Day 1. Arrive into Twizel – Lake Pukaki. Cycling Distance 14km (D)
Arrive into Twizel from either Christchurch, Oamaru or Queenstown and meet your professional Journey Coordinator at our depot. We will have your bikes ready upon arrival to go over any fine tuning before you are on your way.
Bikes loaded onto our own shuttle bus, we will chauffeur you a short distance to Tekapo B power station on the beautiful shores of Lake Pukaki. Time now for you to start cycling on your first 4km leg of sealed road to the start of the lakeside track. Following this route around the lake edge to arrive at the gorgeous Lakestone Lodge where your hosts Anna and Mike will take such good care of you this evening. A beautifully presented six room lodge, Lakestone is designed to provide the best perspective of the lake and the views to Mount Cook.
Dinner tonight is a great prelude to the week that follows. Taking advantage of the internationally acclaimed Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, we have a stunning night sky experience scheduled for after 10pm, just a short 10 minute walk from the lodge.
Day 2. Lake Pukaki – Mt. Cook – Lake Pukaki. Cycling Distance: 8km – optional 8km flat sealed road (B, L, D)
Wake up to a gorgeous breakfast in the dining room, just because you deserve it and enjoy stunning views up the valley. Right on cue, your shuttle will arrive for a 58km drive up the western edge of Lake Pukaki into Mt Cook Alpine Village. A chance to explore the famous Sir Edmund Hillary museum located within the Hermitage Hotel, part of the living history of the region and a record of his amazing expeditions around the world including the Antartic.
Afterwards, a short drive takes us to the start of the Alps2Ocean Cycle Trail. Across the flats the trail weaves through the tussocks and then reaches the famous bridge across the Hooker River. From here you will ride up to the start of the short walk to the Tasman Glacier Lake and join the Glacier Explorers trip to get up close to the 1000 year old ice of the Tasman Glacier. A truly remarkable experience and highlight of your journey.
Once back on land, you will continue the ride to the nearby Aoraki Mt Cook Airport where today’s cycling comes to a finish. For those not yet ready for the day to end, opt for a scenic helicopter flight to experience some of the most spectacular birds eye views of Mt Cook – Aoraki from the air. One of the best places in New Zealand to experience a scenic flight ride.
From the airport our shuttle vehicle will return to the beautiful Lakestone Lodge to relax over drinks and a well prepared evening meal. Time to rest those legs, enjoy a nightcap and a well deserved sleep.
Day 3. Lake Pukaki – Lake Ohau Lodge. Cycling Distance: 50km (B, L, D)
Refuel this morning with breakfast at the lodge before packing your bags to continue your ride around the lake front and across the Twizel plains. Passing Pukaki Airport en route into the gorgeous Twizel township. Take a short circuit of the town before an early lunch at one of the many delicious and homely cafe’s before you head for Lake Ohau Lodge some 38km away.
The first 20km’s of this ride is on flat sealed roads alongside one of the many canals taking you to the southern end of nearby Lake Ohau. The off-road trail then follows the lake edge for 8km before joining the road that takes you past the beautiful lake and onto the Lodge itself.
Dinner is served in the cozy Lodge restaurant that features an open fire, big windows with lake views, a bar and spacious tables. It has a reputation for outstanding food, excellent service and a classic south island warmth and welcome. Enjoy locally sourced food before a relaxing evening, preparing for yet another day of adventure.
Day 4. Lake Ohau Lodge – Omarama. Cycling Distance: 45km (B, L)
Enjoy the restaurant views in daylight over breakfast before riding over to the Tarnbrae section of the trail. Weaving along the base of the foothills and after crossing a bushclad stream bed, the trail starts to climb to the highpoint of the entire tail providing incredible views into the Mackenzie Basin.
From the highpoint, care is required as the trail drops quickly via a series of zig-zags before reaching the grassy flats below. From here, follow the the four wheel drive tracks to reach the top of the rural road and the historic woolshed, a relic of days gone by.
After enjoying your neatly packed picnic lunch, start down the gravel road until it changes to seal and leads into Omarara, home to one of the worlds best gliding sites. There is a side trip offered along the way which takes you into the famous Clay Cliffs. This is an 8km ride each way.
Tonight’s accommodation is the Heritage Hotel, situated at the cross roads of the Mackenzie Basin, Lindis Pass and Waitaki Valley. Offering panoramic views, with modern and comfortable rooms. Enjoy an evening meal here at your leisure, with al fresco dining in the summer months with views of the mountains.
Day 5. Omarara – Kurow. Cycle Distance: 41km – plus optional 22km flat sealed road (B, L, D)
The trail now heads east towards the coast and enters the region famed for its hydro lakes. The trail weaves around the hydro lake formed by Benmore Dam – the largest earth dam in NZ. At 12km the trail reaches Sailors Cutting, the site of the classic Kiwi caravan park, where caravans arrive on opening day and remain through summer providing an outlet for the boaties and water skiers.
The remaining 12-15km is new trail scheduled for completion Jan – Feb 2021. This trail extends into Benmore Gorge with its many bays and coves, previously only experienced by boaties. This section will feel remote and
has no cell phone coverage, but this part of the trail is sure to be quickly acknowledged as one of the highlights. En-route you can enjoy a picnic lunch before climbing over the ridge and dropping onto the Benmore Dam
and cycling along the edge of Lake Aviemore.
The next section of trail was opened in Feb 2020 and provides stunning off-road riding past the historic Waitaki Dam. Arriving into your accommodation at Waitaki Braids Lodge, there is enough time left in the day for a walk to a nearby wine outlet and a sampling of the regions finest offerings. A chance to support a local businesses and buy a gorgeous bottle of red to take back for a nightcap.
Day 6. Kurow – Enfield. Cycle Distance: 70km (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the Lodge, your second to last cycle day begins with a ride down valley and alongside the Waitaki River, arriving at Duntroon some 29km later. A chance for a coffee and a break, before continuing on
through the dramatic landscapes with limestone outcrops and boulders. Nearby Elephant Rocks is worthy of a visit and then the trail continues to weave its way through the valleys and small towns.
A steady climb takes you to a beautiful rural viewpoint before descending to the Rakis Tunnel and onto the small township of Enfield and your accommodation in the converted old Enfield School. Dinner tonight will be at the nearby Tavern allowing the opportunity to mingle with the locals and make some memories. Craig and Blanche will make you feel right at home.
Day 7. Enfield – Oamaru. Cycle Distance: 12km (B , L)
Your finish line lies just 12km away and the final morning ride brings you into Oamaru and the photo frame on the harbour. Cycle Journeys depot is nearby and there is a chance to change before joining a guided Historic
walking tour of Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct which makes this region special.
Access to the nearby Steam Punk HQ is included in your package and what better way to celebrate the trip finish than relaxing over a beer tasting tray at Scott’s Brewery with a stone cooked pizza for lunch.