Explore the new Alps 2 Ocean Cycle trail which is regarded as one of the best New Zealand cycle trails, 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 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”.
5 days / 4 nights
Above average level of fitness. Walk 20kms, Bike 45kms. Formed tracks and roads with average to steep inclines at times.
Current availability, as below:
Do you have another date in mind?We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for a private tour for 10 or more cyclists
Christchurch to Twizel
Twizel Hotel/ Motel stay
Welcome! We leave Christchurch the South Island’s largest city around 8:30 to 9 am,and drive to the iconic Mackenzie Country, a rugged mountain valley basin, which includes two turquoise alpine lakes: Tekapo and Pukaki. You’ll start your cycling along the Tekapo Canal to Lake Pukaki. You are on the edge of the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, with close-up views of New Zealand’s highest mountain.
You follow the Lake Pukaki shoreline on a new purpose-built track, to the Lake Pukaki Information Centre. From the
Information Centre we’ll cycle a further 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.
It’s flat and mostly downhill, through tussock grasslands with beautiful lake and mountain views.
Twizel to Quailburn Woolshed
Lakeside Alpine Lodge
This morning we’ll cycle to the beautiful, glacial Lake Ohau. From Lake Ohau we ride an undulating path, with some short, steep sections. We’ll follow a newly built off road trail traversing the lower slopes of the Ruataniwha Conservation Park,enjoying the 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. We finish riding today at the famous Quailburn Woolshed
Tonight we stay at the Ohau Lodge. 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.
Quailburn Woolshed to Otematata
Comfortable Country Hotel/ Motel
Today we start riding from the Quailburn Woolshed along a shingle road to the Clay Cliffs where we take a small side trip to see these wonderful natural structures. Next, we’ll follow State Highway 8 passing through Omarama township, at the southern end of the Mackenzie Basin.
NEW SECTION OPENED 2021 – Spectacular
On reaching Sailors Cutting campground, the trail is wide and accommodating. For the first 4kms, it’s wide enough to ride two abreast as the trail climbs up to the low saddle above the Bach Bay – and then the easy cycle down to the lakefront. Eventually the trail narrows for the 4-5km middle section and riding becomes single file to accommodate two-way traffic.
As you progress along the trail you regain the wider 4WD track on the Benmore section, which gradually climbs and climbs to the saddle above Benmore dam and Otematata. From here the trail follows the contour along the ridge and then descends to the dam car park area. From here it is a short ride 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.
Otematata - Duntroon
Country Hotel / Motel
We’ll leave tiny Otematata behind with a short, steep climb and follow the Benmore Dam, past the power station. We’ll skirt the shores of 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 Vanished World Museum.
Duntroon - Oamaru
Today, it’s into the home stretch through the North Otago countryside to historic Oamaru.
We pass the 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. We should arrive back in Christchurch sometime between 6:30 and 8pm.
Double or twin share. If single room accommodation is requested, an additional fee per person is payable to cover this requirement for the duration of the tour.
Accommodation is subject to change depending on availability
We have bikes for hire and recommend you use them as they are tried and true in the areas we operate.
All of our bikes 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 bike, but please ensure it is well maintained and fully serviced before your tour starts.
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. Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, but is available for purchase most nights.
Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour
To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a kit bag full of useful goodies.
This will be given to you at the start of your tour.
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.
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.