trip
Book with confidence – $0 depositSee Terms & Conditions
3
moderate
Activities
  • 7 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 5 nights hotel/motel/lodge
  • 1 night high country station
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 DaysUSD

Hit the trails with confidence

Enjoy $0 Deposit
on new bookings for a number of our trips

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: SOG6854

Alps to Ocean End to End Trip highlights


  • Passionate foodie, Helen Jackson will inform and inspire
  • Meet the growers/producers of hazelnuts, honey, salmon, vineyards to name a few
  • Eat, taste, and ebike down the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Aoraki Mt Cook
  • Enjoy a breathtaking heli-flight over the Tasman River from Aoraki/Mt Cook Village
  • Meet Philippa Cameron founder of "Whats For Smoko"
  • Stay at Braemar Station, Lake Ohau Lodge, Waitaki Braids Lodge & Enfields Old School House
  • Cycle along the edges of Lakes Ohau, Benmore and Aviemore
  • Explore the Victorian Precinct in Oamaru
  • Celebratory end of ride lunch at Riverstone Kitchen

Explore some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes and culinary delights as you embark in comfort on our fully guided and supported Alps to Ocean End to End Cycle tour, hosted by NZ foodie, Helen Jackson.

The 7 day cycling adventure allows you time to fully appreciate the trail from the foot of Aoraki/Mt Cook to the Pacific Ocean. The itinerary has been designed so we cycle the entire length of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail, covering 320km of spectacular and diverse country along with exploring some added highlights along the trail. Meeting in Queenstown, we drive to the base of the mighty Southern Alps.

Our journey begins with a stunning heli-flight across the Tasman river before cycling through the vast tussock-lands of the Mackenzie Country, along the braided rivers and vineyards of the Waitaki Valley, all the way to the white-stone township of Oamaru. A highlight of this trip is the hand picked accommodation where we stay at a mix of lodges, premium backcountry farmstays and motels.

Enjoy warm, southern hospitality, heritage charm as well as some fabulous local produce and meet producers along the way including salmon, hazelnuts, wine and so much more. An Alps to Ocean trip unlike any other.


Your Tastes of Alps to Ocean End to End adventure begins by being collected at 8am by your guides from a central location in Queenstown. We start our journey with a warm up ride from the old gold mining town of Arrowtown following a trail high above the Arrow River, crossing 5 impressive bridges. On reaching the historic Kawarau Bridge, we can watch the brave bungy jumpers, whilst your guides load up the bikes and drive towards Aoraki/Mt Cook Village; the official start to the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We have the option to visit the famous Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the informative Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park visitor centre (free of charge). You'll also have the option of putting your walking shoes on to take in the stunning glacier and mountain views from the Hooker Valley Track or Tasman Glacier Track. In the evening we will meet for a celebratory welcome dinner at The Hermitage. Cycle Distance: Arrow River Trail - 14km Hiking Distance: up to 10km (optional) Accommodation: Aoraki Alpine Lodge Mt Cook

Meals:  D

After breakfast we have time to explore the village some more. We then hop on our bikes and cycle the first 7km to the airport where we take a short (but very scenic) heli-flight with our bikes to meet up with the trail on the other side of the Tasman River. We then cycle along the edge of Lake Pukaki, taking in views of Aoraki/Mt Cook. After meeting our support vehicle we have a picnic lunch then continue cycling to the high country farmstay, Braemar Station. This is a trip highlight for many as we are rewarded with fantastic views over Lake Pukaki made all the better with a celebratory glass of wine and some cheese before being treated to a delicious home cooked dinner. Please Note: accommodation tonight is a mixed across 2 separate lodges - some rooms have ensuites and some do not yet both lodges have views to make it worthwhile. Cycle Distance: Aoraki/Mt Cook Village to Braemar Station - 38km Accommodation: Braemar Station

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast, we leave Braemar Station and start our ride for the day. The trail winds around the edge of Lake Pukaki to the visitors centre before crossing the extensive tussock-lands of Pukaki flats to Twizel and onto High Country Salmon for lunch. The farm manager will host a tour and tasting of the Chinook (King) salmon farm and learn how New Zealand came to inheriting one of the most beautiful and spectacular fish in the world from McLeod River, California. After lunch we cycle alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals, then Lake Ohau and onto Lake Ohau Lodge, where we stay tonight. Todays ride is big but equally impressive and this evening there is time to unwind and soak in the onsite hot tubs while overlooking the lake. Remember there is the support vehicle to rest tired legs! Dinner tonight is a treat in the Lake Ohau Lodge dining room where the views of the lake and alps are an unwelcome distraction from you enjoying a tasty three course meal. Cycle Distance: Braemar Station to Twizel - 42km Twizel to Lake Ohau - 38km Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

After we've refuelled our bodies with breakfast, those who would like a challenge can continue on the trail, which starts as a steady climb up to the Tambrae 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. The rough shingle Tarnbrae track is steep and narrow and is suited to the more confident and fitter riders. Alternatively for those who want a relaxing afternoon there is the option to transfer by the support vehicle and enjoy a final, mostly downhill and flat ride on the trail from the historic wool shed at Quailburn 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) before a meal at the Pink Glider. Cycle Distance: Lake Ohau to Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle - 44km Short Option: Quailburn to Omarama - 26km Accommodation: Sierra Motels

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 where we join a new section of trail which follows Benmore Dam and offers super views, swimming opportunities and some of the best riding of the entire trail. Leaving our bikes at Benmore Dam we transit by vehicle the short distance to Otematata to visit to the iconic Otematata High Country Station and Philippa Cameron who will host us for morning tea. Phillipa is the inspiration behind the blog and Instagram account What's For Smoko. We will hear how she feeds hoards of hungry workers and enjoy a tasty morning tea whilst learning about her most recent project, writing a book, A High Country Life. Tales and recipes from a New Zealand sheep station. Returning to our bikes we then ride across the Benmore Dam wall and follow the trail along Lake Aviemore where at a scenic picnic spot the guides and Philippa will have set up a picnic lunch and refreshments. We arrive in Kurow with plenty of time to explore the town’s surrounds, enjoy scones in the lodge or some winetasting at the award winning Ostler Vineyards tasting rooms. We’ll stay overnight in Kurow at Waitaki Braids Lodge, an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce by one of the regions most esteemed chefs. Cycle distance: 51km (Omarama to Otematata = 35km then Aviemore Dam to Kurow = 16) Accommodation: Waitaki Braids Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning the cycle trail takes us along the banks of the Waitaki River to a hazelnut farm then onto Waitaki Honey both business which deliver the highest quality produce to a following of chefs. We then ride past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon where we turn inland to cycle on a mixture of trail and quiet rural roads. A walk among the unusual rock formations known locally as Elephant Rocks is a must-do on the way past. Following a short section of an old branch railway line we cycle through Raki's tunnel before a downhill ride into the settlement of Windsor. The well restored and very comfortable The Old School Enfield is a fitting place for our final night and a well-deserved night’s sleep. Our final celebratory dinner is at the Fort Enfield pub where the hospitality is as good as the meals. Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow – Duntroon) & 35km (Duntroon – The Old School) Accommodation: The Old School Enfield

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we jump on the bikes for the last ride and cycle through picturesque rolling rural countryside, past the Oamaru stone quarry to Friendly Bay and the end of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. We celebrate our cycling achievements with a group photo at the famous picture frame. We wonder among the shops and galleries of the Victorian Precinct before our final foodie experience, a celebratory late lunch at the award winning Riverstone Kitchen which will be nice way to wrap up the Tastes of the Alps to Ocean ebike adventure! We'll begin our journey home driving north across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch Airport (arriving approx. 6pm) for an optional drop off or onto in central Christchurch around 6:30pm. (Please do not book flights departing before 7:45pm). Upon arrival and being dropped off all services conclude yet the memories will last a lifetime. Cycle distance: 19km

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • Tasty and nutritious meals. Breakfasts (x6), lunches (x6), dinners (x6) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 6 nights comfortable motel/lodge/high country station accommodation on a twin share basis
  • e-Bike including helmet hire
  • 2 Professional qualified driver guides to keep you safe and informed
  • Heli-flight across the Tasman River with bikes to the official start point
  • Tasty nutritious trail snacks, drinks and treats to keep you engergised
  • Full vehicle support along the trail - ride as much as you like
  • Celebratory welcome dinner at The Hermitage
  • Celebratory farewell lunch at Riverstone Kitchen
  • Entrance fees and meet the growers produce tours
  • Transport from Queenstown to Christchurch
  • Departure Christchurch Airport group transfer on day 7
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • Flights to or from start and finish points
  • Arrival airport transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Optional activities (eg. Omarama hot tubs, Steampunk Gallery)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, alcohol, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance - highly recommended

About Your Leader

Your tour will be led by two fabulous local guides who will give you insightful information during your travels, answer and provide a safe and happy environment so that you can relax, taste and enjoy what this land has to offer. The guides are there to manage the logistics and ensure all you need to do is relax, ride your bike and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Your Host:- Helen Jackson.

Think of cuisine and the name, Helen Jackson I am sure has appeared a few times. Helen Jackson is not only a mother to Daisy, Jemima and Freddie, and married to Ed, but she is a renowned NZ Foodie, Food Editor, author, radio co-host and cook and spends her working life immersed in food. Helen set up www.foodlovers.co.nz 15 years ago, and it continues to be one of NZs busiest recipe based sites.

Apart from her passion for food, Helen loves to travel often spending her time away from home experiencing new cultures and cuisines, allowing her to discover new dishes to share with budding cooks, or to reinvent new ones through her discoveries along the way. Helen’s passion for travel, love of food and desire to discover new and interesting produce and its uses makes her a great host heading out on one of NZ's iconic cycles. It is also Helen’s 9th 'Taste of' experience tour, so she is no stranger to this style of travel and loves every minute. She is looking forward to being on this adventure with you, discovering our beautiful country and sampling local NZ produce along the way.


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Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Tastes of Alps to Ocean End to End - with Helen Jackson 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.


Alps to Ocean End to End 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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