new zealand: 0800 377 378
australia: 1800 044 633
 world: +64 3 962 3280
  • Overview
  • Itinerary & Map
  • What's Included
  • Photos
  • And more...
Overview
For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

Tekapo Canal Trail

Start:ChristchurchTours run:November - April (Fridays-monthly, or on demand)
End:Christchurch
  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
easy grade
Duration:4 days/3 nights
NZ $1,795.00
excl GST
Cycling

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Tekapo Cyclists Said....


“The journey took me in to some very impressive natural environments”
Lynne, Auckland, March 2014
 

“The views along the way were the attraction for me. Great to see Tekapo Church at last. Very enjoyable- in all loved the trip”
Cheryl, Auckland , April 2013






QualmarktinyGold


Bike Alongside Soaring Landscapes & Turquoise Waters!


Tuatara Tours will take you from Christchurch (which has an international airport) right into the heart of the South Island of New Zealand for The Tekapo Canal Trail.

You will soak up the magical views and discover the history of the Mackenzie Country in four leisurely paced days of pedalling.

Join us for an unforgettable guided bike tour alongside the picturesque glacial lakes and canals, under the watchful eye of the mighty Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain).


What's Included:
 
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • Fully guided
  • Free Tuatara Tours kit bag
  • Luggage transport each day
  • Walking poles
  • Hi viz safety vest
  • Bike Helmet
  • Comprehensive safety systems

Itinerary button
.
 

Tekapo Canal Trail Highlights Video

(4:04min)
  • Soaring landscapes
  • History
  • Tranquility
  • Food to die for
 

Dates For Next Summer


Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Tekapo download


Dates and Availability?

Tours run:November - April (Fridays-monthly, or on demand)
  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D

Customisations?

We can customise tours to suit.

Nicky

nickylge

Hamish

hamish1
Enquire

Itinerary & Map

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Tekapo Cyclists Said....


“The journey took me in to some very impressive natural environments”
Lynne, Auckland, March 2014
 

“The views along the way were the attraction for me. Great to see Tekapo Church at last. Very enjoyable- in all loved the trip”
Cheryl, Auckland , April 2013






The Tekapo Canal Trail

 

Bike Alongside Soaring Landscapes & Turquoise Waters!
.
MacKenzie country hydro canals flow from lake to lake – moving through turbines to generate power.

This means that on the Tekapo Canal Trail you will ride downhill alongside five beautiful southern lakes – namely Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, Lake Ruataniwha, Lake Benmore and Lake Ohau on one of our most popular bike tours.
Tekapo Canal Trail Map






largemap


Day 1: Christchurch to Tekapo


You depart from Christchurch and enjoy a scenic and informative drive through to Lake Tekapo, the centre of the South Island. At Tekapo the astounding panoramic views from the top of Mt John Observatory will take your breath away! It is reputedly an area that enjoys the world’s clearest night sky.

As your cycle experience unfolds you are immersed in the incredibly scenic landscape of turquoise coloured glacial lakes and tussock-clad hills, with the stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

You pedal past the world famous Church of the Good Shepherd (which offers awe-inspiring views of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps through its altar window). You then ride alongside Lake Tekapo, taking in the views of the magnificent lake and mountains, and in early summer hectares of Russell Lupins in attractive shades of pinks and purples.

This evening you relax at a resort hotel that has unbelievable panoramic views across the turquoise waters of the lake. Optional extra’s include a soak in the hot pools close by, or an evening excursion to the Mt John observatory.
 


Day 2: Lake Tekapo - Mt Cook to Twizel


After breakfast, you cycle along the emerald blue canals towards Lake Pukaki, with a brief visit to the Mount Cook Salmon Farm. (Due to maintenance on the Tekapo Canal Road we take a detour directly to Lake Pukaki and ride along the lake and then onto Mt Cook - as below). Travel around the end of Lake Pukaki and (depending on how long you want to cycle) up to the Mt Cook Village at the base of Mount Cook itself. You then pass Irishman Creek, an area also well known as the farm station where the world’s first jet boat was built and tested.

While travelling up the rambling road towards Mount Cook you can enjoy stops at Peter’s Lookout, Boundary Stream and Glentanner. The Mount Cook National Park carries World Heritage status and contains almost all of New Zealand’s major mountain peaks - stretching approximately 70kms along the Southern Alps.

On your arrival at Mt Cook there will be time for a look around the Village before heading off by coach to your lodge for the evening.

The evening is spent in a quality lodge, right in the heart of the Mackenzie Country.
 


Day 3: Twizel to Ohau


You wake up with a wonderful view of the snow capped mountains, and after breakfast you will cycle leisurely along the canal road to Lake Ruataniwha. This is an interesting man-made lake and you will enjoy the local tale of how it was created. A project engineer spent millions of dollars supposedly getting the ‘shoreline redeveloped’…….but instead built a world class rowing course.

You join the Twizel River Trail between Twizel and Lake Benmore. This trail runs for 12km, parallel to the Twizel River, and offers wonderful views of the Mackenzie Basin. The trail ends overlooking the beautiful Lake Benmore, which is New Zealand’s largest man-made lake – famous for its fishing.

Your next experience is to travel a short distance to the start of the Lake Ohau road. From there you will enjoy a relaxed cycle along gradually sloping downhill roads to the magnificent Lake Ohau. A leisurely pedal along the south side of the lake also offers you another opportunity to experience the wonderful views of the snow-capped mountains in the background.

You overnight at the beautiful Lake Ohau Lodge, which provides stunning panoramic views of the lake, mountains and surrounding countryside.
 


Day 4: Ohau to Christchurch


On the final day, you enjoy a ride to the head of Lake Ohau and into the Ruataniwha Conservation Park. This park consists of over 36,800 hectares of rugged mountain landscapes, encompassing beech (Tawhai) forest, sparkling clear rivers, and the Ohau and Ben Ohau ranges.

Your final group lunch is alongside the shoreline of the lake where you celebrate the conclusion of your four day biking experience - before departing by coach back to Christchurch.
 
Accommodation:
  • Cycling
 
Hrs, KM

Dates For Next Summer


Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Tekapo download


What's Included

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Tekapo Cyclists Said....


“The journey took me in to some very impressive natural environments”
Lynne, Auckland, March 2014
 

“The views along the way were the attraction for me. Great to see Tekapo Church at last. Very enjoyable- in all loved the trip”
Cheryl, Auckland , April 2013






The Tekapo Canal Trail


Accommodation

 
Day One
  • Hotel villas, each with private bedrooms, shared bathroom, and open plan lounge area with views of Lake Tekapo.

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

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

*Please note accommodation is double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee of $394 per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of your 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 Tekapo Canal Trail is NZ$180
*Cost of electric bike hire for the Tekapo Canal Trail is NZ$400
 
 

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.



Tekapo Canal Trail Tour NZ
 
 

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.

 
Tekapo Canal Trail Tour Guides NZ
Staff induction day

 
staff10t
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.

Tekapo Canal Trail Tour Guides NZ kit



Tekapo Canal Trail Tour History
      Free Field and History Guide
 
 
 

Your Tour Kit Bag Contains the Following

Contents may vary from time to time!
  • 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 safety and comfort, please note the following:
 
  • Comfortable cycling and or walking shoes
  • Thermal top wool or polypro
  • Thermal bottom wool or polypro or long trousers
  • 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


Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Tekapo download


Photos

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Tekapo Cyclists Said....


“The journey took me in to some very impressive natural environments”
Lynne, Auckland, March 2014
 

“The views along the way were the attraction for me. Great to see Tekapo Church at last. Very enjoyable- in all loved the trip”
Cheryl, Auckland , April 2013







Dates For Next Summer


Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Tekapo download


History

For dates, availability & customisations Enquire

New Zealand Cycling Tours

Tekapo Cyclists Said....


“The journey took me in to some very impressive natural environments”
Lynne, Auckland, March 2014
 

“The views along the way were the attraction for me. Great to see Tekapo Church at last. Very enjoyable- in all loved the trip”
Cheryl, Auckland , April 2013






 

Tekapo Canal Trail - Free Field and History Guide

On the Tekapo Canal Trail we provide you a comprehensive field and history summary of the area.
Tekapo Canal Trail Tour History  
  • History
  • Fauna
  • Flora
  • Geology
  • Did You Know?
  • And more...

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.


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.
 
Tekapo Canal Trail Tour Flora
Thar
Tekapo Canal Trail Tour Mt Cook Lilly
Mt Cook Lily
Tekapo Canal Trail Tour Mt Cook
Aoraki Mt Cook


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


Please enquire for other dates for your group
btn enquire


Tekapo download