Ride the Alps to Ocean Trail, the Central Otago Rail Trail and the West Coast Wilderness Trail in one spectacular South Island cycling holiday
With its majestic mountains, spectacular glaciers, wild coastlines, emerald blue lakes and some of the best trail riding on the planet, New Zealand’s South Island is the perfect destination for an adventurous cycling holiday. After a transfer and introductory ride from Christchurch to Lake Pukaki in the shadow of Mount Cook, 3 excellent long-distance cycling trails provide the backbone of our clockwise circuit of the island.
The Alps to Ocean Trail is the first of these and takes us from the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps via turquoise glacier-fed lakes and through lush sheep pasture to the small port of Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean. Then, from Dunedin, we then take a train ride on the scenic Taieri Gorge Railway and join New Zealand's original 'Great Ride' and the second of our trails, the Otago Central Rail Trail. There’s a free day in the stunning setting of Queenstown where we can marvel at the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu surrounded by high mountain peaks. Our journey continues northwards, crossing the Crown Range and then the Haast Pass to reach the lush rainforest, high cliffs and crashing seas of the wild West Coast. We’ll visit the world famous Fox Glacier and the super-picturesque Lake Matheson, before heading up to Ross and the start of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, a 2-day finale on gold-mining water races, logging tramways and historic railway lines. Crossing the Southern Alps a second time at Arthur’s Pass, we return to Christchurch at the end of an amazing adventure.