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 9 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 terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip. This trip is graded overall Moderate and you will need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the adventure. The trails are generally a good width with a compacted gravel trail surface but there can be exposure in places along the Gorges, as well as narrow sections with switchbacks so experience on this type of terrain is needed. Most of the trails are a gentle gradient, however there are a few hills and sharp inclines. We suggest 2-3 rides per week of 2-3 hours for the three months leading up to your trip. We recommend training on compacted gravel trails, and completing a multi-day ride prior to your trip to get used to being in the saddle for long periods of time. The more training you have done on hills with switchbacks and narrow trails and on compacted gravel, the more enjoyable your trip will be.

Departure dates


Base Price
Holiday Season

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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Standard MTB HireNZD$300
  • e-Bike HireNZD$800
  • Single SupplementNZD$750
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Paul Taylor & Friends West Coast & Otago Explorer 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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