Day 1: Christchurch – Lake Tekapo (up to 38km biking). We meet at 8:30 and collect our hire bikes. Departing Christchurch, we head south across the Canterbury Plains stopping for lunch at a beautiful rural café. After lunch it’s just a short distance on to the start of our first bike ride through the Mackenzie Pass. The full distance of the ride is 38km but you can choose to do shorter sections if you prefer. We encounter the historic site where legendary sheep hustler James Mackenzie was caught in the act in 1855, and the views of the Mackenzie Country from here are simply stunning as we descend into the Basin. After the ride, we continue by bus to Lake Tekapo and our accommodation for the next two nights, a stones throw from the lake. Eat out at a local restaurant. Includes: (L).
Day 2: Lake Tekapo (up to 42km biking). Today’s ride takes us along the side of Lake Tekapo on the picturesque and quiet Lilybank Road, right to the head of the lake. The views as you bike alongside Lake Tekapo are quite breathtaking, and we call in at a local farming station towards the end of the ride. After lunch bus (or if your really keen, bike) back to Tekapo Village. Your afternoon is free to explore the village, or perhaps take a scenic flight or horse riding trip. In the evening there is the opportunity to visit the Mt John Observatory to view the southern night sky in one of the clearest locations in the Southern Hemisphere. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Lake Tekapo – Twizel (up to 55km biking). Bike one of the best cycle rides in the South Island, alongside the hydro-electricity canals that lead from Lake Tekapo to Lake Pukaki, which is virtually 27km of completely flat sealed road. The elevated canal offers stupendous views of the Mackenzie Basin and even Aoraki/ Mt Cook if you're lucky! After our picnic lunch beside Lake Pukaki, we bypass the busy highway and continue on by bus to the Twizel area. Here there are several biking options following the Lake Pukaki to Lake Ohau canal – bike from 8km to 34km here – the choice is yours. Or you may prefer to spend the afternoon relaxing at our superb accommodation on a working farm on the outskirts of Twizel. For those extra adventurous, there is also the opportunity to skydive. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Twizel (up to 37km biking). The views from the Ohau RoadWe begin the day by visiting the viewing hide of the highly endangered Black Stilt or Kaki at the breeding recovery center. Through loss of wetland habitat, bird numbers declined to just 23 and now the birds are intensively managed by the Department of Conservation. This is a great opportunity to view the birds up close and learn about their plight. From here, we travel on by bus a short distance to the quiet sealed road leading to Lake Ohau, where the biking begins. This is a great ride, with views of the lake and mountains beyond unfolding as you go. There are optional starting points and plenty of refreshment stops and a picnic lunch along the way. At the end of the ride, we travel by bus back to our accommodation in Twizel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Twizel – Christchurch (up to 8km biking). Travel by bus south to the quiet Clay Cliffs access road, where we bike the 8km to the Clay Cliffs. Wander around and admire the unusual geological formation of spectacular 'badlands' eroded pinnacles and gulches, which make a fascinating contrast to the flat wide open spaces of the Mackenzie Basin. After a picnic lunch, we head down the Waitaki Valley and back to Christchurch via Waimate and the east coast. Includes: (B), (L).
Notes: Groups of 10 or more people will receive a 10% discount on the tour price.
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