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Overview
For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Start:ChristchurchTours run:Saturdays-weekly, or on demand
End:Christchurch
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moderate grade
Duration:5 days/4 nights
US$1,205.22
excl GST
Cycling

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Alps 2 Ocean Cyclists said...


“The tour was amazing,nice people,good accommodation and food, scenery that my camera could not do justice to, a great feeling of solitude on the off road tracks,UNFORGETTABLE!.”
Wayne, NSW, November 2016
 

“We both had a fabulous time, thank you”
Michele and Jon, Christchurch, November 2016






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From The Mountains To The Sea
 


Explore the new Alps 2 Ocean Cycle trail which is regarded as one of the best New Zealand cycling tours available, giving cyclists access to some of the South Island's most dramatic scenery and legendary country hospitality, food and accommodation.
 
See the stunning tussock alpine region of the Southern Alps with its snow capped peaks, breathtaking views of Aoraki/Mt Cook - New Zealand’s highest mountain, golden highlands, stunning turquoise lakes, glacier-carved valleys and the Waitaki Valley with its hydro-lakes – Benmore Aviemore and Waitaki.
 
The
Alps 2 Ocean cycling tour meets increasingly lush farmland as it reaches the lower Waitaki Valley, dotted with vineyards, a lavender farm, Māori rock art and oddly shaped Elephant Rocks, as well as a tunnel which the cycle tour passes through as it follows the path of an old railway line through to Oamaru and the harbour park alongside the town’s magnificent Victorian Precinct right on the Pacific Ocean.
 
The spectacular 270km Alps 2 Ocean cycling tour descends 780 metres on a ride with a moderate grade. The terrain varies, with easy riding on canal paths, quiet country roads, old railway lines and expertly cut cross-country tracks.


Alps 2 Ocean has been picked as one of the world's top 16 attractions by Frommer's Travel Guides. The reputed travel publisher describes the trail as "stunning and cheerfully hospitable", and setting the "perfect standard for awesome". 
  Itinerary button

Your New Zealand Cycling Tour In Brief
Your fully guided Alps 2 Ocean Cycle cycling tour starts and ends in the South Island's largest city: Christchurch, with all accommodation, meals, and support vehicles and guide provided.
 
From Christchurch we'll drive you to the rugged Mackenzie Country, with its alps, hydro and glacial lakes, and incredibly starry skies.
 
Then we roll through beautiful rural townships including Omarama, Otematata, Kurow and Duntroon.
 
Finally we complete the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail at the harbour in Oamaru's Victorian Precinct, before a return drive to Christchurch.
 


Official Partner


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Tuatara Tours is proud to be in an official partnership with The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail




CTlogoThe Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail was created as part of a government-led initiative: Nga Harenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail, developing New Zealand's best cycling tours. 

Tuatara Tours is an official partner.
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Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Highlights Video

  • Soaring landscapes
  • Remote location
  • History
  • Tranquility
  • Food to die for
 

Dates For next Summer

2017
  • 28 October 2017
  • November: 11,15
  • December: 9,16
2018
  • January: 6,20
  • February: 10,24
  • March: 3,10,25
  • April: 7,21
Please enquire for other dates for your group
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Alps2ocean download


Dates and Availability?

Tours run:Saturdays-weekly, or on demand
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Customisations?

We can customise tours to suit.

Nicky

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Hamish

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Enquire

Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Alps 2 Ocean Cyclists said...


“The tour was amazing,nice people,good accommodation and food, scenery that my camera could not do justice to, a great feeling of solitude on the off road tracks,UNFORGETTABLE!.”
Wayne, NSW, November 2016
 

“We both had a fabulous time, thank you”
Michele and Jon, Christchurch, November 2016






Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail


From The Mountains To The Sea
 
From Christchurch we'll drive you to the rugged Mackenzie Country, with its alps, hydro and glacial lakes, and incredibly starry skies.

Then we roll through beautiful rural townships including Omarama, Otematata, Kurow and Duntroon.

Finally we make it from the alps to the ocean: the harbour in Oamaru's Victorian Precinct, before a return drive to Christchurch.
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Map









largemap


Day 1: Christchurch to Lake Pukaki Info Centre

30.4km


Welcome! We'll pick you up from your accommodation in Christchurch, the South Island's largest city. Then we'll drive across the iconic Mackenzie Country, a rugged mountain valley basin, past two turquoise alpine lakes: Tekapo and Pukaki. You'll start your cycling from Braemar Station, a large sheep farm on the shores of Lake Pukaki. You're on the edge of the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, with close-up views of New Zealand's highest mountain.

You'll follow the Lake Pukaki shoreline on a new purpose-built track, finishing at the Lake Pukaki Information Centre. It's flat and mostly downhill, through tussock grasslands with beautiful lake and mountain views.
 


Day 2: Lake Pukaki Info Centre to Lake Ohau

49.6km


This morning we’ll cycle 10 km on a flat trail to the former hydroelectric town of Twizel, now a water sports and winter sports mecca. En route: amazing views over the Mackenzie basin and the dramatic Benmore Range.

From here you’ll follow an undulating trail with short, steep sections to tonight's destination: beautiful, glacial Lake Ohau, in the Mackenzie High Country. You’ll stay at the lovely Lake Ohau Lodge.

Tonight be sure to head outside after dinner for some of the most spectacular star gazing on earth. The Mackenzie Basin has recently been named an international dark sky reserve, as its night skies are amongst the world’s cleanest, driest and darkest.
 


Day 3: Lake Ohau to Otematata

 

65km


An undulating path today, with some short, steep sections. We’ll follow a newly built off road trail traversing the lower slopes of the Ruataniwha Conservation Park,enjoying views back over the Benmore Range. From here you climb to the high point on the trail, then it’s a steady downhill through the Quailburn, a historic sheep-farming area where early musterers lived a harsh life with many hardships.

Next, we’ll follow State Highway 8 passing through Omarama township, at the southern end of the Mackenzie Basin , for the final stretch to the village of Otematata, set between two hydro dam lakes. With today's cycling completed, it's on board your coach for a short journey back to Omarama and your night's accommodation.

Tonight, relax with a cold drink at your hotel, or perhaps try the local outdoor hot tubs for a relaxing night's sleep.
 


Day 4: Otematata to Duntroon

 

71km


Picking up the trail at Otematata we have a short, steep climb to follow the Benmore Dam, past the power station. We’ll skirt the shores of pretty Lake Aviemore and follow the Waitaki River to Kurow in the Waitaki Valley.

After lunch, it’s off to Duntroon, another quiet inland country town that harbours big surprises: geological formations that interest researchers worldwide, and fossils of sea creatures which lived here millions of years ago, including two extinct penguin species. Nearby are fossilised whale bones, and Maori rock drawings, hundreds of years old. There may be time to visit the excellent Vanished World Museum. We’ll spend the night here in Duntroon.

 


Day 5: Duntroon to Oamaru 


55km


Today, it’s into the home stretch through the North Otago countryside to historic Oamaru. At your guides discretion there are 2 routes to choose from. If you don't feel up to a ride that is over rolling hills on the trail proper, we can offer a ride on an easier route directly to the small town of Windsor where we pick up the trail again and ride to the completion of the trail in Oamaru.

Both routes pass unusual limestone plateaux or ‘tables’, including the unusual Elephant Rocks, well-known as one of the locations used in filming the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia". Our route takes us through the Awamoko Valley to Ngapara (Maori for ‘the tables’) and tiny Enfield.

Our journey ends in Oamaru, the largest town in the district. We’ll cycle right up to the heart of Oamaru: the picturesque harbour in the middle of its remarkably preserved Victorian precinct, featuring beautiful 19th century buildings carved in the local white Oamaru stone.

We’ve made it… we’ve cycled almost 300 km from the Alps to the Ocean! After a celebration, we’ll drive you back to Christchurch, or you may wish to continue your adventures from Oamaru.
 
Accommodation:
  • Cycling
 
10 Hrs, 270kms KM

Dates For next Summer

2017
  • 28 October 2017
  • November: 11,15
  • December: 9,16
2018
  • January: 6,20
  • February: 10,24
  • March: 3,10,25
  • April: 7,21
Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Alps2ocean download


What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Alps 2 Ocean Cyclists said...


“The tour was amazing,nice people,good accommodation and food, scenery that my camera could not do justice to, a great feeling of solitude on the off road tracks,UNFORGETTABLE!.”
Wayne, NSW, November 2016
 

“We both had a fabulous time, thank you”
Michele and Jon, Christchurch, November 2016






Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail


Accommodation

 
Day One
  • Comfortable Country Hotel, large private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and tea/ coffee making facilities.

Day Two
  • Lakeside Alpine Lodge. Private rooms with queen and single bed, ensuite bathrooms.

Day Three
  • Comfortable Country Hotel, large private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and tea/ coffee making facilities.

Day Four
  • Comfortable accommodation in an historic setting. Double twin rooms with shared facilities.

*Please note accommodation is double or twin share.If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee of NZ$250 per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the tour.
 
 

Cycle Hire


We have cycles for hire and recommend you use them as they are tried and true in the areas we operate. All of our cycles are fully maintained and serviced before they leave. Included in the cost of your cycle hire is a cycle helmet and safety vest You may use your own cycle, but please ensure it is well maintained and fully serviced before your tour starts.

*Cost of bike hire for the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is NZ$170
*Cost of bike electric hire for the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is NZ$350
 
 

Food


You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings.

If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.

All meals are included in your tour cost. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.



Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Tour
 
 

Fully Guided


Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.


 
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Tour Guides

Staff induction day


 
West Coast Cycles Trail Tours

End of season staff function
 
 

Exclusive to Tuatara Tours - Tour Kit Bag

To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a calico kit bag full of useful goodies on the morning of your tour departure.

West Coast Cycles Trail Tours kit




West Coast Cycles Trail Tours History
      Free Field and History Guide
 
 
 

Your Tour Kit Bag Contains the Following

Contents may vary from time to time!
  • Torch for use in the tunnels
  • Tuatara Tours cap
  • Tuatara Tours cup
  • Tuatara Tours drink bottle
  • Tuatara Tours hand sanitiser
  • Tuatara Tours tissues
  • Tuatara Tours lip balm and sunblock
  • Tuatara Tours emergency whistle
  • Tuatara Tours brochures
  • Field & History Guide of the area
  • Bag of Tuatara scroggin
  • Bag of Tuatara energy plus confectionary
Contents may vary from time to time!  
   

Luggage


Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.

All you carry is a small day pack with your personal gear, drink and lunch.

We do the Rest



We Supply the following equipment

 
  • fully equipped tour kit as above
  • fitted bike helmet
  • hi viz safety vest
  • full hire bike repairs as necessary

You may bring your own bike or we can hire you one for the duration of the trip.
   

What Do I Bring


For your own safety there are a few things that you must bring yourself:
  • Comfortable cycling and or walking shoes
  • Thermal top - wool or polypro
  • Thermal bottom - wool or polypro
  • Waterproof parka with hood
  • Fleece jacket or woollen jersey
  • Woollen or fleece hat
  • Gloves
  • Medium size day pack
Other things we recommend you bring are:  
  • Cycle shorts
  • Cycle gloves
  • Hat, sunglasses
  • Drink bottle - at least one litre capacity (we supply you with one bottle, but you may wish to bring another)
  • Swimwear
  • Your sense of humour
  • Camera
  • Small personal first aid kit including blister block or similar
  • Casual attire for the evenings
  • Any other personal items
   

Safety and Risk Management


To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.
 

Dates For next Summer

2017
  • 28 October 2017
  • November: 11,15
  • December: 9,16
2018
  • January: 6,20
  • February: 10,24
  • March: 3,10,25
  • April: 7,21
Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Alps2ocean download


Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Alps 2 Ocean Cyclists said...


“The tour was amazing,nice people,good accommodation and food, scenery that my camera could not do justice to, a great feeling of solitude on the off road tracks,UNFORGETTABLE!.”
Wayne, NSW, November 2016
 

“We both had a fabulous time, thank you”
Michele and Jon, Christchurch, November 2016







Dates For next Summer

2017
  • 28 October 2017
  • November: 11,15
  • December: 9,16
2018
  • January: 6,20
  • February: 10,24
  • March: 3,10,25
  • April: 7,21
Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Alps2ocean download


History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Alps 2 Ocean Cyclists said...


“The tour was amazing,nice people,good accommodation and food, scenery that my camera could not do justice to, a great feeling of solitude on the off road tracks,UNFORGETTABLE!.”
Wayne, NSW, November 2016
 

“We both had a fabulous time, thank you”
Michele and Jon, Christchurch, November 2016






 

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail


People

According to Maori legend, Aoraki and his three brothers were voyaging around Papatuanuku (the Earth Mother) when disaster struck and they became stranded on a reef. The brothers climbed up on top of their canoe and after some time, the freezing Southern winds froze them, turning them into stone. Their waka (canoe), became what we know today as the South Island, and was called Te Waka o Aoraki - the Canoe of Aoraki. Aoraki, the tallest of the four brothers is now seen as the majestic Aoraki Mount Cook, while his brothers became three other peaks of the Southern Alps.

Up until the mid 19th century, large parties of Maori used to come to the Mackenzie Basin for three to four months of each year to forage for food and trade.

The area was known for its many weka, NZ quail, fernroot, hinerata (a small berry-eating mouse which lived in beech forest) and eels. Raupo roots were also used for food. Snowgrass was used for thatching huts. Flint was mined at a quarry in the Upper Waitaki Basin.

thar West Coast Cycles Trail Tours
Thar
West Coast Wildlife Tours
Mt Cook Lily
West Coast aoraki Tours
Aoraki Mt Cook


Flora and Fauna


Flora: Historically, riverbeds were scattered with low-lying native plants such as lichens, mat species and tufty herbs. When European settlers introduced species such as willow, gorse, sweet brier, broom and lupins, braided river conditions changed rapidly.

By the 19th century, glaciation and Maori fires had severely reduced South Canterbury’s forest cover. The only significant areas of podocarp forest – totara, kahikatea and matai – were at Arowhenua and along the foothills of the interior ranges. Other remnants comprised kowhai, matipo and similar species. There were small areas of beech and mountain totara forest at Aoraki/Mt Cook and along the Ben Ohau Range.

By the mid-19th century most of the area was covered by flax, fern, scrub and tussock. Cabbage trees were abundant. Early pastoralists burned tussock to promote edible shoots, or re-sowed their land in exotic grasses. Most native vegetation has now been superseded by introduced species. The largest remaining remnant of native forest is at Peel Forest near Geraldine.

The progressive development of the Waitaki Hydro-Electric Power Scheme has also brought about extensive changes to the braided rivers and adjoining wetlands, mostly due to the formation of four lakes and expansion of two natural lakes.

Graham’s buttercup, Haast’s hebe and a parahebe (found at up to 3,000 metres on exposed rocks in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park) are the only flowering plants growing in New Zealand that can survive at this height.

Fauna: The hunting for food by Maori and the introduction of exotic mammals such as cats, stoats, ferrets and weasels, has decimated bird numbers and variety however a number of rare and protected birds such as kea, the New Zealand falcon, rock wrens, black stilt, wrybills, and black–fronted terns can still be observed.

Introduced deer, thar, and chamois are found here and are hunted recreationally.

Rabbits and possums are major pests.

Trout and salmon abound in the rivers, canals and tarns.

Some wetlands have been used as sites to release endangered wildlife reared in captivity. ‘Kakï’, or ‘Black Stilt’ (Himantopus novaezelandiae), is a native wading bird only found in New Zealand. It is regarded by Maori as a taonga species – a living treasure. Once common throughout New Zealand, Kakï is now restricted to the braided rivers and wetlands of the Mackenzie Basin. A colony of 80 black-fronted tern nesting in the new Ruataniwha Wetland has been another notable success. The birds nesting in the fenced wetlands have a much higher breeding survival rate - over 90 per cent. Birds nesting outside the fences typically have less than a 40 per cent survival rate.

Himalayan chukor have been released in the grasslands and are often seen on the higher areas.

Long and short tussock skinks and geckos are still relatively common.


Industry


The area today is the biggest provider of hydro electric power in NZ and employs a large number of the resident population.

Tourism is also a major industry with the Mt Cook National Park being to the forefront as one of New Zealand's most well known tourist destinations.

Farming is still a major contributor to the local economy.

Dates For next Summer

2017
  • 28 October 2017
  • November: 11,15
  • December: 9,16
2018
  • January: 6,20
  • February: 10,24
  • March: 3,10,25
  • April: 7,21
Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Alps2ocean download


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contact us

new zealand: 0800 377 378
australia: 1800 044 633
world: +64 3 962 3280
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