Alps to Ocean Cycle

tours / Cycling

Alps to Ocean Cycle information and booking

  • Duration
    5 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 4 nights hotel/motel


  • Soak in the hot pools at Lake Tekapo
  • Short walk in the region near Mt Cook
  • Cycle the flat Mackenzie canal roads built as part of the south island's biggest hydro project
  • Watch small Blue Penguins at Oamaru
  • Limestone shapes of Elephant Rocks and historical Maori rock art
  • Historic Victorian precinct in Oamaru
  • Regional food and wine

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Experience the majesty of Aoraki Mt Cook and the sweeping tussocklands of the Mackenzie Basin in this 5 day cycling trip as you experience the ancient Maori trading and food gathering routes out to the coast at historic Oamaru. Along the way you will be enchanted by the beautiful canal bike rides from Tekapo to Lake Pukaki and onwards to Lake Ohau.

What's included

  • 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Private transport & support vehicle
  • Entry to the hot pools at lake tekapo
  • Accommodation on a twin share basis with private bathroom facilities
  • Visit to the doc black stilt recovery programme
  • Visit to blue penguin colony, oamaru
  • Access and concession fees paid to the department of conservation
  • Nz goods and service tax (gst)


Day 1 <a href="" class="partner" title="Christchurch">Christchurch</a> to Tekapo
Important: The night before your tour is to depart your guide will call your pre tour accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying). If you are not around when your guide calls they will leave a message at reception – please check with reception if you have not heard from your guide directly. If for any reason you have not heard from your guide by the morning of the tour please call us in the NZ office on 0800 00 11 66 (from within NZ). Transport to our depot – Pick up time is around 8am. We will collect you from your central lodgings, but if you are staying on the outskirts of town we ask that you make your own way to our depot at 29 Iversen Tce, Waltham. Once at our depot, a quick check of your bike – or a fitting of one of our fleet of rental bikes will precede the loading of the bike trailer and then tour briefing. Once this is completed we can head south to Temuka and a coffee break before starting our first ride. We'll cycle quiet sealedroads which will lead us to a local winery for lunch. The afternoon sees us riding on more quiet rural roads with a photo stop St Davids Church at Raincliff close to the rides end. We drive to Lake Tekapo where the local hot pools ease any aches. The turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo are a back drop to the famous Church of the Good Shepherd and the tribute to the sheepdogs that make farming the Mackenzie Basin possible. The lake is also the first of the storage lakes which feed the hydro schemes in the basin and down the Waitaki valley which we will follow over the coming days. Road Distance – Up to 50 kms
Day 2 Tekapo to Twizel
Before leaving Tekapo we can either drive or walk to the summit of nearby Mt John – an ideal spot to view today and tomorrow's rides. The views from here put the Mackenzie basin into perspective. After a coffee, we drive to the nearby Tekapo hydro canal and enjoy the flat easy riding which takes us past ever expanding salmon farms to the edge of Lake Pukaki and a ride on the lakeside cycling trail. From the road end, 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) and the local DOC centre – OR walk to a nearby viewpoint for stunning views of the 26 km long Tasman Glacier and Mt Cook. Weather dependent we can cycle away from the Southern Alps until we finally load up and drive to nearby Twizel for the night's stay. Twizel was built for the Hydro project in the 1970’s and in recent years has been rejuvenated as a holiday and rowing destination, surrounded by rolling tussock hillsides. Cycling Distance – Up to 40 kms
Day 3 Twizel to Kurow
We back track to Lake Pukaki and again join the canal roads and on through the backroads to Twizel where we can visit the nearby DOC Black Stilt recovery centre to learn about one of NZ's most endangered bird species. The black stilts are under pressure from the invasive lupins which chock up the braided waterways – as well as the foraging rats and hedgehogs who attack their nests. Adventure South have undertaken to fund the centre and your visit supports this. A short drive to the low pass above Otamata accesses the downhill cycle and side road which takes us to the majestic Aviemore dam. A beautiful sealed lakeside road keeps us entertained before we have a short drive to our accommodation for the night. The small village of Kurow is worth exploration by bike, travel from the historic bridge over the Waitaki River, to the beautifully restored St. Albans Church, on to the local Pasquale vineyards to taste award winning wines. Cycling Distance – Up to 40-50 kms
Day 4 Kurow to <a href="" class="partner" title="Oamaru">Oamaru</a>
We head east to Duntroon and then turn inland on more beautiful quiet rural roads, a walk amongst the weird rock formations known locally as Elephant Rocks is a must. The rest of the day is spent amidst more spectacular limestone outcrops and landscapes as we gradually descend towards Oamaru on some of the prime cycle roads in NZ. We enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach before completing our ride on a scenic coastal road into Oamaru. The beautifully restored historic Oamaru Victorian quarter is home to Steam Punk and in season features street actors providing entertainment, local crafts, cafes and bars. In the evening we visit the famous blue penguin colony to view the penguins returning to their nest after a day of food gathering. Enjoy our final evening dinner together. Cycling Distance – Optional 40–60kms
Day 5 Oamaru to <a href="" class="partner" title="Christchurch">Christchurch</a>
Today we are Christchurch bound - but not before more rural cycling. We have an option to visit the award winning Whitestone Cheese factory and Riverstone Kitchen, NZ's restaurant of the year, to see their amazing gardens where they grow most of their own kitchen produce. We then start cycling on quiet roads through small farmlets and communities along the Pareora river valley. An optional challenge is the climb over Pareora Gorge before we visit the spectacular St Davids Pioneer Church, made without nails out of local river stones & timbers. A final burst of cycling takes us to a late lunch at Pleasant Point and the start of the final drive back to Christchurch. With good traffic flows we should be into Christchurch by around 5.30pm. Cycling Distance – UP to 40 kms