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Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is a landmark creation for the New Zealand Cycle Trail project. The journey begins at Mt Cook Township, an alpine village sitting under the watchful eye of Aoraki Mt Cook – at over 3,700 meters (12,139 feet), this is New Zealand’s tallest peak. From here you’ll head east until you reach the small seaside village called Oamaru. The entire journey descends over 1,000 metres across 300 kilometers... also making it the longest continuous ride in New Zealand.

A2O Cycle Tours Mt Cook to Braemar2 780x350

Along the way you’ll pass an incredible array of landscapes – from the great granite peaks of the Southern Alps, to the opaque glacial-fed southern lakes, lush farmlands, stunning river valleys, limestone cliffs and golden grasslands.

The trail is rated grade 2-3 (easy to intermediate), which means there may be climbs and descents that will require a reasonable level of base fitness, depending which sections you choose to ride. The majority of the trail is a smooth and safe gravel path, but you can expect to encounter short on-road sections, and there is a strong likelihood you’ll have farm animals passing across the trail… welcome to the true kiwi countryside!

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Since the trail spans such a great distance across the South Island, the weather can change greatly. If you’re riding the trail solo, make sure you prepare by packing the appropriate clothing. We highly recommend a layered clothing system whereby you can easily layer up if cold weather hits or you encounter rain, or layer down during a heatwave in the summer months.

If you’re joining us on our ‘Weka’ cycle tour, we’ll take a spectacular ride through the limestone country of North Otago from Omarama to Lake Ohau. This trail treats you to expansive views of rugged mountain country, vast tussock lands, beech and tawhai forest, and sparkling clear rivers. Tonight, we’ll stay in the beautiful Lake Ohau Lodge. The lodge is tucked in beside an alpine lake, with incredible views stretching across to Aoraki Mt Cook and the Southern Alps – the ideal spot to rejuvenate the body and soak in the hot tub taking in some world class star gazing!

Trip Reviews

  4.53 out of 5 (from 4979 reviews)

Trip of a Lifetime!

I am still basking in the glow from this remarkable trip! I admit that I was a bit nervous at first as I was the oldest person in our group and not as fit (for hiking) as some in the group, so I worried about 'keeping up' on the hikes - especially the steeper climbs. Ben and Lauren were very reassuring and encouraging and I felt that I was able to 'hold my own'. In fact, while the hiking was probably the most challenging I've done in at least 7 years, it was the most rewarding/exhilarating part for me. I loved our group - a very positive, health-conscious and fun group of people from all walks of life. It was also wonderful that we were only 12 people - it helped to create a much more intimate and personal atmosphere. I felt we bonded together well - again, thanks to Ben and Lauren's great skills with ice-breaking, fun games, and ability to set and maintain a positive atmosphere from the beginning.
From the moment we set off from the airport to the emotional farewells back at the airport at the end of the trip, this was a top notch adventure. Our transportation was comfortable, our accommodations were always different and unique and very comfortable - I loved that they weren't all in your standard hotel and that some of them were really off the beaten track. The food was amazing - from the snack basket in the van, loaded fresh every day with fruit and other snacks, to the amazing meals that Lauren and Ben created and the breakfasts and dinners that we had at various restaurants - there was a lot of variety, special dietary considerations were accounted for and there was lots of it!
I did the kayak option and it was outstanding. The B&B and our hosts were wonderful (the hot tub at the end of the day was most appealing!) and our kayak guide, Nick was terrific - very accommodating, skilled and he made it all very interesting and fun!
I cannot say enough about our incredible guides - Ben and Lauren - they truly moved the bar for me from a great trip to one that will go down in history for me as the trip of a lifetime. They were so knowledgeable about the island - I loved listening to the legends/folklore and learning more about the vegetation, birds, etc. Ben was a terrific driver - I always felt safe. Lauren was terrific with her cooking and meal presentations - meals looked fantastic and tasted even better! Both Ben and Lauren added those special touches from decorating the bus for the Christmas season, organizing our Secret Santa, making a fantastic Christmas morning breakfast, complete with Christmas crackers and special hats, managing extra logistics like re-booking the paragliding for us, setting up the helicopter tour, taking the time and effort to help reconnect people with items they had left behind either in our accommodations or on a hike/kayak. They even had the perfect music for when we went through the Homer Tunnel and down into Milford Sound - the combination of the music and the scenery was so moving it had several of us in tears! They really ensured that they got to know each person and took a genuine interest in each person. Their positive energy and enthusiasm was infectious. They took kindness and customer service to a new level! The scenery was breathtaking everywhere we went. It would be hard for me to say what the favourite part was or favourite view as the South Island is simply spectacular. I felt that the trip was organized in such a way that I really got a good feel and appreciation for the South Island. Truly New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places (both 'inside and out') that I have ever visited (and I've visited over 20 other countries around the world). I really loved the more laid-back way of life and the local people we met were so welcoming and kind. I would love to come back again and see the North Island but also re-visit the South Island!
I highly recommend this trip and have already suggested it to a number of my friends. It really was transformational for me on so many levels! My heartfelt thanks to Ben and Lauren and everyone at Active Adventures!
Sue Hazell Review Image
– Ontario, Canada
Rimu, January 2018
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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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