This tour starts from Christchurch with a gradual warm-up with mainly flat riding on the first two days as you ride through to the quiet country towns of Methven and Geraldine.
From Geraldine you tackle some of the moderate hills that follow for the remainder of the trip as you cycle through breath-taking scenery to the spectacular lake-side town of Tekapo, where many of the scenes for the ‘Lord of the Rings” were filmed.
From Tekapo its along the canals and glacier-fed Southern Lakes and through the dramatic Mackenzie Basin to Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of New Zealand.
After a rest day in Queenstown, you head to Cromwell and on to the historic Central Otago Rail Trail.
On the rail trail you tackle gentle off-road riding through the historic gold and farming towns of Central Otago as you head across the dramatic backdrop of the Maniototo Plains.
From Middlemarch there is a short bike ride and then a spectacular train ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway to your final destination of Dunedin.
We will meet you at your accommodation in Christchurch with bicycles and equipment and you then cycle to Methven. The cycling starts with riding across the Canterbury Plains to Methven at the base of the mountains. Although the ride appears mainly flat you do gain some elevation as you head inland to the mountains. Total distance for the day is 95km.
Methven to Geraldine. Today’s ride is a relaxed ride as you pass through the open farmland of Canterbury Plains. There are no significant hills and a gradual loss in altitude as you head away from the hills towards the Pacific Coast. Great views of the Southern Alps can been seen particularly early in the ride. Total cycling today is 80km.
Geraldine to Lake Tekapo. From Geraldine you leave the Canterbury Plains and begin a series of moderately demanding climbs inland to Tekapo. As you cycle into Tekapo, Mt Cook can often be seen in the distance. Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain offer some spectacular scenes across the lake. Distance cycled 90km
Rest day/sightseeing in Tekapo. A chance to rest the legs if needed. Public thermal hot pools are a great way to soak away any aches you may have. If you want to stretch you legs there are a number of pleasant walks in the area. There is also scenic flights to view Mt Cook and night star gazing is popular. This is a great opportunity to see the Southern Hemisphere sky with limited light pollution.
Lake Tekapo to Omarama. A gentle days cycle with some spectacular scenery as you pass through the Mackenzie Basin. Views of Mt Cook still feature for a big portion of the day. The Mackenzie Basin is where one of New Zealand’s hydro electricity schemes was developed. As you head to Omarama you criss-cross the hydro canals. Total cycling distance 90km.
Omarama to Wanaka. The longest day on the bike starts with a barely noticeable climb as you leave Omarama but intensifies as you climb to the summit at 970m. This means a great downhill and undulating ride before the next climb. From here it is an undulating ride to Wanaka and a well earned rest. Total distance today is 115km
Wanaka to Queenstown. A demanding days ride, which involves a steep and consistent climb over the crown range to a height of 1080m. From the top of the Crown Range it’s a sharp descent followed by a undulating ride into Queenstown. Distance cycled is 75km.
Rest day and sightseeing in Queenstown, known for it’s adventure tourism activities. There are many activities to keep the heart pumping such as bungy jumping, jet boating, mountain biking or rafting. But if you prefer something more relaxing try the historic T.S.S Earnslaw excursion around the lake
Queenstown to Clyde. Todays starts with an undulating ride through the spectacular Kawarau Gorge, before the countryside opens out at Cromwell of views of Lake Dunstan. From Cromwell its a short along the picturesque lakeside to Clyde and the start of the Rail Trail. Distance cycled is 85km.
Clyde to Lauder. A relaxed day cycling with a moderate distance of 45km and slight gain in altitude. The surface is unsealed so is slower allowing plenty of opportunities to take in the surroundings and historic points of interest along the way.
Lauder to Ranfurly. Another day on the unsealed trail. The scenery is spectacular and includes the series of tunnels and viaducts around the Poolburn Gorge. Distance cycled today is 50km
Rest Day in Ranfurly. A chance to relax and take in the Art Deco surrounding of Ranfurly.
Ranfurly to Dunedin. The last day on the trail starts with a gradual descent to Middlemarch at the Rail head. Scenery is open rolling farmland with great views of the Rock and Pillar mountain range. At the end of the trail its a short ride to Pukerangi where you board the Taieri Gorge Railway train. This takes you to Dunedin offering some spectacular sights along the way. Total distance cycled is 80km.
End of tour in Dunedin.
30 speed mountain bike configured for touring (with road tyres) or specialist touring bicycle [700c wheels and drop bars]brought to your accommodation and personally fitted.
Ortlieb rear pannier bags, front handlebar bag and comprehensive repair kit.
Detailed itinerary, maps and notes on points of interest that you will pass.
You can upgrade to a road bike available in combination with daily luggage transportation, contact us for further details.
13 nights accommodation in twin room accommodation with ensuite [where available], in carefully selected Bed and Breakfast’s, Homestays or small motels. Breakfast is included each day.
Moderate to demanding route with longer days averaging 60 to 100 kms per cycling day.
September to May inclusive.