The Alps 2 Ocean Trail EASY cycle tour features 203km of cycling on the easier sections of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail.
This tour is a great alternative to the full Alps to Ocean Trail EPIC cycle tour for those wanting a more relaxed and ‘pain-free’ cycle experience. There is ample time for exploring the glacial lakes and alpine towns, and general ‘mountain-gazing’.
The Alps to Ocean Trail EASY tour features 32% cycling on sealed roads, 62% cycling on gravel cycle trails, and 6% cycling on gravel roads. The riding is rated Grade 1 and there are a few gentle hills that can be skipped if desired. Vehicle support available throughout the cycle tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.
Alps 2 Ocean Trail EASY Cycle Tour Highlights
- Cycle 203km on the easier sections of the Alps 2 Ocean Trail
- Take in the amazing and majestic vistas of the Southern Alps
- Cycle beside the surreal aqua blue glacial lakes and hydro canals
- Spend a night in the wonderfully hospitable Ohau Lodge
- Admire the engineering of the Waitaki Valley hydro scheme
- Step back in time in Oamaru’s splendid Victorian Precinct
- Star gaze in the ‘Aoraki Mackenzie international dark sky reserve’
Day 1 Christchurch – Twizel
The Alps to Ocean Trail cycle tour gets underway as we head south across the plains towards Geraldine. After a lunch stop we continue into the Mackenzie Basin, driving past Lake Tekapo to Lake Pukaki and the start of our cycle trail ‘great ride’. Alternatively we can organise a bus transfer from Queenstown to Tekapo. The first 6km cycle ride section is on a sealed road providing a good opportunity to get familiar with your bike. You then enter the cycle trail on the Lake Pukaki foreshore, featuring fantastic views of Aoraki Mount Cook and the snow-capped Southern Alps, all the way to the spillway (9km). Enjoy a refreshment break at the Lake Pukaki foreshore before embarking on the final section of the day on the 10km bike trail across the Pukaki Flats to Twizel (10km) featuring great views of the immense Mackenzie Basin and the late afternoon sun falling across the Benmore Range. Check into our comfortable accommodation.
Cycle Distance: 25km
Day 2 Twizel – Lake Ohau
This morning we ride out of Twizel on the glorious flat and sealed canal roads, towards
Lake Ohau (20km). At the lake enjoy views of the Barrier Range over morning tea, before
cycling the Alps 2 Ocean trail Ohau weir section (19km) around the edge of the lake and
on to Lake Ohau Lodge. We enjoy lunch here, and there is plenty of time to relax and
enjoy yet more million dollar alpine views. We take a side trip to the head of the lake and
into the glacial valley (keen cyclists could ride this section also) where it feels like you can
literally reach out and touch the mountain tops, before returning to our accommodation
at the Lake Ohau Lodge.
Cycle Distance: 39km
Day 3 Lake Ohau – Omarama
Today we ride the Quailburn section of the Alps 2 Ocean Trail to Omarama, featuring
more great views of the surrounding mountains (24km), where there is also the
opportunity to explore an historic woolshed. After lunch, the next 13km cycle section
takes you from Omarama to Sailors Cutting, following the lakeside of Lake Benmore. Here
we load up and travel to Omarama and our accommodation. Enjoy an optional visit to the Omarama Hot Tubs.
Cycle Distance: 37km
Day 4 Omarama – Oamaru
We farewell the Mackenzie Basin and travel down the Waitaki Valley. Our ride
commences at the Benmore Dam and takes us around the side of one of the great hydro
lakes of the valley, under the cool shade of the willow trees (22km). We then travel to
Kurow for lunch, before riding on the Alps 2 Ocean Trail from Kurow to Duntroon. This
section features an ancient Maori rock drawing site which can be explored. We load up
our bikes and drive to Oamaru and settle into our comfortable accommodation for the next two evenings and enjoy a meal out in the historic precinct.
Cycle Distance: 50km
Day 5 Oamaru
We head to Duntroon and commence the last day of our spectacular Alps to Ocean bike
ride. We leave the river valley and head inland through North Otago countryside, home to
the unusual limestone ‘Elephant Rocks’ to Prydes Gully (19km). Enjoy cycling the final
33km section through very attractive looking ‘English’ countryside, from Windsor via the
Botanical Gardens to Oamaru, finishing up by the sea at Friendly Bay. Enjoy a celebratory
Cycle Distance: 52km
Day 6 Oamaru – Christchurch
Have a leisurely start to the day and spend the morning exploring the absolutely splendid Victorian precinct featuring some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture in Oamaru’s old town. We depart for Christchurch arriving in the city by 4:30pm. Alternatively you can take a bus to Dunedin or Queenstown from Oamaru.
Cycle Distance: 0km
2 Oct 2017
30 Oct 2017
6 Nov 2017
20 Nov 2017
18 Dec 2017
15 Jan 2018
29 Jan 2018
13 Feb 2018
13 Mar 2018
20 Mar 2018
2 Apr 2018
23 Apr 2018
What’s included in the tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 4 lunches; 5 breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- fruit, snacks & morning teas on the trail
- the services of a tour leader who provides vehicle support & information
- cycle repair support
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- commercial guiding fees on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
- wine; beer; espresso coffees
- lunch on Days 1 & 6
- bike hire ($190) or e-bike hire ($450)
- single accommodation supplement ($350)
- Queenstown to Tekapo transfers Day 1 ($40 approx)
- Oamaru to Queenstown transfers Day 6 ($63 approx)
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail – Commercial Partner
The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is truly one of New Zealand’s great rides! For over 300km and dropping 780m, visitors can experience some of the most beautiful scenery New Zealand has to offer. This trail showcases New Zealand’s geological, geographical and historical highlights from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. PureTrails New Zealand’s Commercial Partner membership with the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is assisting this new trail to become established as one of NZ’s premier cycle trails.
Our Guiding Team
Tour Leader (since 2014)
Bob joins the team after retiring from 45 years in the NZ Police. Over the years Bob has been a competitive cyclist both in road and mountain biking, and is a former multi sporter, having completed in numerous 'Ironman', 'Coast to Coast', and other endurance events. Bob and with his partner Ginny have cycle toured extensively through Europe, USA, Australia as well as many parts of New Zealand. Bob has a keen interest in local history and looks forward to sharing his knowledge on his PureTrails tours.
Tour Leader (since 2011)
John has a background in human resources and has worked for mining companies in NZ, Australia & Papua New Guinea in the health and safety field, as well as a stint as a commissioned officer in the NZ territorial army. Nowadays John has semi retired to a lifestyle block near Rangiora where he aims to breed highland cattle with his wife Julie. Outside of work John has always been a bit of an adventurer, sportsman and philosopher, enjoying mountain biking, tramping, swimming and playing bagpipes.
Tour Leader (since 2011)
Peter grew up in Christchurch and early in his working life spent three years in Twizel during the construction of the Upper Waitaki power scheme. A career change led to 35 years in the New Zealand Police with time spent in Central Otago and Canterbury. Peter was active in Search and Rescue for much of his Police service and completed two overseas deployments to Thailand following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. He is a keen cyclist and an active, if not always successful, lawn bowler.
Tour Leader/Operations Support (since 2008; Director)
John grew up in the town of Wanganui, where in his school days, he helped build the famed 'Wanganui High School Tramping Club Hut' on Mount Ruapehu. John retired from a career as a Property Valuer and Agricultural consultant where he practised for many years in Western Australia and Tauranga. John has travelled, walked and cycled extensively abroad and now enjoys introducing our visitors to favourite parts of NZ. Other hobbies include cycling, bridge, gardening & horse racing (don't get him started on the latter!)