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Breathtaking scenery, pristine coastline and zero traffic are just a few reasons why New Zealand is a cyclist’s Trip of a Lifetime. Our 10-day tour sweeps across the north end of the South Island, then curls down the west coast to Queenstown – from the Banks Peninsula through provincial farming regions, along tropical coastlines and past ancient glaciers, finally finishing in the Central Otago’s splendid wine country.
Meet in Christchurch. Bike the Canterbury region's Greta Valley, tucked between two rivers.
Meet us in Christchurch. Shuttle a bit north to Canterbury. Today, ride through the Greta Valley's peaceful farmland toward the Southern Alps. Spend tonight in Hanmer Springs, a resort town famous for its natural hot springs. Enjoy a visit to the hot pools and spa before dinner.
Ride to gold-rush era Reefton via Lewis Pass.
Today, bicycle past sheep ranches and farms into the birch forests. Ride down Lewis Pass onto the western side of the Southern Alps through the rolling hills to the gold-rush town of Reefton. Enjoy a gourmet picnic near a hanging bridge just outside town. Stop for a beer at Formerly the Blackball Hilton (yes, that's its name). Spend the night in Reefton, a town that's as famous for its decision not to sell out to the mining companies as it once was for the gold panned in its streams and rivers.
Bicycle Buller Gorge, then pedal to the pancake rocks of Punakaiki.
Ride through the Buller Gorge today, whose pink granite walls boast New Zealand’s longest swing bridge, and are also the gateway to Paporoa National Park and the spectacular pancake rocks and blowholes of Punakaiki. Stay at Punakaiki Resort, with its incredible views of both rainforest and ocean.
Visit Hokitika; ride from Ross to Fox Glacier. Spend the next two nights at Lake Moeraki's Wilderness Lodge.
Head south beside the coast today. With its stunning scenery and next-to-no traffic, the remote west coast of New Zealand is considered one of the best places on earth to ride. Cross the Hokitika River through native rimu and white pine forest; enter the town of Hokitika, famous for its jade - also called 'Pounamu' or 'Maori greenstone.' Continue cycling south into Westland National Park. Stop for a moment to admire the dazzling views of snow-capped peaks surrounding Lake Mapourika. If there's time and you're up for it, continue riding to the town of Fox Glacier. Hop in the van for a shuttle to Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, where you'll spend the next two nights.
Spend the day exploring from Lake Moeraki's Wilderness Lodge. Plenty of options to choose your own adventure!
Lake Moeraki's Wilderness Lodge in the heart of South West World Heritage Area is completely off the grid. This amazing lodge sits in an area largely unchanged since the Polynesians first landed here. Today, choose from one of their multiple guided nature excursions. Paddle the lake in one of the lodge's canoes. Take a guided hike through tropical forest to Monro Beach on the wild coast (the ocean around New Zealand is a spectacular rich turquoise, thanks to deep, clear water and zero pollution.) Go for a terrific bicycle ride - often a guest favorite - along a flat, deserted stretch of coastline to Jackson's Bay, where a tiny fishing village perches at the end of a spit. Back at the lodge, take a post-dinner evening walk to see glowworms on the hillside and gaze at the Southern Cross. Whatever you choose, the Wilderness Lodge is an incredibly special place and sure to be a highlight of your trip.
Ride to Fox Glacier, with a stop at the Westland Salmon Farm en route.
Ride north along the Tasman Sea this morning to the town of Fox Glacier, perched in the rainforest at the toes of the glacier whose name it bears. Explore the town and maybe catch up on your laundry this afternoon.
Explore Fox Glacier on a heli-hiking expedition today (included with your tour.)
Explore the Fox Glacier on a heli-hiking expedition today (included with your tour.) Access parts of the glacier where its forces often create spectacular ice caves and arches. Equipped with leather boots and other equipment, hop aboard the helicopter for a flight right over the pinnacles of the lower icefall where the ice is in constant motion and constantly changing. After landing on a remote stretch of the glacier, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions. Follow the ice steps cut by your guide and explore the amazing formations and ice caves which are only seen here. Every expedition is completely unique due to the ever-changing ice.
Ride Haast to Makarora – or from Moeraki to Lake Wanaka.
Today, ride from Haast Village past stellar views of the rugged coastline and seals basking in the sun. Turn inland here to bicycle beside the Haast River as it winds toward snow-capped peaks, passing countless waterfalls as you climb up to 1,860' Haast Pass. Descend to Makarora, where the countryside becomes dramatically drier: dense foliage gives way to open countryside dotted with sheep and sunny vineyards. (Inside scoop: if you want to do a 146km ride today, let your guides know - that's one of the options available!)
Ride from Wanaka to the Cardrona Hotel. Then it's up and over the Crown Range and down to Arrowtown.
Ride from Wanaka through the Cardrona Valley to one of New Zealand's oldest and most iconic inns, the Cardrona Hotel. It's certainly one of its most photographed: the inn was the setting for the 'Prancing Pony' in the Lord of the Rings films. Enjoy an early lunch in the pub's lovely garden. After lunch, you have the option to bike up and over the Crown Range, or van up if you prefer. Views from the top are spectacular! Then ride down to Central Otago's historic Arrowtown. Stay here tonight, at the Millbrook Resort.
Ride from Arrowtown to Queenstown this morning for a finale lunch. Finish in Queenstown.
This morning, bicycle from Arrowtown to the Shotover River and a viewpoint at Skippers Road and a final celebration of the last 10 days. Shuttle on to Queenstown. You may want to spend additional time here to sample its numerous outdoor activities: winery tours, bungee jumping or jetboating or rafting on the nearby Shotover River. Take an afternoon sternwheeler to a sheep station for the afternoon or even an overnight boat cruise on Milford Sound. We’re happy to make recommendations if you'd like assistance.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.