Cycle New Zealand: Alps to Ocean

If there’s a land made for cycling, this is it. After a visit and short hike in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park follow the path of the bright blue waters of Lake Pukaki near Twizel as it flows down from the Southern Alps, twisting through valleys, passing through lakes, and rolling out into the open Pacific Ocean at Oamaru. Jump on the saddle and you’ll flow down descents from forested summits, twist along roads squeezed between peaks and shores, and roll along backroads, side trails and the official Alps 2 Ocean trail. With an expert leader directing the pack, the only directions you’ll need is when to detour to the best trails and special stops only the locals know. With memorable accommodation and tastes of New Zealand along the way, this is a real gateway to some seriously great outdoors.


1. This trip starts at 8am in Christchurch and finishes on arrival into Oamaru on Day 6 (approx 1pm)
2. Please note we do not currently offer pre/post trip accommodation in Oamaru .
3. To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
4. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group.
5. This trip includes a support vehicle and your luggage is transported for you from accommodation to accommodation each day.
6. Our riding is done mostly on a well graded and maintained gravel cycle path, however there are a few short but rough sections of trail. We recommend those not confident descending on this terrain should walk these sections or use the support vehicle.
7. As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement (excluding night 5 at Tokhari) is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details.
8. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are on an 'on request' basis only. A request ds not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.

Tour details
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Price From
Number of Days
Start Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
End Location
Oamaru, New Zealand
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 11
Tour Style
Tour Themes
No specific theme
Physical Rating
Itinerary Open all
Day 1: Christchurch - Aoraki (Mt Cook) NP - Twizel
Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch. This cycling adventure from the Alps to the Ocean kicks off with a pick-up at 8am. After the meeting you’ll jump in a private vehicle to head past Lake Tekapo (approximately 4 hours), and on to the southern shores of the turquoise-coloured Lake Pukaki. With the stunning peaks of the Southern Alps and the towering Mt Cook close by, it’s a truly remarkable sight. Continue to nearby Twizel for a quick bite for lunch then be fitted with your bike. After lunch drive north (approximately 1 hour) to the iconic Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and swap your biking shs for hiking shs and enjoy a short hike in the national park along part of the Hooker Valley Track. The views of Mt Cook are nothing short of spectacular. Afterwards return to Twizel and perhaps join the locals for dinner (the locally caught trout and salmon are amazing!) before settling in for a well-earned sleep.
Day 2: Twizel - Lake Ohau
Enjoy breakfast at the cafe next door then take the short drive (approximately 20 mins) to the eastern shores of Lake Pukaki for your first ride, a flat and leisurely 24 kilometre cycle back down to Twizel, arriving in time for lunch. From here set off on a longer ride (approximately 38 kilometres) from Twizel to the western shore of Lake Ohau, where the clear waters of the Hopkins and Dobson Rivers flow directly off the Southern Alps. While longer in distance this is an easy ride as you make your way in the shadows of the Ben Ohau mountain range along flat sealed road beside the Pukaki canal and past Loch Cameron and the Ohau canal. Leave the tarmac and take the smooth gravel road that skirts the south shore of Lake Ohau, passing a property known as Maori swamp. Re-join the tarmac and enjoy some stunning views of the crystal-clear lake on your right and the brooding mountains on your left – truly spectacular. Cycle on to your secluded home for the night, the locally owned and spectacularly located Lake Ohau Lodge.
Day 3: Lake Ohau - Omarama
Today is a tougher and slightly more technical day as you leave Lake Ohau behind and enjoy an easy cycle to Freehold Creek (with stunning views back across to the Ben Ohau Mountain Range) before starting your first real climb of the trip. Test your fitness (or e-bike battery) among the native Beech forests as you cycle up (approximately 11 kilometres) to the highest point of the trail. At 900 metres above sea level the magnificent views over the Mackenzie Basin, Ben Ohau and Lake Ohau and Lake Ruataniwha make the climb worthwhile. As ds the rolling descent to the historic woolshed at Quailburn Road where you'll pause for a well-earned packed lunch. From here it is a gentle ride on a quiet backroad and a short side trail to take you all the way into the small town of Omarama. Depending on the fitness and preferences of the group, there is an option to use the support vehicle for the harder parts of the trail. There is also an option today to cycle to the nearby Omarama Clay Cliffs. This side trip will add an extra 14 kilometres, but the sight of these surreal cliffs – tall pinnacles separated by narrow ravines – makes it a worthwhile diversion.
Day 4: Omarama - Kurow
It’s your longest day in the saddle today – around 67 kilometres in total but not overly strenuous or technical – as you make your way through lake country along 30 kilometres of dedicated trail from Omarama. Ride east down the Waitaki Valley, past the Chain Hills Viewpoint, then follow the edge of Lake Benmore to the oddly named Pumpkin Point (seriously, we’ve never seen a single pumpkin here!). This section includes a new route through the Benmore Gorge onto the top of the dramatic Benmore Dam. After lunch enjoy the quiet sealed road from Otematata alongside the southern shore of Lake Aviemore, once again cycling right up to the Hydro-dam wall before enjoying the last 16 kilometres of dedicated trail, past the haunting Wharekuri ruins, mostly downhill to Kurow. On the banks of the braided Waitaki River which separates the Canterbury and Otago provinces, Kurow (birthplace of the legendary All Black Ritchie McCaw) is an ideal place to simply put your feet up at the end of a long day’s ride, and perhaps enjoy a well-earned drink from one of the local producers in New Zealand’s newest wine region.
Day 5: Kurow - Duntroon - Tokarahi
Leaving sleepy Kurow behind you, enjoy a relaxed ride of 28 kilometres down the valley on the mostly traffic-free smooth shingle road alongside the Waitaki River. Pass vineyards (stopping at the River-T winery), the Takiroa Maori rock art site and Duntroon Wetlands, before arriving into Duntroon itself just in time for lunch (not included) at the charming and iconic Duntroon Hotel. No need to worry about your sweaty cycling clothes here as the local proprietors are incredibly welcoming to cyclists of all kinds. After lunch it’s back onto the bikes as you deviate slightly from the official trail and take an 19-kilometre side trip into Otago to your home for the night, the historic and welcoming Tokarahi Huts. Built by one of Oamaru's finest craftsmen using salvaged materials from the original building that once stood on the site, and with a welcome from the farm owner himself, this is one of the best examples of locally owned and operated sustainable businesses in the region, and one we’re proud to be associated with.
Day 6: Tokarari - Oamaru
Today is your last day on the bike as you make your way to the South Pacific Coast and the charming seaside town of Oamaru. After a good early breakfast leave Tokarari behind and rejoin the ‘official’ trail, passing through the historic Rakis Railway Tunnel and following the old railway line to Windsor and all the way through to Enfield. Take an early lunch then enjoy your final ride of the trip with a last 12 kilometres into Oamaru via the Botanical gardens – the oldest such gardens in New Zealand – and Historic Victorian precinct, with a stunning finish at Oamaru Harbour and the shores of the Pacific Ocean itself.
  • Meals: 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Transport: Bicycle (e-bike available, subject to availability), minivan
  • Accommodation: Hotel/Guesthouse (3 nts), Lodge (1nt), Hut (1 nt)
  • 1-2 Hour Hike
  • 6 Days Bicycle Hire
  • 5 Days Guided Cycling
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
14 Dec 2021 19 Dec 2021 11 $2,775
04 Jan 2022 09 Jan 2022 10 $2,915
18 Jan 2022 23 Jan 2022 11 $2,860
01 Feb 2022 06 Feb 2022 11 $2,860
08 Mar 2022 13 Mar 2022 11 $2,775
22 Mar 2022 27 Mar 2022 11 $2,775
19 Apr 2022 24 Apr 2022 11 $2,775
03 May 2022 08 May 2022 11 $2,775
30 Aug 2022 04 Sep 2022 11 $2,775
27 Sep 2022 02 Oct 2022 11 $2,775
18 Oct 2022 23 Oct 2022 11 $2,775
01 Nov 2022 06 Nov 2022 11 $2,775
22 Nov 2022 27 Nov 2022 11 $2,775
06 Dec 2022 11 Dec 2022 11 $2,860
03 Jan 2023 08 Jan 2023 11 $2,695