If you’re looking for an in-depth New Zealand cycle experience, put our 15 day Christchurch to Christchurch road tour on your bucket-list. Aside from serving up some of the South Island’s most memorable scenery, this tour also packs in wilderness encounters, cultural experiences and geological wonders. Here are five of the highlights.
Test your stamina on high mountain passes
There’s no shortage of hills on this tour. Along the way you’ll encounter Porters Pass, Arthur’s Pass and the famous Crown Range between Queenstown and Wanaka. You can choose to put pedal to metal or catch a ride on the minibus.
Spend a night on a working merino sheep station
Wilderness Lodge is a 4000 acre sheep farm and nature reserve nestled amongst the peaks of Arthur’s Pass National Park. If you’ve got energy to spare, head out to explore the mountain trails, or simply kick back and enjoy the spectacular views. You may also have an opportunity to watch sheepdogs work, hand-feed tame sheep, and learn about shearing and merino wool.
Admire the glaciers
The two most famous glaciers in the Westland National Park – the Fox and the Franz Josef – are an arresting sight, with their mighty rivers of ice tumbling towards the sea. Nowhere else in the world, at this latitude, have glaciers advanced so close to the sea. Day five of your tour gives you ample time to study these spectacular ice forms – walk to the terminal face, or view from above aboard a plane or helicopter flight.
Wildlife encounters on the West Coast
Day six sees you check into Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge. Surrounded by lakes, rivers, rainforest and seacoast, this stunning location has a wealth of wildlife activities on hand. Borrow a kayak and enjoy a paddle on the lake, or hike to Monro Beach to spot fur seals and – in season – penguins. When darkness falls, take a stroll to learn about the stars of the southern sky and see glow worms light up the rainforest
Your tour includes an entire day in buzzing Queenstown where all manner of adventures await. Jump aboard a thrilling jet boat through the narrow Shotover Canyons, enjoy a gentle putter across Lake Wakatipu on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, or drink in the scenic views from the Skyline Gondola. The town is also home to numerous shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
You’ll start your amazing adventure in Christchurch, before heading over the Southern Alps to the wild West Coast. Here, you’ll cycle the twists and turns of the dramatic coast road, stopping off in Hokitika and Franz Josef, before making your way to Queenstown. Back on the bike, you’ll pedal through Otago tussock land to the scenic splendour of Mt Cook, before arriving back in Christchurch.
Despite the high mountain passes, this is a moderate tour with two challenging days. If you need a break from the saddle, the support vehicle is always available.
06 Nov 2017-20 Nov 2017
13 Dec 2017-27 Dec 2017
27 Jan 2018-10 Feb 2018
Have a great week,