Alps to Ocean Classic (with optional e-bike)


    enquire now 6 Days From NZD $2,295 pp twinshare
    Small group
    Terms & Conditions apply

    Highlights

    • Cycle the spectacular trails of the Alps to Ocean from Tekapo
    • Hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
    • Ride through the iconic Mackenzie Country tussocklands
    • Cycle the shoreline of surreal turquoise hydro lakes
    • Explore Oamaru’s charming Victorian Precinct
    • Stargaze across world renown night skies
    • Stay at the historic Burnside Homestead & Waitaki Braids Lodge
    • Enjoy good company, & eat delicious food
    • Soak in the hot pools at Lake Tekapo (optional)

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Travel Christchurch to Tekapo – 35km Cycle
    Your Alps to Ocean (A2O) adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains. After refreshments in the country town of Geraldine, we’ll continue through rolling farmland to reach Fairlie where we’ll stop for lunch. The scenic journey over Burke’s Pass is a fitting introduction to the famous Mackenzie Country, where Lake Tekapo soon appears as a bright blue jewel. Hopping on our bikes, we’ll ease into our A2O ride along peaceful hydro-canal paths lined with epic panoramas. Back at Tekapo Village, wander along the lakeside to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, then soak away any first-day aches in Tekapo Springs outdoor hot pools or take a night-sky tour. (L, D)

    Day 2 Tekapo to Twizel – 41km Cycle
    Our second day starts with some easy riding along the hydro canal to reach a high terrace overlooking Lake Pukaki and the surrounding mountains. The A2O then dips down to meet the lakeshore, following it to our pick-up point for the fabulous drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (own expense) or the excellent national park visitor centre (free of charge) before we embark on a short but memorable walk. Returning to Lake Pukaki, we’ll get back on the bikes to ride across expansive tussockland to reach Twizel, the friendly wee town that’s our stopping point for the night. (B, L)

    Day 3Twizel to Omarama – 38 or 61km Cycle
    The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside Lake Ruataniwha, then Lake Ohau where we stop for lunch. Confident riders can continue on the trail to Tarnbrae Saddle (900m), the highpoint of the A2O. The vast Mackenzie Country views are just reward for the climb. Alternatively, riders can transfer to the historic woolshed at Quailburn for a much easier ride down to Omarama – our stop for the night. Translating as ‘place of light’, Omarama is known for its extraordinarily clear skies. They are best appreciated at the local hot pools where you can soak in fresh, mountain water (own expense). (B, L, D)

    Day 4 Omarama to Kurow – 47km Cycle
    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, either keep riding up to Otematata Saddle or skip the climb by hopping back in the van. Regrouped, it’s a fun downhill cycle towards Aviemore Dam, where we’ll enjoy a picnic by the lake. 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. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 Kurow to Burnside – 63km Cycle
    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 to the settlement of Windsor. The historic Burnside Homestead is a fitting place for our final dinner together and a well-deserved night’s sleep. (B, L, D)

    Day 6 Windsor to Christchurch, via Oamaru – 25km Cycle
    We get to enjoy one more ride on the A2O before we begin our road trip back to Christchurch. Setting off from our accommodation, we keep on rolling through picturesque rural countryside. We pass Oamaru Stone quarry, where stone has been extracted since the nineteenth century. We’ll see its influence on local architecture once we reach Oamaru. After riding through the town’s delightful municipal gardens, we’ll reach the Victorian Precinct and harbourside park where the A2O finish-line sign offers the perfect photo-op. If time allows, explore the shops and galleries or visit the mind-boggling Steampunk HQ museum. After a late lunch, we’ll begin our journey north across the Canterbury Plains, arriving in central Christchurch early evening. (B)

    Inclusions

    • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
    • 5 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on twin share basis
    • Professional qualified driver/guide
    • 2 professional guides/drivers on trips with 8 or more people
    • Private vehicle transport/support vehicle
    • Water and snacks while cycling
    • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

    WEX-ATC 2020

    Images courtesy of World Expeditions