trip
Off the Beaten Path in PeruAlpamayo Circuit TrekView Trip Details

15 Days$4999USD

Activities
  • 13 days cycling
Accommodation
  • 14 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 9 Dinners
  • 8 Lunches
  • 12 Breakfasts
3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

 
 

Trip highlights


  • Cycle the spectacular Alps to Ocean, Central Otago Rail Trail and the West Coast Wilderness Trail all in one trip!
  • Hike beneath Mt Cook in the World Heritage National Park
  • Explore the charming Victorian Precinct in Oamaru
  • Time to explore Dunedin a wonderful southern city
  • Taste award wining Pinot Noir in a boutique Central Otago winery
  • Ride the gorge section of the spectacular new Lake Dunstan Trail
  • Enjoy the beauty of Queenstown and the numerous activities it has to offer
  • Wonder at Lake Matheson, famous for its sunset reflections of Aoraki/Mount Cook
  • Admire NZ’s native birds and forest from a Treetop Walkway
  • Take in the rugged coastlines, pristine lakes and alpine landscapes of the West Coast

Majestic rugged mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes - it’s all here and within reach. New Zealand boasts an amazing variety of landscapes and equally amazing biking. Explore three of NZ's Cycle Trails on a 15 day adventure within the South Island.

We begin with the Alps to Ocean trail near Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. We cycle past the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, turquoise glacier-fed lakes and lush pastures dotted with sheep to end this trail at the small port of Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean. From Dunedin we head inland to embark on the second of our trails, the Otago Central Rail Trail. Following the course of the historic railway, we cross viaducts, travel through rail tunnels and quaint sleepy railway towns. On arrival in Clyde we get to ride a section of the newly completed spectacular Lake Dunstan trail as an added bonus!

We have a free day in Queenstown within the beautiful Lakes District, before continuing northwards, crossing Haast Pass where you'll be greeted by lush rainforests and surreal coastlines featuring high cliffs and crashing seas. Your cycling efforts will be rewarded on reaching the world famous Fox Glacier. We’ll visit beautiful Lake Matheson before heading to Ross and the start of our third and final cycle trail, the West Coast Wilderness. Following extensive water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines, we will emerge on the rugged coast at Hokitika and ride to Greymouth.

We finish this epic journey by crossing the Southern Alps a second time at Arthur's Pass; and then descend to Christchurch to the end of this amazing adventure.

Trip Code: USI

Your adventure begins with a drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains to Geraldine for a refreshment break before continuing to Lake Tekapo Village for lunch. Its picturesque lake is the first of the storage lakes which feed the hydro schemes in the basin and down the Waitaki Valley. This afternoon we set away on the first of the three famous cycle trails we are to conquer this tour - the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail, following quiet roads that follow the turquoise blue waters of the canal system. On return to Tekapo we have the option to visit the local hot pools to ease any first day muscle aches (own expense). The famous Church of the Good Shepherd and nearby statue standing as a tribute to the sheepdogs that make farming the Mackenzie Basin possible are local icons. We meet in the early evening to have our first group dinner together. Cycle Distance: Tekapo to Lake Pukaki - 30 km

Meals:  D

After breakfast this morning we drive to our next cycling point on the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail alongside the Tekapo hydro canal. We enjoy some flat easy riding past salmon farms to the edge of Lake Pukaki, joining the lakeside cycle trail and with spectacular mountain vistas. From the road end, Aoraki/Mt Cook beckons so we load up and drive to The Hermitage where we have the option to enjoy a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the informative Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park visitor centre (free of charge). In the afternoon you’ll also have the chance to put your walking shoes on and take in the stunning glacier and mountain views from either the Sealey Tarns, the Hooker Valley Track or Tasman Glacier view point. We stay in Aoraki/Mount Cook Village tonight, and enjoy an evening, dining and relaxing below the highest peaks in the Southern Alps. Cycle Distance: Pukaki to Twizel - 30 km

Meals:  B,L

This morning, after a short transfer to the nearby village of Twizel, we cycle past Lake Ruataniwha and Lake Ohau, mostly on cycle trail, to Lake Ohau Lodge for lunch. After we've refuelled our bodies, those who would like a challenge can continue on the trail, which starts its steady climb up to the Tarnbrae Saddle. At 900m this is the highpoint of the whole Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail and your efforts are rewarded with stunning views across the Mackenzie Basin. Alternatively for those who want a relaxing afternoon there is the option to transfer by vehicle and enjoy a final, mostly downhill and flat ride on the trail into Omarama, our stop for the night. Omarama is called "Place of Light" in Maori terminology, a reference to its extraordinarily pure and clear sky. This region is also famous for gliding due to some unique air wave systems and feisty thermals. This evening enjoy an optional soak in a private hot tub of fresh mountain water (own expense). Cycle Distance: Twizel to Lake Ohau - 38 km Ohau to Omarama - 41 km Short option: Quailburn to Omarama - 23 km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s ride takes us down the Waitaki Valley, known for its hydro lakes and dams. First, we follow the trail along the shores of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting. From there, we join the lakeshore to traverse around the shoreline of rocky outcrops, little beaches and even tree covered islands. The trail then drops us down from above the Benmore Dam to join a quiet lakeside road. There is an easier option for less confident riders who would prefer to avoid this more technical section. Regrouped, it’s a delightful undulating cycle towards Aviemore Dam, where we’ll enjoy a picnic by the lake. After crossing the Aviemore Dam, the Grade 2 off road section passes the ghost town of Wharekuri, before passing Lake Waitaki and the Waitaki Dam continuing off road to the small settlement of Kurow. We’ll arrive at Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds. Highlights include beautifully restored St Albans Church and wine-tasting at local vineyards. We’ll stay overnight in Kurow in an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce. Cycle Distance: Up to 67km

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River, past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon. From there, we head inland into rolling country and wander around the unique Elephant Rocks, huge formations strewn across a field. Picking up the old railway line, we’ll ride through Raki's tunnel before rolling downhill amidst more spectacular limestone outcrops and landscapes as we gradually descend towards Oamaru where the Alps to Ocean trail ends on the Pacific Coast. The beautifully restored historic Oamaru Victorian quarter is home to Steampunk and in season features street actors providing entertainment, local crafts, cafes and bars. After a chance to enjoy the finish of our first trail we drive down the Pacific Ocean coastal road to Dunedin, our home for the next two nights. Cycle Distance: Kurow to Oamaru - Up to 82 km

Meals:  B

Dunedin is the provincial capital of Otago, and blends rich history with modern edge. We have our first free day here and you can spend the day exploring the city and its many cafes. Your bikes will be available for you to use. The Otago Peninsula and Port Chalmers are interesting locations and easily accessible by bike. By the time the Scottish settlers arrived in Dunedin around the mid-19th century, they found an area rich in Maori history. The rough, tough and enterprising whalers added another element of diversity to this burgeoning Otago harbour. The cultural mix of Maori, whaler and Scot gave early Dunedin a character all of its own, and here you will find some of the finest examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. Dunedin’s railway station, known as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations, is said to be the most photographed building in New Zealand.

Meals:  Nil

Today we embark on the second of our cycle trails - the Otago Central Rail Trail, a beautiful 150 kilometre historic journey into the Central Otago heartland. We will drive inland to Middlemarch and set off on this historic trail, passing by tunnels and bridges that once were the secret preserve of railway workers. We witness the natural beauty and look in awe at some early feats of the first settlers of this region. Our destination today is Waipiata, a sleepy town in the heart of the Maniototo Plain, where we can visit the tavern dating back to 1933 for some well deserved refreshments. Cycle Distance: Otago Central Rail Trail - Middlemarch to Waipiata - 53 km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's ever-changing landscape includes rugged mountains, crystal clear rivers, and steep winding gorges. After breakfast we set off continuing along the rail trail towards Ranfurly and Wedderburn. Be sure to watch for the planets of the solar system along the way and take note of their proportional sizes and distances. We cycle over the impressive Poolburn viaduct and Manuherikia Bridge and through the 229m Poolburn tunnel to arrive in Lauder. Late afternoon we’ll drive to St Bathans for a walk around the surreal Blue Lake formed during the 1800s gold days. Enjoy a game of pool or banter at the Lauder pub before we tuck into a well-earned dinner. Cycle Distance: Waipiata to Lauder - 57 km

Meals:  B,D

Today we complete the the Otago Central Rail Trail and ride the gorge section of the newly completed Lake Dunstan trail. For views of the Dunstan Mountains and the Raggedy Range, we hop on the bus for the short detour to must-see Ophir township and the lookout for a bird’s eye view of region. We finish the rail trail in Clyde, a quaint historic town in this up and coming wine region. Clyde was once a wild and rollicking “canvas” town bustling with gold miners, shop keepers and ever-present dancing girls. After lunch we cross the Clutha River and enter the stunning Cromwell Gorge where we’ll cycle around sheer rockfaces and over lake inlets on impressively engineered platforms and bridges rising above Lake Dunstan. We meet the van again at Cornish Point. Here we load up and travel through the beautiful Gibbston Valley, known for its world renowned vineyards and continue out to the Kawarau Gorge and the iconic Bungy Bridge – home of Bungy. After watching and perhaps thinking about taking the leap of faith, we continue to Queenstown and our accommodation for the next two nights. Queenstown is the world’s adrenalin capital and makes a fitting point to take a rest day from our riding adventure. Surrounded by majestic mountains and hugging the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the perfect place to relax. Cycle Distance: Otago Central Rail Trail - Lauder to Clyde - 45 km Lake Dunstan Trail - Clyde to Cornish Point - 25 km

Meals:  B,D

Today is a day at leisure in Queenstown. There are optional excursions to either Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound (own expense). These tours have an early start with a bus journey to either Manapouri (to visit Doubtful Sound) or Milford Sound to join an amazing cruise into Fiordland. There is also an option to bus one way to Milford Sound and fly back to Queenstown by helicopter or small plane. We are happy to assist with bookings. Others in the group might like to enjoy a relaxing day in Queenstown, taking in the scenery, visiting galleries, cafes and restaurants, if not partaking in a bungy jump, a sky dive, jet boating or some other adrenalin activity!

Meals:  Nil

Today we make our way to Wanaka, via the Crown Range Road, New Zealand’s highest road. We ride the Queenstown trails from our accommodation and follow along side the lake shore and Kawerau River to see the famous bungy bridge. After exploring the gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, a scenic drive down the Kawerau Gorge gives views across the river to the historic gold diggings and miners huts before we follow the Pisa range through to the vibrant lakeside town of Wanaka. Our second ride takes from the shimmering alpine Lake Hawea surrounded by mountains to Albert Town, and then we continue onto picturesque Wanaka along the banks of the Clutha River. Late afternoon we have the chance to enjoy some free time in the vibrant township before meeting again for an evening meal together. Cycle Distance: Queenstown Trails - up to 27 km Lake Hawea to Wanaka - 25 km

Meals:  B,D

This morning we will start our drive skirting the edges of Lake Hawea and Wanaka with Mt Aspiring National Park as the backdrop, before climbing over the Haast Pass to the west coast of the South Island, renowned for it's glaciers and wild coastlines. The road is bordered by rainforest and mountains on one side and the wild ocean on the other. This is mainly a driving day (journey time approx 6 hours), but we will enjoy stopping at a number of waterfalls and scenic points for short walks along the way. We end our day in the tiny township of Fox Glacier, home to one of only 3 temperate glaciers in the world. There will be time to enjoy a short walk before dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have a dawn start to take a sunrise walk around the jewel-like Lake Matheson, a photographer’s paradise with potential to capture brilliant mountainous reflections. Weather permitting and subject to availability, there is an option to join a scenic flight over Aoraki/Mt Cook and the glaciers instead (own expense). After breakfast we continue north to the gold mining town of Ross, where we connect up with the last of our cycle trails - the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We follow the cycleway north to Hokitika, with a stop at the Treetop Walkway, to experience a unique adventure walking on custom built platforms among temperate rainforest giants. The trail continues along historic logging tramways and through stunning west coast bush to Hokitika, a loveable little town fronted by a dramatic beach and famous for pounamu (greenstone) and other arts & crafts. And sunsets. Our one night here won’t feel like enough. Cycle Distance: 33 km

Meals:  B,L

Today is a big day following the West Coast Wilderness to Kumara. We set off from Hokitika and soon join the old Kaniere water race, before leading us to the shores of the beautiful Lake Kaniere, nestled against the Southern Alps. After a short climb along rural roads, the trail takes us to a coffee stop at Milltown, home of saw-milling in earlier times. We cross a swing bridge and then a kilometre of switchback climbing takes us to the highpoint and more superb riding. From here it's mainly downhill, as we follow water races, bush tracks and reservoir roads taking in the spectacular views as we gradually descend to the interesting settlement of Kumara. We have time to relax in the beautiful historic hotel that is our accommodation. Tonight we enjoy our last evening meal together, celebrating new friendships and our cycling achievements of the past 2 weeks. Cycle Distance: Hokitika to Kumara - 70 km

Meals:  B,L,D

Our final day of the tour sees us completing the Wilderness Trail as we ride from Kumara to Greymouth on a combination of riverside and coastal pathways. The old road and rail bridge is just one highlight as we head towards the town centre and finish our riding at the official end point. After a café lunch, there’s time for a stroll around the town or an optional visit to the historic Monteith's Brewery for a celebratory drink before our spectacular drive across the Southern Alps via Arthur's Pass. On arrival into Christchurch in the early evening we will drop you off in the central city, where trip arrangements conclude. Cycle Distance: Kumara to Greymouth - 30 km

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Tasty cafe breakfasts (x12), gourmet picnic or cafe lunches (x8), two course restaurant dinners (x9) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 14 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on 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
  • Bike hire of a hybrid mountain bike (with helmet)
  • Wine tasting at a Central Otago vineyard
  • Entrance fee to West Coast Treetop Walkway
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats plus our famous morning and afternoon teas
  • Transport from Christchurch (return)
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Rider fees paid to the Cycle Trail Trust for ongoing maintenance and improvements, concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • e-Bike Hire (a surcharge is payable)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (e.g. Steampunk Museum, Penguin watching in Oamaru, activities in Queenstown, scenic flight from Fox or Franz Josef Glacier)
  • 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


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Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season

Dates don't fit?
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Priceper person from

$4999USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Ebike RentalUSD$520
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureUSD$1180
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed South Island Triple Trails 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.

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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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