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Queenstown & Around the Mountains

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).

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Tour Type

Cycling Tour

7-12 Day Tour

Duration

9 days / 8 nights

Fitness

Price

NZ$4,100 plus bike hire

Book now for Next Summer!

Wednesday 19 April 2023

We can build a tour especially for your group, please enquire for dates available.

Tour Itinerary

Price: NZ$4,100 plus bike hire

Day 1

Queenstown and Lake Hayes

48km

Comfortable Motel

You will be collected from your accommodation between 8:00 and 9:00am

We then travel to Kelvin Heights where your guide will fit you out with your bike. You will bike through the world famous Queenstown landscape sidling beneath the willow trees alongside the Frankton Arm on The Kelvin Peninsula of Lake Wakatipu taking in the views of the peaks – the Remarkable Ranges, Cecil & Walter Peaks as well as Ben Lomond – which are stunning and provide a wonderful backdrop to this ride.

You then ride to the Shotover River past the airport  and on to Lake Hayes. (24km)

On arrival at Lake Hayes you will complete a circumnavigation of this idyllic lake (8km)

After the ride around Lake Hayes you then ride onto the finish for the day in Arrowtown. (6km)

From here to you drive to your overnight accommodation.

Day 2

Arrowtown to Alexandra

38km

Historic Hotel

Today we drive from our accommodation to Arrowtown where Day 2 begins. You cycle from Arrowtown along the Arrow River crossing 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).

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.   

Day 3

Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail

47km

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.

Day 4

Roxburhg-Lake Dunstan Trail-Wanaka

54.3km

Modern Motel/Hotel

After breakfast we head away on the bus to start today’s journey which will take us back to Clyde where we head off on the Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail.

Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail – You will be amazed at the skills of trail builders with sections built out around sheer rock faces. 

You will cycle at the base of the stonework faces of the Cairnmuir slide, a unique feature high on the slopes above the lake. It was designed to protect the river from a major land slide, which could overwhelm the Clutha Dam, a short distance downstream. Also look out for the drainage tunnels dotted along the length of the gorge. There are 13 tunnels (total 18.5km of tunnels) drilled into the hillsides of the gorge in the mid 1990’s. These tunnels are also used to mitigate against landslips into the Clutha River.

A dominant feature at the Clyde end of the trail is New Zealand’s third largest hydro-dam, the Clyde Dam. This was one of the ‘’Think Big” projects driven by the Muldoon led Government to diversify the economy and drive growth. Started construction 1977. The first power was generated in 1992

As the trail continues past Cornish Point it passes by vineyards and olive groves – with views back across to Cromwell and the Heritage Precinct. Along the way there are sections where the land has been reshaped in the search for gold and then again when the lake was formed.

Following the Kawarau arm of Lake Dunstan to the Bannockburn bridge, you will have amazing vistas across the lake to Bannockburn vineyards and the next section of trail which loops back round on the opposite side. 

The Trail then wends its way alongside Lake Dunstan from Cromwell via Pisa Moorings to Smiths Way the final stop of your Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail journey.

For the balance of the afternoon relax and explore the laid back town of Wanaka where stay tonight.

Day 5

Lake Hawea and the Hawea River Trail

27km

Comfortable Motel

Today we head away on the bus and drive to our starting point on the shores of Lake Hawea.

Our ride takes us along the shores of this remote and spectacular lake.

The first part of our ride finishes in the small lakeside settlement of Lake Hawea.

Here we join the picturesque Hawea River cycle trail. The track is well maintained with a few uneven patches as it travels through kanuka groves, woodland and along river terraces where it joins the Newcastle and Upper Clutha tracks to Albertown. From here we ride along the Outlet Track beside the Clutha River to Lake Wanaka.

From Albert Town we journey back to Arrowtown where we stay the night.

Dinner tonight is at your own expense.

Day 6

Queenstown to Five Rivers

48km

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.

Day 7

Five Rivers to Oreti River

52km

Comfortable Hotel/Motel

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.

Day 8

Te Anau

Comfortable Hotel/Motel

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.

Day 9

Te Anau to Walter Park

60km

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.

What's included?

Accommodation

  • Night 1: Comfortable Motel, double or twin units with your own shower and toilet.
  • Night 2: Comfortable Motel, double or twin units with your own shower and toilet.
  • Night 3: Modern Lodge with bar and restaurant. Double or twin rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
  • Night 4: Modern Hotel/Motel with double or twin rooms and ensuite bathrooms.
  • Night 5: Comfortable Motel, double or twin units with your own shower and toilet.
  • Night 6: Comfortable Country Hotel, private rooms with shared bathrooms.
  • Night 7 & 8: Comfortable Hotel/Motel, Private rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

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.

 

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 except your evening meal on night Five. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.

 

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

 

Tour Kit Bag – Exclusive to Tuatara Tours

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.

 

An experienced guide

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.

 

All transport

 

Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

 

NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)

 

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.

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