One of the most beautiful places on earth awaits with the best of back country cycling in beautiful Queenstown and Southland.
Your tour starts at Lake Hayes and spends 2 days on the Queenstown Cycle Trail taking under the soaring heights of the Remarkables mountain range and framed by the meandering coves of Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown is a right show-off and you will experience it all. The surrounding Central Otago region is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards, and we cycle the Roxburgh Cycle Trail and the Clutha Gold Trail followed by 2 days in the spectacular and tranquil Wanaka region riding the cycle trails alongside the mighty Clutha River and Lakes Wanaka and Hawea.
The next phase of the tour begins with a bus trip from Queenstown to Kingston, the little township on the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu.
You will circumnavigate the Eyre Mountains by bike finishing on the shores of Lake Wakatipu at Walter Peak Homestead.
Your adventure continues with a boat trip across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steam ship, the TSS Earnslaw, ending up back in the southern jewel of Queenstown.
Your fully guided tour starts and ends in the South Island’s largest tourist mecca: Queenstown, with all accommodation, support vehicles and meals (dinner on night 5 is at your own expense).
7-12 Day Tour
9 days / 8 nights
Above average level of fitness. Walk 20kms, Bike 45kms. Formed tracks and roads with average to steep inclines at times.
We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.
Queenstown and Lake Hayes
We travel a short distance to Lake Hayes where your guide will fit you out with your bike. The first ride is an easy 8km circumnavigation of the lake.
From here we commence a lovely easy grade cycle trail from Lake Hayes to the Shotover River past Queenstown Airport to Frankton. We then sidle beneath the willow trees alongside the Frankton Arm on The Kelvin Peninsula of Lake Wakatipu 24km.
Here we take in the views of the peaks surrounding Lake Wakatipu – the Remarkable Ranges, Cecil, Walter Peaks as well as Ben Lomond – which are stunning and provide a wonderful backdrop to this ride.
Arrowtown to Alexandra
Today we cycle from our accommodation along the Arrow River. Cross over two very impressive suspension bridges and over the historic Kawarau Bridge to the AJ Hackett bungy centre (13km).
Take a break and watch tourists take their jumps, before we continue cycling into the Gibbston Valley, high above the mighty Kawarau River, to a boutique winery where we enjoy a picnic vineyard platter lunch (11km).
Enjoy a wine tasting in this lovely setting. After lunch relax on the bus for the scenic drive following the Kawarau River to Clyde.
The afternoon cycle is a 14km ride beneath the willow trees, from Clyde to Alexandra, following the Clutha River. We transfer back to the delightful village of Clyde and our accommodation where you can have a walk around the historic precinct to appreciate the gold mining history of the township.
Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail
Modern Lakeside Lodge
This morning we travel a short distance to Alexandra where the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail begins. The trail through the Roxburgh Gorge is just stunning and will take your breath away. A 10km cycle is followed by a scenic jet boat transfer from Doctors Point to Shingle Creek, followed by another 10km cycle to the Roxburgh Dam.
At the Roxburgh Dam we start the Clutha Gold cycle trail to Millers Flat (27km).
This section features orchards as well as gold mining relics which makes for a very pleasant scenic ride.
At Millers Flat we finish for the day, and then travel to our overnight accommodation at Lake Roxburgh.
Lake Roxburgh to Wanaka
Today we travel from Roxburgh to Luggate where we start the ride along the Clutha River Outlet Trail from Luggate all the way to Wanaka (33km).
For the balance of the afternoon relax and explore the laid back town of Wanaka where stay tonight.
Lake Hawea and the Hawea River Trail
Today we travel by bus to Lake Hawea (some say Lake Hawea is the most picturesque lake in the region). We then cycle back along the shores of Lake Hawea to the sleepy settlement of Lake Hawea village.
Here we join the picturesque Hawea River Trail which ambles its way all the way to Albert Town. An excellent relaxing ride alongside this crystal river to finish of our 5 days of riding around this world renowned outdoor paradise.
From Albert Town we journey back to Arrowtown where we stay the night.
Dinner tonight is at your own expense.
Queenstown to Five Rivers
Historic Country Hotel
We leave at 9am from Arrowtown and drive 40 km to the quaint little lakeside township of Kingston on the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu.
From Kingston you’ll cycle through gently rolling land past Fairlight Station – The Kingston Flier Steam Train destination( not currently operating ). From here it is on to Garston and Athol, before finishing your days riding at Five Rivers.
Your accommodation tonight will be in Lumsden in a delightfully restored historic country hotel. Nestled in a picturesque and tranquil basin this small town revels in its role as the crossroads for travellers who choose to venture to this peaceful and restful part of Northern Southland.
Roads journey to Lumsden from all directions of the compass – Queenstown to the north, Gore to the east, Te Anau and Milford Sound to the west and Invercargill to the south.
Five Rivers to Oreti River
This morning you commence your riding for the day at Five Rivers .You ride downhill gently for 15 km to Lumsden. From Lumsden you ride west gradually up the valley alongside the Oreti river to New Zealand’s Deer Capital – Mossburn. You continue on your ride for another 24km to the finish of Day 2 on the banks of the Oreti River.
From here we drive to Te Anau where we will spend the next 2 nights and relish the warm Southern Hospitality. Sit back, relax and watch the sunset with Fiordland’s mountains creating the most beautiful backdrop.
Te Anau township sits on the edge of Lake Te Anau, lying on the border of Fiordland National Park and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Te Anau is the town that connects Queenstown to Milford Sound by road. The famously scenic Milford Road begins in the centre of Te Anau.
Lake Te Anau is the largest lake in the South Island and largest in the country by water volume getting to depths of over 400m.The lake sprawls at the feet of high rugged mountains.
Today we visit Te Anau’s Wildlife Park where you can view the rediscovered Takahe a flightless alpine bird, along with other unique native birds such as the Kaka, Tui, Kea and the Parakeet.
We also journey to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional your own cost- approx $80 or you can go biking for the day intead – no cost) – a rare example of a living cave that is still under formation. A beautiful cruise across the lake drops you off at The Grotto where a short walk and boat ride along water from a fresh water spring takes you deep into the (young) 15,000 year old cave, lit by thousands of tiny bioluminescent insects.
There will also be some time for biking if this is your choice for the day.
Te Anau to Walter Park
Today we travel by vehicle through to the Mavora Lakes Park.
The North and South Mavora Lakes are located in an impressive landscape of mountains, forest and tussock grassland and recognised as part of the Te Wāhipounamu/ South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The area is also home to multiple Lord of the Rings film locations.
Along today’s ride Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Chamois and Himalayan Tahr can be spotted on the slopes of Mt Nicholas, providing an extraordinary environment to cycle through. The picturesque Von River also runs across the station providing some stunning photographic opportunities.
Mt Nicholas Station is a New Zealand family owned, fully operational High Country Sheep Station. At over 100,000 acres, Mt. Nicholas is the largest station on the lake. The 27,000 merino sheep produce some of the world’s finest quality wool fibre, the majority of which is used in the production of the iconic “Icebreaker” range of high quality, natural fiber garments. The Station lies at the foot of the Southern Alps, with Fiordland National Park to the west and the spectacular, clear waters of Lake Wakatipu immediately to the east.
For the final afternoon of your Around The Mountains cycle experience you ride along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to finish the trail at Walter Peak Station. Here you can have a wine (or beer) to celebrate a successful ride before boarding the TSS Earnslaw Steamship from Walter Peak to downtown Queenstown where our cycle tour finishes.
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.
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 except your evening meal on night Five. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.
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
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.