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. See the rugged West Coast, the rainforest and the mighty glaciers. Cycle the spectacular Queen Charlotte Track in the Marlborough Sound and finish with a unique Whale Watch Tour. Taste New Zealand's delicious cuisine washed down with our fine wine.
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.
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. 45 km single trail & gravel road biking, 3.5 h riding time, Summit Road Tracks 500 Am, Lake Coleride 80 Am, Meals: B/L/D.
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. 41 km biking, 3.5 hrs riding time, 860 Am, Meals: B/L/D.
Day 4: Lake Coleridge - Omarama. The day starts with an upstream jetboat ride on the Rakaia River. This jetboat ride is an adventure in itself. Then we bike along the expansive riverbed of the Rakaia River and around the Mount Hutt Range. 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 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. 45 km biking, 685 Am, Meals: B/L.
Day 5: Omarama - Shortland 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 Bathan`s 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. 45 km km biking, 1045 Am, Meals: B/L/D.
Day 6: Shortland Station / Danseys Pass. The Station owned by our hosts David & Glenys, is huge and a moutain 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. 34 km biking, 1140 Am, Meals: B/L/D
Day 7: Shortland Station - Alexandra. 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 in Chatto Creek we cycle the final 25 km to Alexandra. 85 km biking, 850 Am, Meals: B/L.
Day 8: Alexandra - Queenstown. Our local guide will lead us along the mighty Clutha River to Clyde. Then a steep ascent to the Bannockburn Range begins. 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. 45 km biking, 994 Am, Meals: B/L.
Day 9: Queenstown - Rest Day. Queenstown, the outdoor adventurer's capital of the world! Take the Gondola ride to the Skyline restaurant, viewpoint and luge ride. Don't miss the lake cruise aboard the historic steamship 'Earnslaw', jet boating on the Shotover river, Bungy jumping, white water rafting, paragliding, or a visit to the Kiwi and Birdlife Park to see New Zealand's national icon in the flesh. Or take a day trip to Fiordland's, Milford or Doubtful Sound. Meals: B.
Day 10: Queenstown - Haast. Of all the rides, none more than today's ride typifies New Zealand as a land of contrast. After traversing Lakes Hawea and Wanaka, the road enters the Makarora Valley and the Mt Aspiring National Park. Notice how the vegetation slowly becomes more lush and dense as we travel towards the west, indicative of an increasing annual rainfall. We start cycling from Makarora to the Haast Pass (563 m), from where we bike 60 km along the Haast river. Haast township is situated in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand's largest. The park is part of an area, "Te Wahipounamu", which the United Nations awarded "World Heritage Park" status in recognition of its international importance as a largely unmodified ecosystem. 84 km road biking, 5.5 hrs riding time, 745 Am Meals: B/L.
Day 11: Haast - Punakaiki. Today we travel by bus along the coast through the enchanting rain forest of South Westland and the 'Pakihi Swamp' Area. You can totally concentrate on the beauty of nature. After arriving in Fox Glacier (township) we walk to the glacier face - just above sea-level. We continue our journey and notice the change of landscape from dense rainforest to the 'real' West Coast with its driftwood-littered beaches. We visit a greenstone factory in Hokitika , before we reach Punkaiki with its famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. No biking. Meals: B/L.
Day 12: Punakaiki - St.Arnaud. Early morning walk along the Truman track before our journey takes us through the beautiful Buller Gorge. Late morning we ride our bike through old West Coast gold and coal mines. We have lunch in Murchison and cycle via the Braeburn Pass to Lake Rotoroa. It is a mixture of road and gravel, with some great climbs. The small village of St. Arnaud lies in the Nelson National Park, one of the best in New Zealand, where we will stay overnight. 62 km biking, 675 Am, 3.5 hrs riding time. Meals: B/L.
Day 13: St.Arnaud - Portage (Queen Charlotte Track). A long exciting day awaits us. In the early hours our bus takes us to Picton, where we board a small Ferry. A boat trip of about an hour will take us through the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound to Resolution Bay, where we start our single trail ride along the amazing coast. We bike through dense forest where we will be escorted by numerous singing birds. After our lunch break at Punga Cove, a challenging afternoon lies ahead of us, during which we will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Marlborough Sounds. 51 km single trail riding, Meals: B.
Day 14: Portage - Kaikoura. The last section of the Queen Charlotte Track is as equally attractive as the rest. You bike from lush green coastal forest over mountain ridges, where you again have magnificent views. From Anakiwa we ride along the winding coastal road to Picton, where our bus is waiting to take us to Kaikoura. This fishing village is well known for it's Whale Watch Tours and that is a worthy final highlight. 20 km single trail, 20 km road. Meals: B/L.
Day 15: Kaikoura - Christchurch - Departure. The morning is at your own leisure, or as a final highlight you can do the "Whale Watch" tour (included). Then we load our bikes onto the trailer for the last time and head back to Christchurch (arriving mid afternoon) for your departure. If you have enough time then a visit to the Antarctica Centre, which is just five-minute walk from the airport is well worth a visit. Meals: B/L. Please note that your trip may differ from the above itinerary either to better suit the needs of the group, or due to circumstances beyond our control such as the weather.
- Airport transfer
- 14 nights accommodation
- 9 nights in 3-4 star hotels/motels
- 4 nights in Farmstays, sometimes with shared facilities
- 1 night on the Queen Charlotte Track with shared facilities
- Meals = 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 4 dinner (excluding drinks)
- Local fees for use of private land
- All transfers in a minibus or 4WD support vehicle with bike trailer
- Jetboat trip on Rakaia River
- Boat transfer to Queen Charlotte Track
- Whale Watch (Kaikoura)
- Tour guide
- Local MTB guide for farm tracks
Tour Grading - 3. Grading is: 1 - Easy, 2 - Moderate, 3 - Medium, 4 - Challenging, 5 - Extreme.
- International flights & airport taxes
- Airport transfers outside the days/times specified above
- Travel Insurance
- Meals where not specified on the itinerary
- Drinks (except water while riding), phone calls & Minibar expenses
- Personal expenses (including any specific medical related requirements)
- Bike repairs and maintenance (except if hiring a bike).
Single Accommodation Supplement: NZD $1350. Includes: 1 overnight cruise Milford Sound.
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