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3
Moderate
Activities
  • 16 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 9 nights hotel/motel
  • 6 nights homestead/lodge
Meals
  • 11 Dinners
  • 11 Lunches
  • 15 Breakfasts

16 Days$2495NZD

Hit the trails with confidence

100% refundable trips
Receive a full refund under our covid-19 T&Cs

$200 Deposits
for all new bookings on all trips

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: SOG6982

Alps to Ocean Trip highlights


  • Cycle the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Tekapo
  • Cycle the shoreline of surreal turquoise hydro lakes
  • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct
  • Follow NZ’s mightiest river on the Clutha Gold & Roxburgh Gorge Trails
  • Experience a scenic jet boat transfer
  • Cycle the full Lake Dunstan Trail on this stunningly engineered trail
  • Soak up the glittering history of towns such as Clyde, Cromwell & Lawrence
  • Cycle through the alpine landscapes of the remote Von Valley
  • Discover the pristine Mavora Lakes
  • Enjoy good company, & eat delicious food

Majestic rugged mountains, emerald blue lakes, rugged gorges and spectacular rivers - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. Explore five of NZ's Cycle Trails on a 15 day adventure within the South Island.

After our first ride on gravel amongst the McKenzie high country, we start with our first Great Ride, the Alps to Ocean trail. We cycle past the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, turquoise glacier-fed lakes and lush pastures dotted with sheep to end this trail close to the small port of Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean. After a rest day spent exploring this delightful town, we then cross over the famous Danseys Pass to ride the most scenic section of New Zealand's original 'Great Ride', the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Over the next 4 days we'll explore the full Clutha Gold, Roxburgh Gorge and Lake Dunstan Trails, traveling through historic gold mining towns and stunning gorges following the mighty Clutha River all the way to Cromwell on the edge of the glistening Lake Dunstan.

Our final trail is the Around the Mountains Trail, starting in Kingston and finishing with a trip across Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown where we'll enjoy our final dinner together before departing after breakfast the following day.


Your South Island cycle adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains and then through rolling farmland to Burkes Pass. Our first ride starts here and takes us on a scenic journey into the famous Mackenzie Country and through to Dog Kennel Corner. From there it's a short drive to Lake Tekapo, which should appear as a bright blue jewel. There's time to wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, then perhaps soak away any first-day aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour. Cycling distance: Burkes Pass to Dog Kennel Corner 38km

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 then crosses expansive tussockland to reach Twizel, the friendly wee town that’s our stopping point for the night. Cycling distance: Tekapo to Lake Pukaki: 30km. Lake Pukaki to Twizel: 24km

Meals:  B,L

The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals to the Ohau Weir. A delightful easy single track trail takes us around a section of the Lake under the powerful shadow of Ben Ohau. The final section is on a quiet sealed road upto Lake Ohau Lodge, in time for a delicious lunch. Options for the afternoon include riding further up the lakeside, taking a walk along the beach, or just relaxing at the Lodge. Cycle distance: 38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau); Optional additional 17km

Meals:  B,L,D

Confident riders can head straight onto the trail from the Lodge over the 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 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). Another sightseeing option is a trip to see the Clay Cliffs, natural rock formations which are a stark sight - tall pinnacles separated by narrow ravines. Cycle distance: 44km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or 26km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option)

Meals:  B,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. From there, we join the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rocky outcrops, little beaches and even tree covered islands. The trail then drops us down from above the Benmore Dam to join a quiet lakeside road. It’s a fun downhill cycle off the dam and then a gently rolling ride to Aviemore Dam. We’ll arrive at Kurow hopefully in time to explore the quaint town’s surrounds. Highlights include beautifully restored St Albans Church or a walk up the hill for stunning views across the Waitaki River. We’ll stay overnight in Kurow in an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce. Cycle distance: 67km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River, 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 and then across farmland to Enfield, where we will stay the night in the beautifully restored Old School. Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) & 42km (Duntroon–Enfield)

Meals:  B,L,D

We get to enjoy one more optional short ride on the A2O on our official rest day! 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. The rest of the day is yours to explore the shops, cafes and galleries or visit the mind-boggling Steampunk HQ museum or Whitestone Cheese Factory. Cycle distance: 19km (Enfield–Oamaru)

Meals:  B

Your legs will thank you for the rest day yesterday as we face our toughest day in the saddle today. Danseys Pass (apparently there's officially no apostrophe) is legendary in NZ cycle touring circles - a 935m remote dirt pass over the Kakanui Mountains linking Central Otago and North Otago. It's a rough road and includes a significant amount of climbing but the van will be in support for anyone wanting a breather and a night at the historic Danseys Pass Hotel is a fitting reward for our efforts. Cycle distance: 70km Enfield to Danseys Pass Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the day with a lovely downhill and then gently roll into the delightful small town of Naseby. Continuing on gravel we meet up with the most famous of NZ's Great Rides, the Otago Rail Trail and enjoy one of its most scenic sections. The ever-changing landscape includes rugged mountains, crystal clear rivers, and steep winding gorges. We cycle over the impressive Poolburn viaduct and Manuherikia Bridge and through the Poolburn tunnels to arrive in the tiny settlement of Lauder. A 2 hour drive south takes us to the historic town of Lawrence, once the centre of one of The World's largest gold rushes, being the first gold rush town in Otago. Cycling distance : Danseys Pass Hotel to Lauder : 68km

Meals:  B,D

The sensational cycling through the Otago region continues today with the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail. Riding from our accommodation straight onto the trail, the highlight of the ride through to Beaumont is the gentle incline up Big Tunnel Hill and its namesake, the 434m tunnel. After being rewarded with a gentle downhill into the small township of Beaumont, we’ll reach the swift turquoise waters of the Clutha River. 20km of stunning riverside cycling follows, through the remote and beautiful Beaumont Gorge to the small farming town of Millers Flat where we’ll enjoyed a well-earned picnic. We cycle past Dumbarton Rock, which once stretched all the way across the river, and and finish our ride at Pinders Pond, the site of an old hydraulic elevation pond from the gold mining era and now a recreation reserve. A short drive to our accommodation at Lake Roxburgh Lodge, an oasis of tranquillity. Cycling distance : Clutha Gold Trail : 59km

Meals:  B,L,D

We pedal through a network of orchards and rural farmland alongside the Clutha River to the end of the Clutha Gold trail at the bottom of Roxburgh Dam, the oldest Hydro Dam in the South Island. Then we're straight into The Roxburgh Gorge, a rugged landscape of steep hillsides strewn with giant boulders leading down to a willow-lined river and lake and a stunning environment to ride through. With amazing northerly vistas across the Lake Roxburgh the trail drops into the Gorge and then heads away from the water passing through a small secluded valley with regenerating Ka-nuka (tea tree) scrubland and into sweeping hill country farmland. At Elbow Creek, it’s a gradual descent to Shingle Creek, the halfway mark where we take a scenic jet boat ride for the next 10km to Doctor’s Point. The second half of the trail is equally remote and awe-inspiring with stone-walled water races and other remnants of gold mining activity, alongside some impressive trail building features to navigate around rockfaces. Pass beside the historic (1882) bridge piers, under the current Alexandra Bridge and join the Alexander/Clutha River Trail for a delightful, mainly flat 10km ride along the true right bank of the Clutha to the historic town of Clyde. Cycling Distance: Pinders Pond to Roxburgh Dam - 16km; Roxburgh Dam to Shingle Creek - 11km; Doctors Point to Clyde - 22km

Meals:  B,L,D

Another well-deserved rest day and it would be hard to find a more delightful small town to spend it in. Explore the lovely galleries and cafes, perhaps enjoy a wine tasting at a boutique winery or a gin tasting by your accommodation host! If you're looking for a more active 'rest' take a walk along the river or upto the Dam or maybe even enjoy a game of golf. There's also a lovely boutique cinema if the weather's not playing ball!

Meals:  B

Be amongst the first riders to cycle the recently opened Lake Dunstan Trail, an easy, but spectacular, ride through unique and fascinating landscapes so characteristic of Central Otago as it journeys along the Clutha, the Kawarau River and the shores of Lake Dunstan. The region’s rich modern, pioneering and Maori historical stories are integrated along the way, some of which are brought to life in Clyde and Cromwell Historical Precinct. Starting in Clyde you pass the Clyde Dam and enter the stunning Cromwell Gorge where you cycle around sheer rock faces rising above the Clutha and eventually meet the Kawarau River at Cornish Point. Passing vineyards and olive groves the trail crosses the Bannockburn Bridge and ducks into the Cromwell Heritage Precinct where we’ll stop to explore. Heading along the shores of Lake Dunstan the trail finishes part way up the lake just beyond Pisa Moorings. Cycling Distance: Clyde to Cromwell heritage Precinct - 38km; Cromwell to Smiths Way - 16km

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast, we transfer to the historic railway town of Kingston where we start the Around The Mountains Cycle Trail. Weaving our way through the pretty rural Mataura valley, surrounded by the Hector and Eyre mountains towards Garston and Athol, we cross a number of suspension bridges called the Golden Gate bridges. Continuing past Five Rivers we pass through rich farmlands by the banks of the Oreti River, to Lumsden and then carry on along a mix of old railway line and well-graded track, threaded between the highway and farmland, to Mossburn. Mossburn is known as the deer capital of New Zealand so you might like to sample the region's famous venison pies while we're there! Cycling Distance : Kingston to Mossburn - 69km

Meals:  B,L,D

We avoid a busy, rough gravel road by driving through to the hidden Mavora Lakes to start the day's ride. This was a site of scenes from Lord of the Rings and 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 Wakatipu 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 catch a boat ride across Lake Wakatipu, returning us to Queenstown in the early evening. We'll enjoy a final group dinner and celebration of a memorable fortnight of experiencing some of New Zealand's best off road cycle trails. Cycling distance : Mavora Lakes to Walter Peak Station - 59km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the trip concludes after breakfast. You are free to explore Queenstown and shuttles and taxis to the airport are readily available. Should any of you wish to stay longer, we can book extra nights at your accommodation, please let us know.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Tasty breakfasts (x15), lunches (x10), dinners (x11) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 15 nights comfortable motel/lodge ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Transport from Christchurch
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation & Trail Trusts

  • 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 bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Tekapo hot pools, Omarama hot tubs, Oamaru Steampunk Gallery)
  • 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. There will be two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience on this trip. 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

This trip is graded moderate. You will need a good level of fitness and we suggest 90 minutes of cycling three times a week plus one longer ride for the three months leading up to your trip. You will need to be able to cycle 50-70km each day and as much of the trail is on hard packed gravel 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 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


Notes

HS
Holiday Season
P
New Year's Supplement

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

$2495NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • New Year's SupplementNZD$100
  • Bike RentalNZD$180
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)NZD$600
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureNZD$645
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Lythgoe & Friends Trails of the Southern Alps, Lakes and Rivers 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

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail with Adventure South NZ

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