trip
Book with confidence – $0 depositSee Terms & Conditions
3
Moderate
Activities
  • 7 days walking and cycling
Accommodation
  • 4 nights motel
  • 2 nights farm stay
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days$2499USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: MOL

Trip highlights


  • Explore the scenic Kaikoura Peninsula and hinterland by bike and foot
  • Savour lunch and wine tasting at an award winning vineyard in the Waipara Valley
  • Cycle the length of the remote Molesworth Road and visit the historic Molesworth Cob Cottage and Acheron Accommodation House
  • Enjoy kiwi hospitality and fine local produce at our Middlehurst Station farm stay
  • Soak in the thermal hot pools surrounded by mountains at Hanmer Springs
  • View the incredible Giant Sperm Whales on a whale watch cruise from Kaikoura (optional)

From scenic wine regions to surreal mountain landscapes this trip in the Northern Canterbury and Marlborough districts is a delight. Ride a new cycle trail in the emerging wine growing district of Waipara Valley, learn regional history and explore the stunning Kaikoura coastline, dotted with fur seals, there is the option to take an early morning whale watching cruise. We journey through the vast Molesworth Station along isolated roads flanked by rugged mountains and overnight on a remote back country merino sheep farm nestled under Mt. Tapuae-o-Uenuku, the highest mountain outside of the Southern Alps. Before we head back to Christchurch, explore the forest trails and a soak in the therapeutic thermal pools at Hanmer Springs provides a fitting finale to this memorable cycling adventure.


We meet at one central Christchurch location at 8:00am and drive to our depot for a bike fit and briefing before setting away on our cycle tour. We head towards the Waipara Valley which has emerged as the fastest growing wine region in New Zealand – winning international awards for the quality of its wines including Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay. Our first ride takes us along the Waipara wine trail, which winds through the region’s many wineries, providing spectacular views and delicious local produce at on-site restaurants. After a relaxed winery lunch we continue driving northwards to our afternoon ride. From Domett we cycle the quiet back road to visit the pebbly shore of Gore Bay and interesting Cathedral Rocks, before continuing to Cheviot and driving to Kaikoura. In the early evening we check into our motel, where we will spend the next 3 nights and meet again for our first group dinner. Cycling Distance: Waipara Wine Trail - 15km Domett to Cheviot via Gore Bay - 20km

Meals:  L,D

After breakfast we have the option to join a whale watch tour offering a up-close encounter with the world's largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale. We might get to spot any number of Blue, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Minke, Pilot, Orca and Southern Right Whales, Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, as well as Elephant Seals and Leopard Seals. For those more interested in bird life, there is an Albatross Encounter tour at the same time. Both tours last around 3 hours and only operate in calm conditions. The rest of the group have time to explore the town, visit the historic Fyffe House established with the whaling station in 1842 and enjoy a walk over the cliff tops from South Bay. The full loop around the Kaikoura Peninsula takes around 3 hours and provides impressive views of rugged cliff formations, tidal platforms and the Seaward Kaikoura Range. We regroup for lunch and then ride the newly developed Kaikoura cycle trail following the perimeter of the plains under the towering peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges and Mt Fyffe. The trail takes a mix of single track and quiet country roads, some gravel and some paved, through bush and open farmland giving many glimpses of the ocean from above. We return to our accommodation and are free to make our own dinner arrangements. Cycling Distance: up to 45km Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway: up to 12km - 3 hours

Meals:  B

Today's ride follows quiet undulating rural roads alongside the Amuri and Seawards Kaikoura Mountains. After breakfast our ride starts directly from our hotel, we cross the Kowhai River and head towards the hills on the Inland Kaikoura Road. Entering rolling farm country, the route soon crosses from the Kaikoura District to the Hurunui, climbing several inclines and passing over the Conway River and the historic Doone Station and gravesite. The landforms around here still show the effects of the massive November 2016 earthquake, with the road crossing faultlines and scars. From the high point at the Whale Back Saddle it is all downhill to Mt Lyford Village where the lodge will be a welcome sight for refreshments before returning to Kaikoura. In the late afternoon we have free time to explore, walk on the beach and to visit Kaikoura lookout or the Peninsula for those who missed it yesterday. Cycling Distance: Kaikoura to Mt Lyford - 61km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we leave Kaikoura early and drive north to the start of the Awatere valley (approx 1.5 hours) with a short stop at Ohau Point lookout to see fur seals on the rocks below. The next 3 days we travel through stunning back country wilderness of the Molesworth Station, which at 180,787 hectares, is New Zealand's biggest farm and supports the country's largest herd of beef cattle, as well as almost 30 endemic plant species. Our 185km journey to Hanmer Springs follows the Awatere River, then crosses Wards Pass to follow the Acheron to its confluence with the Clarence River. We set off riding on a paved road up the wide Awatere Valley, surrounded by vineyards. We climb up the valley, through rolling farmscapes where the road turns to gravel and we become dwarfed by the impressive Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku (2885m) and the massive Inland Kaikoura Ranges. After a steep climb we reach the top of Upcot Saddle, we get a short downhill respite before another climb over a higher saddle brings us to Middlehurst Station, and our comfortable accommodation in the upper valley. Our support vehicle will always be near by for anyone who wants a breather or wants to cycle a shorter distance. Tonight's farm stay has shared facilities and a hearty evening meal will be prepared by the onsite chef. Cycling Distance: Awatere Road to Middlehurst Station - up to 80km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we enjoy a day at Middlehurst Station which offers a range of activities on their vast farm property, including bike trails, farm tours, heli-hiking, fishing, hunting and four wheel driving – there will be an extra cost for some of these activities, prices to be confirmed. For those keen to continue cycling there will be the opportunity to ride further along the Molesworth Road and the Awatere Valley towards Isolated Saddle. We pass by the original cob homestead built by John Murphy in 1866 and the gateway to Molesworth Station. The road climbs to Wards Pass (1145m) and across the 250-hectare expanse of Isolated Flat, an outwash plain, bounded by the Awatere Fault. From January until April, masses of tall, white gentian flowers and blue borage can be seen growing colourfully amongst clumps of short tussock and pasture grass. At the end of our ride we load up the bikes and return to Middlehurst Station for a second night. We have plenty of time to relax in this amazing mountainous environment before another delicious home cooked meal is served. Optional Cycling Distance: Middlehurst Station to Isolated Saddle - 43.5km

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we say farewell to our hosts to ride the final section of the Molesworth Road, savouring the remoteness of the spectacular landscape around us. Flanked by mountain ranges the road follows the Acheron River to the historic Acheron House, which was built in 1863 as an overnight stopover in the early stock droving days. Here we reach the mighty Clarence River and ride alongside the river before one final push up and over Jacks Pass and a fast descent brings us into Hanmer Springs. The total distance from Middlehurst Station is 106km, we can ride a number of sections depending on how much, if any, we cycled yesterday. Some riders might like to attempt to complete the full journey to Hanmer Springs. After settling into our accommodation, we head to the thermal hot pools for a well deserved soak in the therapeutic waters. We meet again in the evening for our final group dinner to celebrate our weeks cycling achievements. Cycling Distance: Middlehurst Station to Hanmer Springs - up to 106km

Meals:  B,L,D

Hanmer Springs is a hub for mountain biking and hiking, and a great place to rest, relax and enjoy the mountain air. Today we have a choice to ride or walk and to revisit the hot pools depending on our energy levels. Cycle Option: An easy section of the new St James cycle trail leaves from St James Station in the Clarence Valley and climbs slowly up a gravel cycle path for 15km to Peters Pass before returning through the Rainbow valley. The ride gives panoramic views in all directions and then returns to Hanmer Springs over Jacks Pass, to give a scenic loop of approx 30km. Hiking Option: A short relaxed walk takes us through the forest to a lookout at Conical Hill or a more challenging walk to the top of Mt Isobel (1319m) takes 3-4 hours from Jacks Pass. The route follows a steep, rocky and exposed ridge to the summit, giving wonderful views over Hanmer Basin and beyond. After our morning's activities we are free to go for lunch or another dip in the hot pools before we set away on our return journey to Christchurch. We will be delivered to Christchurch airport or the central city in the late afternoon.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches (including winery lunch), 5 evening meals
  • 4 nights comfortable motel accommodation, double or twin share with ensuite bathroom facilities
  • 2 nights farm stay accommodation at Middlehurst Station with shared bathrooms
  • Professional qualified driver/guide
  • 2 professional guides/drivers on trips with 8 or more people
  • Wine tasting and lunch at Waipara vineyard
  • Single entrance to hot pools at Hanmer Springs
  • Healthy snacks, fruit and soft drinks while cycling
  • Private vehicle transport

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Whale watching at Kaikoura, activities on Middlehurst Station)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you. Learn more about our guides on our team page at www.adventuresouth.co.nz.


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season

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Total Priceper person from

$2499USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Bike RentalUSD$140
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)USD$450
  • Single SupplementUSD$500
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Kaikoura & Molesworth High Country Cycle trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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