DAY 1 Christchurch – Tekapo 35 kms
Arrive Christchurch and drive south across the Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass. a wonderful introduction to McKenzie Country where Lake Tekapo soon appears. Your first ride is a peaceful roll along hydro-canal paths surrounded by epic panoramas. Back at Tekapo Village, wander along the foreshore of the lake to tiny Church of the Good Shepherd.
DAY 2 Tekapo – Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park – Twizel 40 kms
Ride to a high terrace overlooking Lake Pukaki and the surrounding mountains then descend to the lakeshore to board your vehicle for the fabulous drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Time to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the excellent national visitor centre then take a short walk in the Hooker Valley before returning to Lake Pukaki. Bike across expansive tussockland to reach the small town of Twizel.
DAY 3 Twizel – Omarama 82 kms or 64 kms
The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals to Lake Ohau. Option to ride to the highest point on the Trail, Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), or transfer to the historic woolshed at Quailburn for a much easier ride down to Omarama.
DAY 4 Omarama – Kurow 67 kms
Cycle 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 rejoin the quiet lakeside road. Regrouped, it's a fun downhill cycle towards Aviemore Dam. Arrive at Kurow whose highlights include beautifully restored St Albans Church and wine-tasting at local vineyards. Stay overnight in Kurow in an elegant lodge serving dinner showcasing local produce.
DAY 5 Kurow – Burnside 28 km
Cycle along the banks of the Waitaki River, past vineyards and a Maori rock art site to reach the small town of Duntroon. Continue 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 to the settlement of Windsor. Tonight stay an historic homestead, a fitting place for our final dinner together.
DAY 6 Windsor – Christchurch 19 km
Roll through picturesque rural countryside and past the Oamaru Stone quarry. We'll see its influence on local architecture once we reach Oamaru. Ride through the town's delightful municipal gardens, and reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park where the Alps 2 Ocean finish-line sign offers the perfect photo-op. After a late lunch, we'll journey north across the Canterbury Plains, arriving in central Christchurch early evening.
Moderate to energetic on mountain bike trails with good widths and some low traffic tar sealed roads. Expect uphills and downhills and distances between 53 and 73 kms per day. Electric bikes are available.
A splendid view of Mt Cook is the reward of a walk along the Hooker Valley
From the foot of New Zealand's tallest mountain to the blue Pacific Ocean, bike through typical rolling countryside. Descend over 1,000 metres on 300 kms of trail and quiet country roads making this the longest continuous ride in NZ.
- Aoraki Mt Cook at 3724m
- Spend a night at a historic homestead
- Marvel at the cobalt blue of Lake Pukaki
- Benmore Hydro Dam
- Oamaru's Victorian Precinct
- Best Pinot Noirs in the world
Start and finish in Christchurch.