Our route takes you along quiet roads, past beautiful lakes and across private farmland. You will travel over high Alpine passes surrounded by dense bush and high, rugged peaks, down through masterful river valleys and across wide, rolling pastoral plains. Taste New Zealand's delicious cuisine, washed down with our fine wine and finish your tour in the outdoor adventure capital of the world!
Day 1. Christchurch
You will be met and greeted on arrival at the airport and transferred to your accommodation. Join us with the scenic afternoon tour of this picturesque city, including a highlight stop at the "Sign of the Takahe", where you will be treated to a bird's eye view of the city, the Canterbury plains, Southern Alps and the South Pacific Ocean. We will fit your bikes, before enjoying an evening at one of the many excellent local restaurants.
Whatever the time of year, Christchurch is the perfect choice for a well-deserved short break, longer stay or even for just a few hours. Christchurch's unique combination of fascinating heritage, beautiful coastline, peaceful rivers and spectacular natural harbour appeals to all ages and provides all the ingredients to make your visit extra special.
Christchurch Tourism - the Southern Alps provides a fantastic backdrop to the city. Perched on the coast, the city is the doorway to the Canterbury Plains, which spread westwards towards the mountains. To the south-east, Banks Peninsula, formed by two huge volcanic craters, extends into the Pacific Ocean. Nature has been kind to this part of New Zealand and it is nature that offers the richest rewards for the visitor.
Day 2. Christchurch - Lake Coleridge
The nearby Port Hills not only provide us with magnificent views, but are a mountain biker's dream. After lunch in Sumner we board our bus and will be driven to Lake Lyndon, a ninety minute drive across the Canterbury Plains, before we reach the lower peaks of the impressive Southern Alps. We cycle on a gravel road to Ryton Station, where we will be based for the next two days.
45km single trail & gravel road biking, 3.5hr riding time
Summit Road Tracks 500Am, Lake Coleridge 80Am
Day 3. Lake Coleridge
After a hearty country breakfast we get on our bikes and make our way through the "high country". The Pinnacle Track guides us over meadows and rivers, up and down with fantastic views of the mountains and valleys. We have got all day to experience the peaceful natural surroundings on private farmland.
41km biking, 3.5hrs riding time, 860Am, Meals: B/L/D
Day 4. Lake Coleridge - Omarama
The day starts with an upstream jetboat ride on the Rakaia River, which is an adventure in itself. Then we bike along the expansive riverbed of the Rakaia River and around the Mount Hutt Range where the view overlooking the wide Plains is spectacular. At Lake Heron we load our bikes onto the trailer. During the 3 hour bus ride you will witness a dramatic change in landscape from barren farmland to the rich fertile land of the Fairlie Basin, before we travel past the turquoise coloured Lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki. On a clear day, we can view the snowcapped famous peak of Aoraki, or "Mount Cook", the highest mountain of New Zealand. We then continue to Omarama or "Place of light" which is famed as a gliding centre.
45km biking, 685Am
Day 5. Omarama - Shortlands Station
For the next few days we will be accompanied by a local guide. We follow the Omarama stream with many river crossings before we climb to St Bathans pass. This is an old goldmining track and leads us to the little settlement of the same name. Today the former digging hole is a fantastic lake that varies in colour daily. A refreshing dip in the lake or a cold beer at the historic pub could finish this beautiful ride, before our bus takes us back to the farm.
45km km biking, 1045Am
Day 6. Shortlands Station / Danseys Pass
The Station owned by our hosts David & Glenys, is huge and a mountain biker's heaven. Today's track provides us with breathtaking views and a fantastic downhill ride. At the end of the day a scrumptious meal in Glenys' kitchen awaits us.
34km biking, 1140Am
Day 7. Shortlands Station - Clyde
Phil our local MTB guide will show us some great tracks around Naseby Forest, the highest exotic forest in the South Island. We will then ride along the famous Otago Rail Trail. It is an old railway line, which has been officially converted into a cycling and hiking track. After lunch at Chatto Creek we stay on the Rail Trail for the 25km to Alexandra followed by another 10km alongside the mighty Clutha River to Clyde.
95km biking, 850Am
Day 8. Clyde - Queenstown
This morning we start with a steep ascent to the Bannockburn Range. As always we will be rewarded with magnificent views - this time across the old gold digger's country, and on a clear day we can see Mt. Cook in the distance. The last stretch for the day is a downhill ride to the well known wine-growing area of Bannockburn, where our Bus is waiting for us.
35km biking, 994Am
9. Day Queenstown - Departure
You are free to leave the Tour at any time today.
If you can spare a few more days we suggest you extend your stay in Queenstown, as it is the outdoor adventure capital of the world! Some of the Adventure Activities available are luge ride, jetboating on the Shotover river, bungy jumping, white-water rafting and paragliding. Please let us know when you book your tour if you wish us to arrange any accommodation for extra nights.
* Airport transfers:
Day 1 only: Christchurch (between 7am and 2pm from the Airport)
Day 9 only: Queenstown (between 7am and 3.30pm from Hotel)
Transfers outside these days/times are your own arrangements
* 8 nights accommodation:
4 nights in 3-4star hotels/motels
4 nights in Farmstays (sometimes with shared facilities)
* Meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners (excluding drinks)
* Support vehicle (minibus or 4WD) with a bike trailer (& luggage space)
* Tourguide (who is also the driver) & local MTB guide for Farm tracks
* Jetboat trip on Rakaia River
* Local fees for use of private land
Single accommodation supplement NZD$825.00
Also see tour packages in:
Australia and Oceania New Zealand Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Cultural Journey
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