trip
NEW Trip – Kyrgyzstan & the Tian Shan MountainsJoin 19 August 2024 Departure

7 Days$2390USD

Activities
  • 7 day road/gravel cycle
Accommodation
  • 6 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts
3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

 
 

Trip highlights


  • Ride the Around the Mountains Trail crossing wooden suspension bridges and following the course of an old railway
  • Cycle the Lake to Lake Trail which links the shimmering lake Te Anau to Manapouri along the beautiful Waiau River
  • Visit the lighthouse at NZ's iconic Nugget Point
  • Take on the Catlins rugged coastline with impressive views and wildlife at every turn
  • Visit famous southern destinations of Slope Point, Curio Bay, McLean Falls and Cannibal Bay
  • Challenge yourself on the rolling hills of the breathtaking Otago Peninsula

Imagine pedaling through lush green rolling hills, along wild, windswept coastlines, and encountering unique wildlife in New Zealand's southernmost region. This is the essence of our cycle tour through Southland and the Catlins. The journey combines quiet sealed roads, gravel roads, and off-road cycle trails, offering a diverse and immersive experience. Starting in Queenstown we head to the Fiordland National Park, known for its dramatic landscapes where we traverse through rural roads to reach Invercargill, New Zealand's southernmost city. The adventure continues along the remote Catlins Coast, where ancient petrified forests, fur seals, rare Hector's dolphins, and yellow-eyed penguins await, rejuvenating your spirit before you explore Dunedin, a city rich in Scottish history, and the Otago Peninsula, famous for its tiny villages and panoramic vistas.

This tour is designed for cycling enthusiasts who crave adventure and enjoy the challenge of diverse terrains. Whether you're an experienced cyclist looking for a new challenge or a nature lover wanting to experience the beauty of New Zealand from a unique perspective, this itinerary offers an unforgettable journey through some of the most stunning and remote parts of the country.

Trip Code: SCC

You will meet the tour in central Queenstown around 08:00am. From Queenstown we drive the narrow lakeside road alongside Lake Wakitipu to to the historic railway town of Kingston, where we join the Around The Mountains Cycle Trail. Weaving our way through the pretty rural Mataura valley, surrounded by the Hector and Eyre mountains towards Garston and Athol, we cross a number of suspension bridges called the Golden Gate bridges. Our morning ride ends at Five Rivers which takes its name from the Five Rivers Station taken up in 1857 by pioneer Arthur Hogue, and named because of the five streams which rise in the surrounding Eyre Mountains. Here we load up and transfer to start our afternoon ride from the Sprig & Thistle Caravan, a foodie haven owned by Anna and situated at the base of the Takitimu Mountain Ranges on the edge of Anna's family farm, Davaar Station. This afternoon's ride is on gravel and sealed roads accompanied by the native red tussock covered hills, which lead us into the township of Te Anau, perched on the edge of the Fiordland National Park. Cycling Stats: Kingston to Five Rivers: 52km, +294m (7% Paved, 93% Gravel) Davaar to Te Anau: 34km, +242m (47% Paved, 53% Gravel)

Meals:  L,D

The morning’s ride is on the Lake to Lake trail connecting Lake Te Anau to Lake Manapouri, following the glistening Waiau River in the heart of Fiordland with lake, mountain and riverside views as well as native bush and wetlands. After 30km we switch onto a quiet rural road for a mostly easy rolling pedal through an ever-changing landscape. The stark arid mountains give way to more gentle pastures as we enter Southland farming country. A short transfer to the start of our afternoon ride, initially on quiet gravel roads passing small communities before emerging beside the spectacular Southland coast. This coast is exposed to southerly blasts creating some surreal windswept scenery and we'll follow this dramatic coastline on a mix of seal and gravel through to Colac Bay. Loading up, we finish the day with a transfer through to Invercagill, the most southern city in the world and where we'll stay tonight. Dinner at your leisure tonight, with plenty of options to choose from. Çycling Stats: Te Anau to Blackmount: 65km, +595m (61% Paved, 39% Gravel) Te Tua to Colac Bay: 46km, +294m (48% Paved, 52% Gravel)

Meals:  B,L

The route today is all on back country sealed roads and skirts the beautiful and undiscovered Catlins Forest Park and coastline. We transfer by van to avoid the busier roads and start where the roads are quiet and the coastline becomes increasingly spectacular. The morning ride ends at beautiful Curio Bay where we enjoy a leisurely lunch and a visit to a petrified forest on the sea-shore. This is a renowned wildlife area & you may see the rare Hectors Dolphins, Fur Seals & Yellow Eyed Penguins. After lunch we continue on from Curio Bay, skirting Waikawa Harbour and heading slightly inland to our overnight accommodation near McLean Falls. There will be time for a short walk through native forest to the Falls in the late afternoon - highly recommended! Cycling Stats: Fortrose to McLean Falls: 85km, +1184m (99% Paved, 1% Gravel)

Meals:  B,L,D

We ride from our accommodation this morning and the cycling is tough with some serious climbs both on seal and gravel, but the rewarding views of the coastline make the effort well worth it. Skirting the Catlins Lake, we ride into the small town of Owaka, before heading back to the coast on a gravel road to the stunning Cannibal Bay. Here we'll take a break from the bikes and enjoy a likely trip highlight, a memorable remote and beautiful beach walk past the resident sealions over to Surat Bay. With the van and bikes transferred during the walk, time permitting, there's the option for a second ride from Surat Bay through to the seaside village of Kaka Point and out to Nugget Point to enjoy a short walk to the lighthouse. Cycling Stats: McLean Fall to Cannibal Bay: 49km, +796m (47% Paved, 53% Gravel) Surat Bay to Kaka Point: 36km, +441m (83% Paved, 17% Gravel)

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we drive the busy main road section through rural landscapes to Balclutha. Our ride starts from here, heads back to the ocean for a delightful gravel ride along the coast followed by a challenging climb up and over to Toko Mouth, a village where the rules of normal civilisation seem to have been swept out to sea! After lunch by the river mouth, it's a gentle ride along the beach to Brighton, on the outskirts of Dunedin. This cosmopolitan university town is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand due to it's rich Scottish heritage and is where we stay tonight. Dinner at your leisure tonight. Cycling Stats: Balclutha to Brighton: 98km, +1067m (32% Paved, 68% Gravel)

Meals:  B,L

This morning we explore the Otago Peninsula by bike. The ride has some challenges, taking you first up and over the Portobello hill for sweeping views of the whole Peninsula before dropping down to meander on the gravel roads around Hooper and Papanui inlets, with plenty of marine birdlife for company. The ride then continues with some relaxing, flat riding beside the ocean heading to the Royal Albatross Centre on the headland, the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross in the world, before riding back along the coast to complete a stunning loop. Cycling Stats: Otago Peninsula: 61km, +871m (80% Paved, 20% Gravel)

Meals:  B,D

Today we are Christchurch bound - but not before more rural cycling. We have an option to visit the award winning Whitestone Cheese factory in Oamaru or nearby Riverstone Kitchen, to see their amazing gardens where they grow most of their own culinary produce. We then start cycling from the township of Waimate, the centre of an agriculturally rich community, steeped in natural beauty of rolling farmland and native bush. We ride on quiet roads through small farmlets and communities beneath the Hunter Hills and through the Esk Valley, stopping to admire the beautiful little church of St Mary, perched on a hill in Valley, before a final burst of cycling takes us to the coast and the start of the final drive back to Christchurch. With good traffic flows we should be into Christchurch by around 5pm. Cycling Stats: Waimate to St Andrews: 54km, +504m (49% Paved, 51% Gravel)

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x6), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x5), two course restaurant dinners (x4) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 6 nights comfortable hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Transport from Queenstown to Christchurch
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. visit to Lanarch Castle, Albatross Colony)
  • 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.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season

Dates don't fit?
Create a Private Trip

If you have your own group, talk to us about turning this itinerary into your own private adventure.

Priceper person from

$2390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Road Bike RentalUSD$240
  • Ebike RentalUSD$420
  • Single SupplementUSD$560
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Fiordland & South Coast Gravel 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.


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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

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

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.

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Southern Coast Road Cycle | New Zealand | Adventure South NZ

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