This 310km route has fast become one of the South Island’s must-do trails – and for good reason.
Running from Aoraki/Mount Cook to the cool little coastal town of Oamaru, it’s the longest continuous ride in New Zealand and serves up a dazzling array of scenery; from sweeping mountain vistas to beautiful blue lakes and golden grasslands.
Along the way there’s intriguing Maori rock art, interesting townships, an old railway tunnel, great vineyards and some exceptional hot pools all waiting to be discovered.
There’s even the possibility of a helicopter ride, since the official start is on the eastern side of Lake Pukaki (just out of Aoraki/Mt Cook Village and not accessible by vehicle). Alternatively, you can kick off your riding from Lake Tekapo and ride along the canals.
The trail generally takes between 4-6 days to complete and is a Grade 2-3 ride (easy to intermediate). Be aware that it’s not all downhill riding – there are several steep climbs and lots of off-road terrain. You’ll want to be moderately fit and have experience riding on loose gravel.
The best way to get a feel for this ride is to read Rachel Lamb’s blog of the recent Natural High tour:
Cycling Tips also posted a brilliant account of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail. Head to their website for a read:
And if all this reading inspires you to ride the Alps 2 Ocean trail in real-life, we offer a 6-day guided tour. Find more details here: