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Why is Alps 2 Ocean on every cyclist’s bucket list? The reason is as crystal-clear as the countless lakes we’ll encounter while crossing it. First of all, it begins with a helicopter ride. But what comes next is even better—a week-long, 200-mile ride from Mt Cook all the way to crashing Pacific waves. Pretty cool, right? We’ll ride in a small group, pedaling past snow-capped peaks, across vast tussock lands, and above stunning rivers. Screensaver-worthy vistas await at every bend, as well as perfect accommodations after each day’s ride. But the adventure keeps on rolling—we’ll also enjoy wine tastings, soak in hot tubs, and eat some mouthwatering food every day. This is a fully-supported, pedal-powered, and, above all else, joy-packed exploration of New Zealand that will fuel your wanderlust for years to come.

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Adventure highlights

  • World-famous trail

    Follow a 200-mile cycling trail from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, experiencing the best of NZ’s South Island

  • All-inclusive, indeed

    From a helicopter ride to the support vehicle, accommodations, and meals, this tour takes care of all the details

  • Beyond the trail

    Wander Oamaru’s Victorian-era streets, sample wines in picturesque vineyards, and unwind in hot tubs in great company

Itinerary

Prepare for a week-long cycling showcasing the diverse landscapes of the South Island in New Zealand. This fully-supported journey from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean features a thrilling helicopter ride, top-notch accommodations, all meals, and a support vehicle driven by your guide. Enjoy awesome rides, discover historic sites, and connect with fellow enthusiasts from around the globe—all against the backdrop of the region's awe-inspiring natural beauty. This all-inclusive journey is tailored for those in pursuit of an unforgettable cycling adventure without any logistical concerns.

  • Meet your Alps 2 Ocean Trail cycling guide and fellow cyclists in Christchurch at 7 am for the drive to Mt Cook. Arrive at the start of the trail in the early afternoon. A short ride to the airport allows you to test the bikes out before you fly by helicopter over the Tasman river and to the remote part of the section. Afterward, ride along Lake Pukaki and to Braemar Station. This evening, your group will stay at Braemar Station where you will dine with the most amazing backdrop of Aoraki (Mt Cook).

    Meals: Dinner
    Distance: 20 miles (32 km)

    Cyclists starting their Alps to Ocean Trail tour after a helicopter ride to Mt Cook.
  • Wake up, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and enjoy a hearty breakfast before getting in the saddle. Following the turquoise blue Lake Pukaki along gravel roads and smooth cycle trail, you head away from Aoraki (Mt Cook). Stop to soak up the magnificence of the scenery around you. Once you leave the lake, head directly to Twizel across the Pukaki Flats. Tonight, you’ll keep Aoraki in your view and stay at Omahau Downs Lodge and dine at Poppies restaurant in the town of Twizel.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 26 miles (42 km)

    Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook seen while riding the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail in New Zealand.
  • Departing from Twizel, enjoy the sealed road to Ohau Canal below Ben Ohau to join Lake Ohau. The cycle trail around the Lake is stunning and smooth. Be careful not to leave the trail as the local Matagouri plant is renowned for puncturing tyres! Head up to the side of Lake Ohau to the lodge for the evening. Use the hot tubs to soak the muscles and relax at the bar before tasting the lodge’s high country dining.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 24 miles (38 km)

    Lake Ohau in New Zealand.
  • After breakfast, you will ride to the highest point of the trail—Tambrae point. The gentle gradient takes you 1,148 feet (350 m) higher and gives amazing vistas over the Mackenzie basin. The expression goes ‘What goes up must come down,’ but please be careful with your speed as you whizz down to Quailburn. Once you are there a quiet gravel road and cycle trail take you to Omarama, halfway from the trail finish. Omarama Hot Tubs are the key to relaxing any sore muscles and are included in the tour. Tonight, your group will stay at the well-appointed Sierra motels. Dining this evening, you’ll dine at The Pink Glider cafe.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 27 miles (44 km)

    Alps to Ocean Trail passing through tussock land in New Zealand.
  • From Omarama, the scenery changes and brings to light how the region and its water catchment were used for the Waitaki Hydro-Electric Scheme. Heading for your next stop at Kurow you cycle past Lakes Benmore, Aviemore, and Waitaki. The trail varies from smooth shingle to sealed road. The new sailors cutting trail now takes you along the Ahuriri gorge and to the top of the Benmore dam. This section was opened in December 2020 and has turned into another trail highlight. This evening, your group will go wine tasting at Ostler wines followed by dining at Wild Sage cafe.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 42 miles (67 km)

    Cyclists riding by a lake, Alps to Ocean, New Zealand.
  • Departing from Kurow toward Duntroon, you get a few glances of the mighty Waitaki River. This part of the trail goes past the wetlands, an interesting community project that has rejuvenated the area. You exit into the small settlement of Duntroon and head on to quiet roads and cycle trails, passing Elephant Rocks, some film locations, and through the Rakis Tunnel. Your evening stop is at the historic Burnside Homestead tucked in an oasis of oak trees. This Homestead will amaze you when you enter the door and walk into the grand hall. The evening meal will be at the Enfield Tavern, an opportunity to meet some locals and experience some southern hospitality.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 40 miles (65 km)

    Alps to Ocean Trail cyclists enjoying a picnic.
  • After your grand stay at Burnside, today you’ll ride the short section to Oamaru. Cycling through the town you will see many of the Victorian buildings and get a feel for its history. Ride to the end of the trail at the harbor and celebrate the end of your journey! Go back to Scott’s Brewery for a celebratory lunch and beers. Afterward, you are free to explore the unique and special character of Oamaru for an hour after lunch. You will then be shuttled back to Christchurch, marking the end of the adventure. Say goodbye to your guide, fellow cyclists, and to New Zealand—or continue touring on your own.

    Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    Distance: 11.2 miles (18 km)

    City gardens in the historic town of Oamaru, NZ.
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Meet your guides

Mark
5.00
Mark
Being a McKenzie country local, Mark is fortunate to call this scenic paradise home. Growing up amid the breathtaking landscapes, his first adventures included motorbikes and mountain biking on a high-country station. Mark's firsthand passion for riding the Alps 2 Ocean led him to acquire Cycle Ventures. With cycling at the core of the company's activities, the development of the A2O cycle trail aligns perfectly with their mission to ensure every holiday is truly memorable. Mark and Cycle Ventures prioritize the small differences, personal care, and attention to detail, believing these elements define the perfect holiday experience
Cycle Ventures
5.00
Cycle Ventures
Being 100% locally owned and operated, Cycle Ventures invites you to explore the Alps 2Ocean with them. With transparent pricing covering accommodation, gourmet meals, and unique extras, their journeys allow you to do only one thing: enjoy the trails. In small groups, experience a personal touch, connecting with Otago's culture and people. Discover the region's charm through boutique picnics, local encounters, and a culinary journey. Cycle Ventures ensures your A2O adventure is an unforgettable experience, embracing the beauty of Otago with every pedal stroke.
5.00 (6 reviews)
Kerrie Jarman (source: Google Reviews )

The Alps2Ocean was such a fantastic journey and Cycle Ventures were just the best hosts you could wish for – the food, the accommodation, the facilities, the local knowledge was all amazing. I loved that everything was taken care of and we just had to concentrate on riding and taking in the wonderful scenery. If you are thinking about riding the Alps2Ocean JUST DO IT and go with Cycle Ventures, you won’t regret it.

Kevin Jarman (source: Google Reviews )

Kerrie and I rode the Alps to Ocean with Mark and a great group of fellow riders. The ride was challenging as we rode non e-bikes but we thoroughly enjoyed it. We had great support and were rewarded each evening with great accommodation and food. The ride offered a combination of different riding surfaces adding to the challenge but gave us a sense of achievement at the end of the day.Fantastic scenery at every turn kept us going throughout the ride. We would definitely recommend this ride and we will definitely be coming back for more.

LeAnne Blakelock (source: Google Reviews )

We had the best time with Mark and Lewis. Fantastic trip. It wasn’t until we got back and compared our trip with the neighbours (who had done A2O with another tour company) that we realized how lucky we were to be with Cycle Ventures -small group, roll in, roll out venues with awesome comfortable accomodation, fantastic meals, personal service, and friendly people. So many little touches that just made the trip an all time highlight. Trip of a lifetime.

Peter Parnegg (source: Google Reviews )

There is a saying out there, underpromise and overdeliver. This company did just that. We didn’t do much research about them before we signed up but the trip was fantastic. Lewis was a chef, in addition to being an all around great guy and cyclist. Every meal was amazing. The bikes were fitted to us, tinkered with if they didn’t work the way we wanted. Every accomodation was one of a kind and glorious. We rode the Alps 2 Ocean. This is not an easy ride, but it eBikes make it possible for any level of rider. It ended up being a life memory. Every day held another adventure. We spent a month in NZ and this was the capstone at the end. I cannot recommend Mark and Lewis and Cycle Ventures enough.

Stuart Paterson (source: Google Reviews )

I had an absolutely fantastic week on the Alps2Ocean with Mark at Cycling Ventures. Great food, great company, great accomodation and stunning scenery. Mark was the perfect host/guide and really looked after us. Highly recommended.

MaD PaNdDa (source: Google Reviews )

i highly recomend Cycle ventures tours to the top effort put into the awesome tour guide, the food is outstanding. On our full tour we were treated with morning tea and lunch and to top it off a very knowledable guide to help us on the way. The A20 trail is one that should be experienced even if your not an experienced cyclist the scenery is amazing and tranquil if you have never seen this part of the country. Fantastic i recomend booking with this company as you get the satisfaction and the communication is outstanding. Well done! best to get in early as they book out quickly, get your friends together and enjoy the A20 its awesome:-)

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced driver-guide with extensive local knowledge of the area
      • 7 days of cycling along the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail
      • 6 nights of accommodation in quality lodges, B&Bs, farmstays and homesteads, mostly in ensuite rooms (based on double or twin occupancy)
      • All food from evening meal on Day 1 to lunch on the final day, all in top-quality
      • establishments
      • Bike and helmet
      • Support vehicle
      • Transportation during the adventure (including the helicopter flight over the Tasman river)
      • Transport from the Christchurch Airport upon arrival and back to Christchurch after the tour has ended
      • Luggage transfers
      • Omarama hot tubs
      • Wine tasting in Kurow

    E-bike rentals are available for an added fee of $220. Single accommodation is available for an added fee of $410.

    What’s not included:

      • Airfare to Christchurch
      • Accommodations in Christchurch before and after the tour
      • Any personal expenses (drinks, souvenirs, etc.)
      • Travel and medical/rescue insurance — highly recommended
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • To fully enjoy this fully-supported Alps to Ocean cycling trip in New Zealand’s South Island, a reasonable level of fitness is essential. The journey is graded as moderate, with an average daily distance of approximately 25 miles (40 km), the shortest day spanning 11 miles (18 km), and the longest day 42 miles (67 km).

    The terrain varies along the route, with most sections on sealed roads and smooth shingle—making for relatively easy riding. However, other segments consist of rough shingle, and, rarely, dirt and grass roads, which can make for uneven terrain. Additionally, you’ll encounter more challenging and technical sections, featuring narrower tracks with switchbacks and occasional exposure.

    It’s important to note that this cycling trip is not intended to be a marathon event. You should ride at your own pace, and there’s no pressure to keep up with others. You’ll always have a support vehicle nearby with a guide ready to assist you if you encounter any difficulties. Additionally, if you’re a less confident cyclist or are worried about the climbs and long distances, you can rent an e-bike, making the entire experience significantly less strenuous.

  • In preparation for this Alps to Ocean bike tour, we recommend dedicating 90 minutes to cycling three to five times a week for at least three months leading up to your trip. This practice will help you build the endurance and stamina required for the journey. There are ample hills to climb, so it’s advisable to practice cycling uphill and on rougher terrain before your tour to ensure you fully appreciate the fantastic riding and diverse scenery.

  • Here’s what you’ll need:

      • Bike and helmet — included in the price (but you can bring your own if you want to)
      • Daypack large enough for all the items you might need on the move
      • Moisture-wicking long- and short-sleeved T-shirts
      • Two pairs of padded cycling shorts you’ve used before
      • Cycling gloves with ample padding for comfort and warmth
      • Waterproof riding sneakers or sport shoes
      • Breathable outside layer or jacket
      • Waterproof jacket and riding pants
      • Fleece
      • Quality thermal underwear
      • A thin hat to wear underneath the helmet
      • High visibility vest or jacket
      • Casual clothes and sneakers for when you’re not cycling
      • Swimsuit
      • Sunglasses
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder
      • Biking gloves are optional but recommended
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, chapstick, cosmetic products, hand sanitizer, bug spray, etc.)

    The ideal months for travel, from January to early May, bring temperatures ranging from 50°F to 86°F (10°C to 30°C) on the South Island, along with a comfortable humidity level of 40-50%. However, keep in mind that higher altitudes can be significantly cooler, and snowfall is possible even in summer.

    Additionally, there are occasional hot, dry, and fierce winds during the summer months. While you won’t need a full winter wardrobe, since you will be riding at higher elevations, packing a good waterproof jacket and some thin and lightweight warm clothing (including a fleece or jumper and quality thermals) will ensure you’re prepared for any unexpected changes in temperature and weather conditions during your tour.

  • Bike and helmet are included in the price of the Alps to Ocean bike trip. However, if you want a less strenuous experience, you can rent an e-biking during booking. The cost of renting an e-bike for a week or riding is $220.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • The maximum group size for this group tour is 11 people.
      • It takes a minimum of 5 people for this tour to operate under the advertised price.
      • Tours with as few as 3 or 4 people can still operate, but involve a surcharge between $280 and $345 per person.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Cycling the Alps to Ocean Trail in New Zealand can be arranged for private groups. Contact us prior to booking.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • If you have a young rider strong enough to handle sustained climbs (either riding or walking their bike) of hundreds of feet, and rough terrain, then they may be able to participate on a case-by-case basis.

    If your group has riders under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Christchurch, the starting point of the tour, most people fly into Christchurch Airport. Once there, you will meet fellow cyclists for a transfer to the city. The adventure starts the following day at 7am. You’ll be informed about the exact meeting place in the city prior to the adventure.

    Participants should arrive a day prior to the cycling adventure (Day 1 in the itinerary) as the journey kicks off right afterward. Arriving a day in advance is crucial as it provides you with the opportunity to relax and ensures a seamless and stress-free start to your experience.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain/road, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in the South Island please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s travel information on New Zealand.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 30-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 30 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
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