3
Moderate to Challenging
Activities
  • 14 days road cycle 2 days leisure
Accommodation
  • 15 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 8 Dinners
  • 11 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

16 Days$3495NZD

Trip Code: SOG8575

Trip highlights


  • Enjoy incredible views of Banks Peninsula from the Summit Road
  • Cycle alongside the bright turquoise hydro-canals from Lake Tekapo
  • Wonder at the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook on a hike to a glacial lake
  • Admire the impressive dams and lakes of the Waitaki Valley
  • Explore the Victorian quarter of historic Oamaru
  • Visit Central Otago's old gold mining settlements
  • Enyoy iconic Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, at your leisure
  • Cycle the Catlins rugged coastline
  • Visit the lighthouse at NZ's iconic Nugget Point
  • Explore the remote beaches of Cannibal & Surat Bays (tide dependent), usually home to NZ sea lions
  • Walk to Macleans Falls
  • Challenge yourself on the rolling hills of the breathtaking Otago Peninsula

This superb cycling adventure from Christchurch to Queenstown and back starts with a chance to explore the vast and impressive Mackenzie Basin by bike to truly appreciate its huge glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains. The itinerary also allows you an opportunity to stretch the legs to admire the grandeur of Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, when you walk beneath its flanks.

The tour begins with an awesome ride on the Banks Peninsula with views of the vivid blue Lyttelton Harbour, the crater of an extinct volcano. Day 2 takes us through beautiful farm country before some superb riding alongside the stunning turquoise lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki. Following the Waitaki River to the coast via the "big-sky country" in Central Otago we head inland again to have a mid tour break in Queenstown, nestled beside the impressive Lake Wakatipu.

The second half of our adventure is characterized by the lush green rolling plains, wild windswept coastlines and unique wildlife experiences of New Zealand's southern most region. We cycle the scenic rural roads of the Fiordland National Park before visiting Invercargill, the world's most southern city. The wildlife experiences of the remote Catlins Coast, home to an ancient petrified forest, fur seals, rare Hector's dolphins and yellow-eyed penguins will leave you wide-eyed, before exploring Dunedin, a city known for it's Scottish history, and the Otago Peninsula with its tiny villages and panoramic vistas.


Today we have the opportunity to find our cycle legs with a warm up ride along the stunning Port Hills overlooking Banks Peninsula. We will follow the Summit Road, around the crater rim of an extinct volcano with panoramic views towards the city, the snowy Southern Alps and into the vivid blue Lyttelton harbour. We will ride out to Godley Head at the entrance of the harbour where there are relics of the WW2 defence battery and another scenic lookout before heading towards the port town of Lyttelton. Our ride then takes us around the sea shore, with lots of short climbs between bays and some fast descents.On reaching Governor's Bay, we will load up the bikes and hop in the van to drive back to the city centre and our hotel, arriving in the late afternoon. We'll enjoy our first group dinner tonight. Cycling Stats: up to 53km/33mi, 857m/2551ft,

Meals:  L,D

After breakfast we will drive across the Canterbury Plains to Temuka. We cycle along quiet rural roads past small farmlets and communities, to the quaint town of Geraldine, nestled amongst gently rolling hills. In the afternoon we explore more quiet rural roads with a photo stop at the historic St Davids Church at Raincliff before arriving at the rural town of Fairlie, where our cycling ends for today. We will then transfer to our accommodation at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful destination amongst the snow capped alps and turquoise coloured glacial lakes. Free time following check in, with options of taking a dip in the local hot pools or visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd before dining at your leisure. Cycling Stats: up to 78km/49 mi, 498m/1633ft

Meals:  B,L

Today has a relaxed start and after a hearty breakfast we can either walk or drive to the Mt. John lookout with its spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Time next to enjoy riding the quiet hydro canal roads, with the view getting more expansive as you get closer to the mountains. A shorter overall ride distance today, to allow time for both the scenic drive alongside Lake Pukaki upto Mt Cook National Park and a short walk on arrival to see panoramic views of the mountains, visit the Edmund Hillary Museum or the interesting visitor information centre. Dinner together tonight and the opportunity to admire the setting sun on NZ's highest mountain peaks and take in the vast starry skies after dark. Cycling Stats: 57kms/35mi, 371m/1217ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have the option to take a break from the bike and do some hiking in the lee of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Options include a three hour flat walk to the Hooker Glacier terminal lake or the shorter Tasman Glacier walk. New Zealand’s highest mountain dominates the region with its steep glacial slopes often providing a spectacular sideshow of avalanches. The prevailing wind should speed us along as the afternoon finds us cycling on the gradual downhill from Aoraki/Mount Cook towards beautiful Lake Ohau and our lodge accommodation for tonight. Cycling Stats: 84km/53mi, 853m/2798ft

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty lodge breakfast, there's an hour transfer to our morning ride which starts with an optional climb up onto the top of Benmore Dam before a sweeping downhill onto a quiet back road around picturesque Lake Aviemore. The Dam and lake are part of the impressive Waitaki Hydro Electric scheme and we ride across both two dams at either end of the lake. After a short van transfer to avoid a main highway, our afternoon ride continues via the unusual formations of Elephant Rocks and some stunning pastoral country to the old Victorian town of Oamaru. Nestled on the Pacific Coast, Oamaru has some of New Zealand's oldest and most beautifully restored buildings as well as a thriving art culture. Dinner is at your leisure tonight, with seafood a good option given the ocean is on our doorstep. Cycling Stats : 95kms/59mi, 865m/2387ft

Meals:  B,L

It's an hour van transfer to todays' ride which takes us into the heart of Central Otago, a powerful landscape, sunny, dry and brown with weathered ancient mountains, alpine herb fields and fast flowing rivers. In the 1860s this was a place of gold; you can still pan for it amongst the miners' old trails, stone cottages and relics of mine machinery. The ride includes the optional challenge of a climb over MaCrae's pass, before a spectacular descent to the Taieri Plains. Tonight there's the option to go curling (own expense) at an indoor ice-rink, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi BBQ at our motel. Cycling Stats : Palmerston to Ranfurly - 95km/ 59mi,1543m/5061ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Still in the spectacular Central Otago region, this morning we cycle the scenic Ida Valley to the historic village of Ophir, via the challenging but optional climb over the Raggedy Range. From the top there are panoramic 360 degree views. The ride continues to historic Clyde, our final cycling destination and another former gold-mining village with beautiful old stone buildings. We celebrate the end of our riding at the local pub before we drive to Queenstown. You're on your own for dinner tonight and for the next 2 days, but with its spectacular scenery, great shopping and multitude of adventurous activities there's plenty to do in this vibrant town. Your guides will be around but will be servicing the bikes and other equipment and legally unable to provide transport for this period. They can, however, help you make any activity bookings. Cycling Stats : 87 kms /54miles, 690m/2253ft

Meals:  B,L

Optional activities include a day trip to Milford Sound, a long narrow inlet/fiord located at the northernmost end of Fiordland National Park, opening out onto the Tasman Sea and a place of awe-inspiring landscapes, pristine environment and remote and rugged beauty. Or you could head upto the other end of Lake Whakatipu and enjoy either a jetboat and canoe adventure on the Dart River or experience an epic horseback adventures in Glenorchy's high country. Queenstown is also the birthplace of bungy jumping, has fantastic hiking and biking trails surrounded by mountains and lakes and also happens to have the Gibbston Valley close by, home to some of New Zealand's best Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc wines. World class cuisine also beckons at the many cafes and restaurants that are crammed into this resort town and there are outdoor stores on every corner offering both local and international brands. So, you'll be spoilt for choice on how to spend the next 2 days but given it's peak season, plan ahead and book activities and restaurants well before we get here to avoid missing out. Your guides can help with advice and bookings. No guided activities

Meals:  Nil

Another day to enjoy the multitude on offer in this amazing town and its stunning surrounds. No guided activities

Meals:  Nil

Today we start the second leg of our adventure meeting at 7.30am for a group breakfast at a local cafe. From Queenstown we then drive the narrow lakeside road alongside Lake Wakitipu to Kingston, where we start our morning ride on the rolling rural roads of upper Southland. We finish the morning at the small settlement of Five Rivers which takes its name from the Five Rivers Station taken up in 1857 by pioneer Arthur Hogue, and named because of the five streams which rise in the surrounding Eyre Mountains. We transfer over a busier section of highway and restart our ride from the Sprig & Thistle Caravan, a foodie haven owned by Anna and situated at the base of the Takitimu Mountain Ranges on the edge of Anna's family farm, Davaar Station. The native red tussock covered hills accompany us on our afternoon ride and lead us into the township of Te Anau, perched on the edge of the Fiordland National Park. Cycling Stats : 86km/54mi, 536m/1758ft

Meals:  B,L,D

A short van transfer to start the day, before our ride begins on the edge of Lake Manapouri, a beautiful lake framed by the spectacular Cathedral Mountains. We head South through an ever-changing landscape as the stark arid mountains give way to more gentle pastures of Southland farm country. Another hidden cuisine gem is our lunch destination before continuing South with small communities dotting the landscape and stunning coastal riding for the final 30kms. This coast is exposed to southerly blasts creating some surreal windswept scenery. With the support van keeping us company, feel free to pick and choose your riding today, given the full ride is well over a metric century. Loading up on the coast in Riverton, we finish the day with a transfer through to Invercagill, the most southern city in the world and where we'll stay tonight. Dinner at your lesiure tonight, with plenty of options to choose from. Çycling Stats : 128km/80mi, 842m/2762ft

Meals:  B

The route today skirts the beautiful and undiscovered Catlins Forest Park and coastline. The roads are quiet and the scenery diverse as the coastline increasingly becomes spectacular. The morning ride ends at beautiful Curio Bay where we enjoy a leisurely lunch and a visit to a petrified forest on the sea-shore. This is a renowned wildlife area & you may see the rare Hectors Dolphins, Fur Seals & Yellow Eyed Penguins. After lunch there is an optional ride to our overnight accommodation near MacLeans Falls. Cycling Stats :106km/ 66miles, 971m/ 3185ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Today the main ride is relatively short, allowing time to explore our beautiful surroundings here on the Catlins coast off the bike. In keeping with that theme we'll start the morning with a short, but stunning walk, through native forest to the nearby McLeans Falls. Then it's back on the bikes for more scenic cycling along quiet roads. The ride may be short but there are some serious climbs with rewarding views of the coastline making the effort well worth it. We'll finish today's official ride in the small town of Owaka which provides services to the largely farming community. There is the option for more riding with an out and back ride from Owaka but you might miss out on a likely trip highlight, with a drive out to Surat Bay for a memorable remote and beautiful beach walk over to Cannibal Bay to visit the resident Sea Lions. Cycling Stats: McLeans Falls to Owaka : 38km/24mi, 582m/1909ft Owaka return to Purekireki :34km/21mi, 211m/692ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we ride to the seaside village of Kaka Point and out to Nugget Point to enjoy a short walk to the lighthouse. We drive the busy main road section through rural landscapes to Balclutha for lunch. This afternoon we cycle from Waihola, over rather a tough climb to Taieri Mouth and then it's a gentle ride along the coast to Brighton, on the outskirts of Dunedin. This cosmopolitan university town is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand due to its rich Scottish heritage and is where we stay tonight. Dinner is at your leisure. Cycling Stats : Owaka to Kaka Point via Nugget Point – 45km/28miles, 344m/1128ft Waihola to Brighton – 29km/18mi, 397m/1302ft

Meals:  B,L

This morning we explore the Otago Peninsula by bike. The ride has some challenges, taking you first up and over the Portobello hill for sweeping views of the whole Peninsula before dropping down to finish with some relaxing, flat riding beside the ocean. After lunch at your leisure, there is the option for a second ride exploring the other side of the Harbour. This one also boasts a decent climb to get up above the Harbour, but the views are pretty special. After descending to Karitane, we'll load up and make our way to historical Oamaru for our second visit on this trip but this time the town is hosting our final group dinner, an opportunity to celebrate 2 weeks of great riding, new friends and wonderful memories. Cycling Stats : Otago Peninsula : 55kms/34mi , 770m/2526ft Dunedin to Karitane : 34kms/21mi, 674m/2210ft

Meals:  B,D

Today we are Christchurch bound - but not before more rural cycling. After a delicious cafe breakfast, we start with a van transfer before our final ride on quiet roads through small farmlets and communities along the Pareora River valley. An optional challenge is the climb over Pareora Gorge before we visit the spectacular St Davids Pioneer Church, made without nails out of local river stones and timbers. A final burst of cycling takes us to lunch at Pleasant Point and the start of the final drive back to Christchurch. With good traffic flows we should be into Christchurch by around 4pm. Cycling Stats : Pareora to Pleasant Point – 54km/34mi, 230m/754ft

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x13), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x11), two course restaurant dinners (x8) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 15 nights comfortable hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
  • 2 experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Transport from Christchurch to Queenstown and back
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • 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 springs, curling, penguin colony, Steampunk Museum Oamaru, Lanarch Castle visit)
  • 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. 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.


Accommodation


Bike information


Grading

Moderate to Challenging  
3

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the amount of climbing, the types of roads and the length of the trip. This trip is graded moderate to challenging. You will need to be a competent road rider with stamina and a good level of fitness, you should be able to cycle comfortably for 4-6 hours or around 80km/50miles per day, day after day. There are some long undulating and hilly sections. You should be confident riding on rural roads alongside traffic which can be travelling at speed. This tour is not for beginners. 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

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$3495NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Road Bike RentalNZD$350
  • Ebike RentalNZD$600
  • Single SupplementNZD$795
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed HeartCycle South Island Lakes, Mountains & Coast 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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