New Zealand E-Bike Adventure

Alps to Ocean Biking Trail

  • 6 Days
  • Avg Group Size: 12
  • Activity Level 2
    • Activity Level 2

      Hikes on our Level 2 adventures are considered easy to moderate in difficulty.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Christchurch
  • Trip End: Christchurch
20211020 1320322

Join us on our all-inclusive New Zealand E-Bike Adventure tour, with every detail sorted.

There's no shortage of breathtaking views on our 6-day E-bike adventure tour through the world-famous Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail – New Zealand's longest continuous cycle trail. After driving from Christchurch to the cozy Mount Cook Village, you'll hop on your E-bike and enjoy riding under the towering mountains of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. This adventure continues with a helicopter ride across the Tasman River, cycling alongside Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau, enjoying views along the sweeping Waitaki valley, and ending at the Pacific Ocean in Oamaru. With two guides and plenty of picnic breaks along the way, you'll finish every day of your adventure ride happy and exhausted!

IMPORTANT: E-Bikes are included in the trip cost.

Download Our Handy Trip Itinerary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

New Zealand E-Bike Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Christchurch Trip End: Christchurch

Download our Handy Trip itenary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip

  • Day 1Arrive, drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, bike fitting

  • Day 2Helicopter flight, ride Braemar Road to Twizel

  • Day 3Bike from Twizel to Quailburn Road, via Lake Ohau Lodge

  • Day 4Bike Quailburn Road to Otematata

  • Day 5Bike Otematata to Duntroon via Benmore Hydro Dam and Kurow

  • Day 6Bike the final leg of the Alps 2 Ocean trail, Duntroon to Oamaru, depart

  • Day 1

    Arrive, drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, bike fitting

    #5535

    Whether you’re combining this trip with a longer South Island adventure or simply taking a well-deserved week out of your day-to-day life, Christchurch is just a short journey from any other New Zealand airport. We recommend arriving the day before we start our trip. If that’s not possible, you’ll just need to make sure you arrive into Christchurch before 10am. Once we’ve met you at the pick-up hotel or Christchurch Airport, we’ll head south to the magnificent Aoraki Mount Cook. Along the way we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch nestled in the foothills of the Southern Alps.

    Once we arrive in Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, we'll be fitted with e-bikes for our trip which are perfect for the backcountry gravel roads and trails we’ll be traveling on. Once fitted, we’ll embark on a scenic ride to White Horse Hill Campground. If there's time today we'll take a popular walk along Hooker Valley.

    To wrap up an adventure-packed day we’ll be spending the night at lodgings in Aoraki Mount Cook Village. Get a good sleep tonight, tomorrow our ride to the ocean begins!
    Accommodation: Aoraki Mt Cook Lodgings, Mt Cook Village
    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

    Hiking: 5.6 miles (9 kilometers), 2-3 hours (time permitting)
    Biking: 4 miles (6 kilometers)
    Notes: Test ride on smooth, level terrain.

  • Day 2

    Helicopter flight, ride Braemar Road to Twizel

    #5536

    After breakfast at our accommodation this morning, it's a short ride from the start of our trail at White Horse Hill Campground, to the helipad, where comes an experience you won't soon forget - a helicopter flight over the Tasman River to 'Rotten Tommy', the next section of the Alps to Ocean trail. Our pilot will fly us and our bikes over the thundering waters of the river, flowing out of New Zealand's longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier. Be sure to stock up your day pack with snacks from the basket on the bus before we head off!

    Our ride today takes us from the end of Braemar road to Tekapo B Power Station, one of the hydroelectric stations on this network. The system transfers water from Lakes Tekapo and Ohau to lakes Pukaki, Benmore, and Aviemore, and finally along the Waitaki River to the Pacific on the East Coast, and is responsible for generating a vast amount of New Zealand's annual energy requirement. From Tekapo B Power Station, we'll skirt the rest of the east side of Lake Pukaki, but before we leave this lake behind, we'll pause at the lookout point for an opportunity to capture one of the most famous scenes in New Zealand - looking across the cobalt blue water of the lake to Aoraki Mt. Cook, where our ride started yesterday.

    Tonight we’ll stay in the Mackenzie Country basin, with stunning views stretching across the Southern Alps. The area is known for the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, with light pollution strictly controlled, so it’s the ideal spot to stargaze!
    Accommodation: Mackenzie Country Hotel, Mackenzie Country
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Biking: Options:

    • 20.5 miles (33 kilometers)
    • 31 miles (51 kilometers)
    • 45 miles (72 kilometers)

    Elevation Gain/Loss: Up to 345 feet (105 meters) ascent, 1,155 feet (358 meters) descent
    Notes: Our terrain today is rolling with periodic gentle hills and declines. Vehicle support is available at points along the way.  

  • Day 3

    Bike from Twizel to Quailburn Road, via Lake Ohau Lodge

    #5537

    Today, under our own steam, we'll travel along the winding canal to the shores of Lake Ohau. We’ll leave behind us the town of Twizel, built initially as a settlement for construction workers working on the hydroelectric scheme, these days Twizel has a character all of its own! Our ride today winds mostly along quiet, sealed roads, though towards the end of our pedal we'll negotiate smooth shingle on the wide biking trail leading up to Ohau Lodge. You can be forgiven for being distracted by the views along this stretch, looking across to Lake Ohau and the surrounding peaks.

    If we’re up for it, we’ll conquer the grunty climb up from the Lodge at 1,837 feet (560 meters) to the highest point on the whole trail, Tarnbrae, at 2,953 feet (900 meters). Along the way, we'll cross Parsons, Sawyers, and Freehold Creek, and be able to look across to the route we rode today.

    Once we hop over the top, it's a glorious uninterrupted downhill to Quailburn Road where we'll hop on the bus and drive back to Ohau Lodge for the night – if we’re lucky we may be able to relax in the hot tub on the deck! We'll dine together tonight in the Lodge restaurant.
    Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge, Ohau
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Biking: Options:

    • 11 miles (18 kilometers)
    • 23 miles (38 kilometers)
    • 57 miles (35 kilometers)

    Elevation Gain/Loss: Up to 1,760 feet (520 meters) ascent, 965 feet (295 meters) descent
    Notes:
    To Lake Ohau Lodge (first 38 kilometers), we’ll ride through a diverse landscape of flat, rolling, and hilly sections. Vehicle support is available at points along the way. The final 19 kilometers is unsupported and no vehicle access is available.

  • Day 4

    Bike Quailburn Road to Otematata

    #5538

    Today's section of the Alps to Ocean trail starts where we finished yesterday, with an easy downhill section on Quailburn Road, all the way to Omarama. Omarama is the gliding capital of New Zealand - due to its position on a flat plain surrounded by taller peaks, the thermals here are perfect for flying without an engine, so be sure to look up occasionally!

    From Omarama, we'll push on down to Sailor’s Cutting, and our favorite portion of the ride! The trail winds its way around the Ahuriri arm of Lake Benmore, well hidden from the highway, and the trail will take us up to the Benmore Hydro Dam, the largest dam within the Waitaki power scheme.

    We’ll hope off our bikes once we arrive in Otematata where we’ll spend the night.
    Accommodation: Otematata Lakeside Apartments, Otematata
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Biking: Options: 

    • 15 miles (24 kilometers) 
    • 22 miles (37 kilometers) 
    • 36 miles (59 kilometers)

    Elevation Gain/Loss: Up to 541 feet (165 meters) ascent, 692 feet (211 meters) descent
    Notes:
    We’ll ride through a diverse landscape of flat, rolling, and hilly sections. Vehicle support is available at points along the way.

  • Day 5

    Bike Otematata to Duntroon via Benmore Hydro Dam and Kurow

    #5539

    Our day starts with a 30-mile (45-kilometer) ride from Otematata to Kurow, and almost all of this section is on low-traffic, tar-sealed roads- which might be a welcome break for your bum after yesterday's climb! We'll pass over the Benmore Hydro Dam, New Zealand's secondlargest hydro station, before skirting the edge of Lake Aviemore and on to Kurow. Kurow is New Zealand's most up-and-coming pinot noir region, the limestone-rich soils have proved a great tonic for the vines.

    After a leg stretch, we’ll jump back on our bikes and tackle the second part of the day, a 28-kilometer ride from Kurow to Duntroon. This predominantly gravel trail brings us alongside the Waitaki River and sweeps along the valley. Today is our biggest day in the saddle, so we'll be taking it easy and making sure everyone is well-fuelled and hydrated. There’s plenty to see along this diverse trail - we'll pass vineyards, rivers, and the Takiroa Maori rock art site - a limestone shelter containing several pieces of rock art dating back to between 1400 and 1900 AD.

    Once we arrive in Duntroon, we'll continue onto Oamaru, to spend the night and share our last dinner together!
    Accommodation: Brydone Hotel, Oamaru
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Biking: Options:

    • 14 miles (23 kilometers)
    • 22 miles (36 kilometers)
    • 39 miles (63 kilometers)

    Elevation Gain/Loss: Up to 165 feet (50 meters) ascent, 935 feet (285 meters) descent
    Notes:
    Our ride today is predominantly flat terrain with occasional gentle slopes. Vehicle support is available at points along the way.

  • Day 6

    Bike the final leg of the Alps 2 Ocean trail, Duntroon to Oamaru, depart

    #5540

    Today is our last day together, and we'll finish in style - with the final ride from Duntroon to the Pacific Ocean at Oamaru. Today is another big day, but we'll be motivated by the upcoming reward of the Pacific East Coast! Most of our ride today is on smooth shingle and away from traffic. We'll pass through irrigated farmland, as well as Elephant Rocks, so-called because of their likeness to, you guessed it, elephants - this limestone formation was millions of years in the making! We're following an old railway for part of our ride today, which includes a tunnel of around 328 feet in length (100 meters).

    When we reach Oamaru, we'll wind our way into Oamaru Gardens, which the trail passes through, and follow our noses through the Victorian Historic Precinct to the harbor where the trail ends at the aptly named 'Friendly Bay'. We'll all have been enriched by new friendships, and by the feeling of achievement that comes with completing New Zealand's longest continuous cycle trail.

    After exploring the Victorian Precinct on foot, we'll hit the road back to Christchurch and say our goodbyes.
    Accommodation: Not applicable
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Biking: Options:

    • 4 miles (7 kilometers)
    • 16 miles (26 kilometers)
    • 33 miles (54 kilometers)

    Elevation Gain/Loss: Up to 1,215 feet (370 meters) ascent, 1,590 feet (485 meters) descent
    Notes: Our ride today is on hilly terrain, characterized by frequent and steeper inclines. Vehicle support is available at points along the way.

Departure Dates

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Included

  • Our own highly experienced guides, driver, and cook, with you from start to finish
  • Industry-leading Guest-to-Guide ratio (averaging 6:1)
  • Your own ‘Travel Wallet’, an online space with everything required for your adventure
  • Our knowledgeable Customer Service Team to answer your queries - just a phone call, email or chat away
  • Customer Service pre-trip phone calls to ensure you’re 'trip ready'
  • All accommodations for the duration of your trip
  • All meals except where indicated in the itinerary
  • Unlimited snacks to keep you fueled
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All necessary equipment (well-maintained and safe) for activities, including Hiking Poles
  • All park and other entry fees
  • Transportation in our air-conditioned vans - safe, clean, modern, and comfortable!



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By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. This offer is only valid for reservations where the trip is no sooner than 180 days from the departure date at time of booking.

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance - you can find details here.

*Terms & conditions apply – read more here

 

Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Merivale Manor at 9:30am or the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Help Desk (near door 7) at 10am. You are welcome to book your pre-trip stay at this hotel directly or any other hotel in Christchurch, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Christchurch Airport (CHC) in time for flights below or anywhere in Central Christchurch around 6pm.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Christchurch by 10am. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 6pm for domestic and 7pm for international departures. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

How fit do I need to be?

As an Activity Level 3-4 trip, you’ll need a solid level of fitness for this trip. While you don’t have to be extremely fit, you should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise, ideally on your bike, and incorporating up hills, down hills and decent distances. Advance preparation means you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip even more.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We have selected the accommodation on your  trip for their stunning settings and adventuresome feel. You’ll love the places you’ll stay in on this trip, but it’s not designed as a tour of the fanciest hotels in New Zealand.

Laundry facilities will be available at your accommodation on days 2 & 3. Please check with reception on check-in, or we can do that for you. 

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You are allowed one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage should not exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and can be anything from a duffle bag to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase. You’ll also want a small camelbak to use throughout the days on the bike trail. 

Can you tell me more about the bike included?

Due to the varied terrain and conditions we encounter on the trip - gravel roads, paved tracks, forest trails and bridges - we use cross-terrain mountain e-bikes with semi-slick tires - safe and comfortable off-road. We have a dedicated fleet of quality cross-terrain touring e-bikes for this trip. Please be aware although we don’t do any mountain biking on the trip, we do ride on gravel and roughly paved sections of road, so road bikes with skinny tires are not suitable for use.

Specifically, we most commonly use the Specialized Roll E-Bike, an excellent lightweight, cross-terrain e-bike with great flexibility. To view the e-bike, you can check it out here: activeadventures.com/our-bikes-and-cycling-gear

Additionally if you want to bring your own cycling gear such as cycling shoes, pedals, helmet or seat (no seat stems please!) we’d be happy to help fit them for you - note; if you’re bringing your own shoes please also bring your own pedals, to be sure they match! All bikes come supplied with the following equipment: safety vests, rear rack and rack bag, a water bottle cage, flat pedals, helmets (small/ medium/large/XL) and water bottles - we provide one for you, though we don’t provide electrolytes.

Can you tell me more about the riding style?

Everyone has a different perception of what mountain biking is, so we'll try our best to clarify the type of riding you'll be doing down here with us. This is not a road cycling trip, though sections of the trail do use quiet country roads. Equally, this is not a downhill mountain biking trip or even a single track trip (by single track we mean on trails as wide as your handle bars). We'll mostly be on gravel trails that are generally wide enough for two riders and mostly flat.

Will there be a support vehicle?

You’ll be accompanied by two guides - one guide/driver and one cycling guide/chef - this gives us the ultimate flexibility depending on the type of ride and terrain we cover each day. At the start of the season all of our guides are put through an intensive training program which includes bike maintenance. On top of this all our bike guides are passionate bikers in their own right, many of whom have years of technical bike experience, so your guides will be more than capable of attending to any bike problems/maintenance you might require along the way - all you need to do is ask!

Our support vehicle is equipped with a portable bike workshop, known as the Park BK-2 Roll-up which includes the following tools: pedal spanner, cone spanners, 8/9/10/11 mm spanners, cassette remover, crank puller, chain breaker, spoke key, wire cutters, bottom bracket remover, Allen key set, tire levers and patch kit, headset spanner (it sounds pretty basic, but with the current technology that’s all you need).

Note: There will be three guides per trip when we have over 5 guests, one to provide full vehicle support, and two guides who will ride with the group.

What is not included?

Flights to and from trip start/end points
15% NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Pre/Post Accommodation
Optional extra activities
Travel insurance
Gratuities for your guides
Trekking packs and sleeping bags (if applicable)

Is tipping expected in New Zealand?

Tipping is neither required nor routinely expected in New Zealand, but it is appropriate for very good service. In New Zealand you don't usually tip in restaurants, or if you take a taxi, or get a haircut. Many of our guests do choose to tip our guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per guide. You are welcome to tip an equivalent amount in the local currency. There are plenty of ATM’s and banks in the larger towns of New Zealand.

What additional activities are on offer in New Zealand?

You’ll be participating in loads of amazing activities during your tour, however, you may be wondering what other cool stuff you can do before or after your trip to make the most of your time in New Zealand.  

We’ve teamed up with the good folk at Everything Travel and you’re welcome to book any pre or post-trip ‘things to do’ directly with them.  

For trips starting and/or ending in the South Island, check out things to do before and/or after your trip here.

For trips starting and/or ending in North Island, check out things to do before and/or after your trip here.

Make sure any activities you book are before or after your trip only as your tour itself is already filled to the brim with the adventures we offer!

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travelers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travelers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travelers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

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