Alps to Ocean Classic

Alps to Ocean Classic

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Explore some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes by bike on our fully guided and supported Alps to Ocean Cycle tour.

From Tekapo, we head through the golden Mackenzie Country on canal paths to Lake Pukaki and the mountainous landscape around Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

From Twizel, the trail follows ancient pathways through the Waitaki Valley where you’ll be wowed by stunning lakes, fascinating hydro dams and picturesque vineyards. A ride through rolling countryside leads down to the historic port town of Oamaru.

Our expert guides will show you the A2O’s best trailside highlights including wine-tasting, geothermal hot pools, Maori rock art and otherworldly limestone outcrops. You’ll also enjoy warm hospitality in accommodation full of heritage charm.

Grading – Introductory to moderate 2
The Alps to Ocean is graded introductory to moderate. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 90 minutes of cycling three to five times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. Some of the trail is on hard packed gravel, some is loose gravel which can be rough and uneven in places and there are plenty of hills. We recommend practise cycling up hills and on gravel before your tour, it will make the experience more enjoyable.

About Your Leader
Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.

Trip Name
Alps to Ocean Classic
Heritage Accomodation Similar to a B&B, these family-owned heritage accommodations are rich in local character, clean, comfortable and run by hosts that help add to your experience. Most rooms are en suited, however, due to the heritage nature of these buildings, on occasion there may be shared bathrooms. Hotels Hotels range from 3 to 4 stars and provide a quality, comfortable and relaxed nights stay. Motels  Often family run, motels range from 3 to 4 stars and provide access to local living thanks to your hosts. The hospitality is generous and their local knowledge is invaluable. Where possible, we choose locations that add to your experience. Lodge Accomodation Don't be fooled by the word lodge. Enjoy the class, charm and character of these locally run accommodations and dine in-house at the pub or restaurant attached.


Day 1 - 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. From here, we'll warm the legs up with a ride on quiet backroads to Lake Alexandrina, a serene high country lake. Back at Tekapo Village, there's time to 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. Cycling distance: up to 44kmMeals: L,D
Day 2 - Day 2 Tekapo to Twizel - 40km Cycle
Our second day marks the start of our Alps to Ocean journey with a ride along the hydro canals 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. Cycling distance: Tekapo to Lake Pukaki: 35km. Lake Pukaki to Twizel: 20kmMeals: B,L
Day 3 - Day 3 Twizel to Omarama - 64 or 82km Cycle
The stunning scenery keeps coming as we ride alongside the Pukaki and Ohau canals, 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). Cycle distance: 38km (Twizel–Lake Ohau); 44km Lake Ohau–Omarama via Tarnbrae Saddle or 26km (Quailburn–Omarama (short option)Meals: B,L,D
Day 4 - Day 4 Omarama to Kurow - 67km
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, 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, 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. Cycle distance: 67kmMeals: B,L,D
Day 5 - Day 5 Kurow to Burnside - 68km 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. Cycle distance: 28km (Kurow–Duntroon) & 40km (Duntroon–Burnside Homestead)Meals: B,L,D
Day 6 - Day 6 Windsor to Christchurch, via Oamaru - 19km 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. Cycle distance: 19km (Burnside–Oamaru)Meals: B
Day 7 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


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