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New Zealand Biking Adventure

Weka

4.48 out of 5 (from 297 reviews)

  • 14 Days - From US$5299 + tax

Trip Introduction

Outpost Magazine Global Travel Guide 2016Our ‘Weka’ trip combines the very best of New Zealand’s cycling and hiking trails into an action-packed two week adventure. We’re keen bikers here at Active, so we wanted to create the ‘dream itinerary’ for fellow biking enthusiasts! We’ve escaped the traffic by crafting a trip that maximises New Zealand's amazing network of gravel cycling trails. There’s plenty of flexibility and freedom if you want to ride a little further or a little less, we’ve got you covered! Our new ‘Weka’ trip will suit both road cyclists and mountain bikers alike.

Activity level: The ‘Weka’ is an active cycling and hiking trip, so it’s important that you have a base level of biking and hiking fitness. You don’t have to be young or ready to take on the Tour de France (although if you are super fit and raring to go, you won’t be bored), but you should be in the habit of doing at least some riding and be comfortable in the saddle..

Highlights

Bike with full vehicle support:
McLeans Island
West Coast Wilderness trail
Hawea River track
Queenstown Cycle trail
Mavora Lakes
Cental Otago Rail trail
Alps 2 Ocean trail

Hike:
Castle Hill
Pancake Rocks
Franz Josef Glacier
Routeburn track and Key Summit
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Plus...
Explore Queenstown
Cruise Milford Sound

What's included in our NZ trips?

  • All guiding services
    - Two experienced guides per trip. In New Zealand you'll have a lead guide and a co guide. 
  • All accommodations
    - A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts, depending on which trip you choose. 
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary (usually 1 day per trip is a free day, allowing you to choose your own dining location). 
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, biking, rafting, scenic flights, jet boating and more! 
  • All transport
    - Airport transfers.
    - When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
Check Availability

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Day 1—Arrive, set up, bike McLeans Island

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving into Auckland early Sunday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch on the South Island where we’ll meet you. Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, is framed by the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps to the West and the Pacific Ocean and Banks Penisula to the East. After fitting our bikes and taking a warm up ride at McLeans Island, we’ll get the chance to explore this beautiful city on one of the many local tracks nearby. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it’s a 12 to 13 hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
Merivale Manor, Christchurch (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2—Journey to the West Coast, explore Pancake Rocks

This morning we’ll head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We’ll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a ‘spiritual centre of the universe’. Aftwerwards we’ll continue on to the West Coast via Arthur’s Pass, one of New Zealand’s impressive alpine passes - look out for the Otira Viaduct. After lunch, we’ll take an afternoon ride on a section of the West Coast Wilderness trail from Taramakau River into Greymouth and then we’ll head up the coastline to Punakaiki. This small coastal town is famous for its Pancake Rocks and blowholes. These limestone formations, sculpted by the relentless pounding of the Tasman Sea, are truly mesmerising and offer a great afternoon walk.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Day 3—Bike West Coast Wilderness Trail

We’ll journey down the coast this morning and inland to the small settlement of Kumara and the start of our next ride along another section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. This trail offers contrasting cycling along water races, tramways and railway lines and through dense, lush rainforest. Passing by the Kapitea Reservoir, we’ll head inland towards the Great Southern Divide and the raging Arahura River. We’ll find a nice spot for a picnic lunch before continuing along the trail back towards the Tasman Sea and Lake Kaniere. The bike ride today will get your heart pumping and the excitement levels rising, in anticipation of all the trails you’re soon to experience. Later we’ll carry on down to Franz Josef, nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Day 4—Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of this giant frozen river (Franz Josef Glacier) imperceptibly grinding its way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We’ll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. This hike can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt for an alternative hike in sheltered terrain.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)

An outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

After settling into our accommodation back in Franz Josef township, we can head out after dark with flashlights for a short night walk to search for the native glowworm while listening to some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife, such as the morepork owl.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Day 5—Hike Lake Matheson and bike Hawea River Track

This morning we’ll hike around Lake Matheson, an enchanting icon of the region that, on a still day, offers impressive reflections of Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt Tasman (New Zealand’s two tallest peaks). After lunch we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest and then inland across the Haast Pass to Wanaka, ready to jump back on the bikes and ride the Hawea River Track, linking Lake Hawea township to Wanaka, via Alberttown. This is a nice, gentle ride with uninterrupted views of the clear Hawea River.
Wanaka Lodgings, Wanaka (All meals)

Day 6—Bike Gibbston River and Queenstown Trails

From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to the Gibbston Valley, an area best known for producing world-class grapes. You’ll be spoilt for vistas riding along the Gibbston River Trail - with the Kawarau River far below, impressive  suspension bridges and iconic Central Otago landscapes. You’ll also pass through a rare pre-1900 fruit orchard and rock huts left over from the goldrush. Along the way there are plenty of award winning wineries to stop at and sample a drop if you’d like. We’ll have lunch in Arrowtown before continuing along the trails to Queenstown, with incredible views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7—Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, an historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Day 8—Cruise on the Earnslaw steam ship to Walter Peak, bike to Mavora Lakes

This morning we’ll cross Lake Wakatipu on board the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. Here you’ll follow Mt Nicholas farm road to the isolated Mavora Lakes. You’ll bike alongside the lake before heading gently up through the head waters of the Von River, surrounded by the Livingston Mountains. This is a true wilderness cycling experience on a quiet back road, and after your time in Queenstown, you’ll appreciate the peaceful surroundings! From Mavora Lakes we’ll take a scenic drive through to Te Anau, our base for the next couple of nights.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 9—Cruise Milford Sound and hike Routeburn Track

It’s worth the early start this morning as we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. When we arrive we’ll be greeted with jaw-dropping views of Mitre Peak and the surrounding jagged granite peaks – quite possibly the most picturesque mountain range in New Zealand - though we’ll let you be the judge of that! For close up views, we’ll jump on board a boat cruise to explore the silky smooth waters and hidden coves of Milford Sound. Gaze in wonder at the waterfalls cascading down enormous vertical rock faces and if you’re lucky, you may spot the odd fur seal or dolphin making itself at home in the fiord! After lunch we’ll head back through the Homer Tunnel to hike part of the Routeburn Track to Key Summit, for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 10—Bike the Otago Rail Trail from Lauder to Ranfurly

Today we’ll head east from Te Anau right into the heart of the Maniototo region in Central Otago. The trail here follows an old train line built in the early 1900s. The tracks were retired and removed in 1990 and now the Central Otago Rail Trail is one of the most iconic cycling trails in New Zealand. We’ll cross numerous bridges and viaducts, winding our way along the smooth track past Raggedy Range and Rough Ridge. We have a gradual climb through the Ida Valley, and once at the summit of the trail, it’s a slight downhill all the way into Ranfurly, a small town famous for its Art Deco architecture and warm and welcoming community. 
Hawkdun Lodge, Ranfurly (All meals)

Day 11—Bike Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

This morning we’ll journey through the spectacular limestone country of North Otago. From Omarama we’ll jump back on the bikes to experience another iconic ride - on a section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail to Lake Ohau. Along this trail, through the Ruataniwha Conservation Park, you’ll be rewarded with expansive views of rugged mountain country, vast tussock lands, beech and tawhai forest and sparkling clear rivers. Tonight we’ll stay at the remote and 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 rejuvinate the body and soak in the hot tub whilst gazing at the stars!
Lake Ohau Lodge, Ohau (All meals)

Day 12—Continue Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Today is our last day on two wheels, so we’ll make it extra special, with a ride that’ll knock your socks off! We’ll set off around Lake Ohau and then alongside the Ohau Canal to Twizel. From Twizel the dramatic scenery steps up a notch with the shimmering cobalt-blue Lake Pukaki on the left, and Aoraki Mt Cook straight ahead.  Along this section of the trail you’ll also pass a range of native plants including kowhai (with brilliant yellow flowers, popular with endemic Tui birds), flax and tussocks. Tonight we’ll stay on Hamish and Julia McKenzie’s 5000 hectare high-country sheep farm, Braemar Station (station is the New Zealand word for a big ranch). With no lights for miles around, the stars on a clear night are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Many of our travellers have told us this was one of their favourite places on the whole trip!
Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station (All meals)

Day 13—Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite Aoraki Mt Cook, there’s a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Our travellers often say this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, and you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller Glacier hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge and have a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Day 14—Depart for home

This is the last day of your ‘Weka’ trip and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island as well, where you’ll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day ‘Kauri’ (5-day ‘Kauri’ options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive, set up, bike McLeans Island

Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving into Auckland early Sunday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch on the South Island where we’ll meet you. Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, is framed by the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps to the West and the Pacific Ocean and Banks Penisula to the East. After fitting our bikes and taking a warm up ride at McLeans Island, we’ll get the chance to explore this beautiful city on one of the many local tracks nearby. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll probably find jetlag is no big deal – for instance, it’s a 12 to 13 hour direct overnight flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, and there’s only a 3 hour time difference between New Zealand and US Pacific time. If you’re coming from further afield, you’ll appreciate the gentle start to your New Zealand adventure.
Merivale Manor, Christchurch (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2 — Journey to the West Coast, explore Pancake Rocks

This morning we’ll head west to Kuru Tawhiti Conservation Area in the heart of the Southern Alps. We’ll take a gentle one-hour walk among the imposing limestone tors of Castle Hill, which were once a meeting place for moa hunters of the Ngai Tahu tribe. The Dalai Lama visited this area and described it as a ‘spiritual centre of the universe’. Aftwerwards we’ll continue on to the West Coast via Arthur’s Pass, one of New Zealand’s impressive alpine passes - look out for the Otira Viaduct. After lunch, we’ll take an afternoon ride on a section of the West Coast Wilderness trail from Taramakau River into Greymouth and then we’ll head up the coastline to Punakaiki. This small coastal town is famous for its Pancake Rocks and blowholes. These limestone formations, sculpted by the relentless pounding of the Tasman Sea, are truly mesmerising and offer a great afternoon walk.
West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki (All meals)

Day 3 — Bike West Coast Wilderness Trail

We’ll journey down the coast this morning and inland to the small settlement of Kumara and the start of our next ride along another section of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. This trail offers contrasting cycling along water races, tramways and railway lines and through dense, lush rainforest. Passing by the Kapitea Reservoir, we’ll head inland towards the Great Southern Divide and the raging Arahura River. We’ll find a nice spot for a picnic lunch before continuing along the trail back towards the Tasman Sea and Lake Kaniere. The bike ride today will get your heart pumping and the excitement levels rising, in anticipation of all the trails you’re soon to experience. Later we’ll carry on down to Franz Josef, nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Day 4 — Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of this giant frozen river (Franz Josef Glacier) imperceptibly grinding its way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. We’ll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. This hike can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt for an alternative hike in sheltered terrain.

Optional Heli-hike (add US$350 + tax)

An outrageously scenic alternative to today’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation. The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

The heli-hike is extremely popular, so we offer advance reservations with the helicopter operators and guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot if it’s available.

After settling into our accommodation back in Franz Josef township, we can head out after dark with flashlights for a short night walk to search for the native glowworm while listening to some of New Zealand’s nocturnal birdlife, such as the morepork owl.
Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (All meals)

Day 5 — Hike Lake Matheson and bike Hawea River Track

This morning we’ll hike around Lake Matheson, an enchanting icon of the region that, on a still day, offers impressive reflections of Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt Tasman (New Zealand’s two tallest peaks). After lunch we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest and then inland across the Haast Pass to Wanaka, ready to jump back on the bikes and ride the Hawea River Track, linking Lake Hawea township to Wanaka, via Alberttown. This is a nice, gentle ride with uninterrupted views of the clear Hawea River.
Wanaka Lodgings, Wanaka (All meals)

Day 6 — Bike Gibbston River and Queenstown Trails

From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to the Gibbston Valley, an area best known for producing world-class grapes. You’ll be spoilt for vistas riding along the Gibbston River Trail - with the Kawarau River far below, impressive  suspension bridges and iconic Central Otago landscapes. You’ll also pass through a rare pre-1900 fruit orchard and rock huts left over from the goldrush. Along the way there are plenty of award winning wineries to stop at and sample a drop if you’d like. We’ll have lunch in Arrowtown before continuing along the trails to Queenstown, with incredible views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7 — Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, an historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown (No meals incl.)

Day 8 — Cruise on the Earnslaw steam ship to Walter Peak, bike to Mavora Lakes

This morning we’ll cross Lake Wakatipu on board the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. Here you’ll follow Mt Nicholas farm road to the isolated Mavora Lakes. You’ll bike alongside the lake before heading gently up through the head waters of the Von River, surrounded by the Livingston Mountains. This is a true wilderness cycling experience on a quiet back road, and after your time in Queenstown, you’ll appreciate the peaceful surroundings! From Mavora Lakes we’ll take a scenic drive through to Te Anau, our base for the next couple of nights.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 9 — Cruise Milford Sound and hike Routeburn Track

It’s worth the early start this morning as we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. When we arrive we’ll be greeted with jaw-dropping views of Mitre Peak and the surrounding jagged granite peaks – quite possibly the most picturesque mountain range in New Zealand - though we’ll let you be the judge of that! For close up views, we’ll jump on board a boat cruise to explore the silky smooth waters and hidden coves of Milford Sound. Gaze in wonder at the waterfalls cascading down enormous vertical rock faces and if you’re lucky, you may spot the odd fur seal or dolphin making itself at home in the fiord! After lunch we’ll head back through the Homer Tunnel to hike part of the Routeburn Track to Key Summit, for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina.
Matai Lodge, Te Anau (All meals)

Day 10 — Bike the Otago Rail Trail from Lauder to Ranfurly

Today we’ll head east from Te Anau right into the heart of the Maniototo region in Central Otago. The trail here follows an old train line built in the early 1900s. The tracks were retired and removed in 1990 and now the Central Otago Rail Trail is one of the most iconic cycling trails in New Zealand. We’ll cross numerous bridges and viaducts, winding our way along the smooth track past Raggedy Range and Rough Ridge. We have a gradual climb through the Ida Valley, and once at the summit of the trail, it’s a slight downhill all the way into Ranfurly, a small town famous for its Art Deco architecture and warm and welcoming community. 
Hawkdun Lodge, Ranfurly (All meals)

Day 11 — Bike Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

This morning we’ll journey through the spectacular limestone country of North Otago. From Omarama we’ll jump back on the bikes to experience another iconic ride - on a section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail to Lake Ohau. Along this trail, through the Ruataniwha Conservation Park, you’ll be rewarded with expansive views of rugged mountain country, vast tussock lands, beech and tawhai forest and sparkling clear rivers. Tonight we’ll stay at the remote and 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 rejuvinate the body and soak in the hot tub whilst gazing at the stars!
Lake Ohau Lodge, Ohau (All meals)

Day 12 — Continue Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Today is our last day on two wheels, so we’ll make it extra special, with a ride that’ll knock your socks off! We’ll set off around Lake Ohau and then alongside the Ohau Canal to Twizel. From Twizel the dramatic scenery steps up a notch with the shimmering cobalt-blue Lake Pukaki on the left, and Aoraki Mt Cook straight ahead.  Along this section of the trail you’ll also pass a range of native plants including kowhai (with brilliant yellow flowers, popular with endemic Tui birds), flax and tussocks. Tonight we’ll stay on Hamish and Julia McKenzie’s 5000 hectare high-country sheep farm, Braemar Station (station is the New Zealand word for a big ranch). With no lights for miles around, the stars on a clear night are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Many of our travellers have told us this was one of their favourite places on the whole trip!
Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station (All meals)

Day 13 — Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

A short distance away is Mt Cook, named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Directly opposite Aoraki Mt Cook, there’s a stunning day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. This area has a unique alpine environment and includes endemic flora such as the Mt Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup. Our travellers often say this is the best hike they’ve ever done and it’s a fine way to finish off a great trip. It’s a bit of a hike, and you’ll remember the view of the glacier and the surrounding peaks forever! The weather conditions are very important in this area, as it’s a true alpine climate notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we aren’t able to do the Mueller Glacier hike, or you’d like to take it a little easier, there’s an impressive hike up to a glacial lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier. After hiking, we’ll relax at our lodge and have a celebratory dinner for our last night together.
Aoraki Alpine Lodge, Aoraki Mt Cook Village (All meals)

Day 14 — Depart for home

This is the last day of your ‘Weka’ trip and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! For a great way to see the North Island as well, where you’ll experience Maori culture, pristine beaches and geothermal areas, combine this trip with our 11-day ‘Kauri’ (5-day ‘Kauri’ options available).
(Breakfast, Lunch)

Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Dec 16, 2018 – Dec 29, 2018 US$5599 + tax Great Check Availability
2019
Jan 06, 2019 – Jan 19, 2019 US$5599 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 03, 2019 – Feb 16, 2019 US$5599 + tax Private trip Check Availability
Feb 17, 2019 – Mar 02, 2019 US$5599 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Mar 03, 2019 – Mar 16, 2019 US$5299 + tax Full Check Availability
Mar 17, 2019 – Mar 30, 2019 US$5299 + tax Great Check Availability
Dec 15, 2019 – Dec 28, 2019 US$5599 + tax Great Check Availability
2020
Jan 05, 2020 – Jan 18, 2020 US$5599 + tax Filling up Check Availability
Feb 02, 2020 – Feb 15, 2020 US$5599 + tax Great Check Availability
Feb 16, 2020 – Feb 29, 2020 US$5599 + tax Great Check Availability
Mar 01, 2020 – Mar 14, 2020 US$5299 + tax Great Check Availability

Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Trip Start:

On the first day of the trip we can either pick you up from the Merivale Manor Hotel in Christchurch at 10.30am or at Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Travel and Information Centre at 11am.

Trip End:

On the last day of the trip we can drop you off at Christchurch airport in time for the flights below, or anywhere in central Christchurch about 3pm.

Recommended Flights:

Arrival: If you’re flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Christchurch before 10am on Sunday.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 4pm on Saturday. If you’re considering alternative flight times please check with us. International flights from Auckland airport (AKL) usually leave in the evening, so if you’re heading back to North America, you’ll get home some time on Saturday, even though you left on Saturday evening! Flights back to Europe, of course, take a little longer.

Fitness:

The ‘Weka’ is an active cycling and hiking trip, so it’s important that you have a base level of biking and hiking fitness. You don’t have to be young or ready to take on the Tour de France (although if you are super fit and raring to go, you won’t be bored), though you should be in the habit of doing at least some riding and be comfortable in the saddle.

Specific Inclusions:

  • Rental of Specialized Roll Elite bikes. These are excellent light-weight, cross-terrain touring bikes that are perfect for the backcountry gravel roads on this trip. If you prefer, you are welcome to bring your own bike.
  • Two cycling guides and full vehicle support. We have two cycling guides per trip, a lead guide/driver providing full vehicle support and a co-guide who will ride with the group. You’ll be staying in the highest level of accommodation available in the remote places we take you. While it’s not designed to be a scenic tour of the South Island’s luxury hotels, it features more creature comforts than some of our other trips and you’ll certainly be biking in style!

Riding Style:

Everyone has a different perception of what cycling or 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 and we don't ride on asphalt or tarmac. 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've chosen gravel cycle trails that are generally wide enough for two riders and mostly flat. New Zealand has an incredible off-road trail network and we believe our 'Weka' itinerary will get you onto the best parts of this network, with a few hikes sprinkled in for good measure! 

Reviews

  • Mar 4 2018 Weka

    “This truly was the trip of a lifetime. I will never forget how well Nick and Elder took care of us all. Very caring and fun.”
    Maggie Steder – Wisconsin, United StatesApril 2018
  • Outstanding, Attentive Guides

    “We had a great tour including an amazing variety of terrains with beautiful scenery. I especially loved all the waterfalls. We had outstanding guides who were very attentive, professional and efficient.”
    Judy Evans – Wisconsin, United StatesApril 2018
  • So Much to Say Because the Trip was Beyond Great

    “This was a trip I had begun dreaming about over forty years ago. The two weeks went so fast and were so much more than I had imagined. The scenery was spectacular: rain forests, mountains, pristine lakes, clear rivers, waterfalls, range land, rolling hills, farmland, the Tasman Sea! Just as your brochure explains but in person the scenery is so much more. Active Adventures deserves credit for making our two weeks such an awesome experience.
    Each day we were given a variety of choices so we could ride or hike as little or as much as we wanted and most of us rode! Then our outstanding guides, Nick and Elder had a few surprises along the way like Glow Worm Caves, Hokitika jade, real made-in-front-of-you fruit ice cream (from the fruit you pick), the Espresso Bomb trailor (NZ knows how to make great coffee!) and endless waterfalls! Since this is more of a bicycling tour it is not surprising my husband and I spent the weeks in a group of eleven equally enthusiastic bicyclists (with a wide range of skill levels and needs) being guided by Nick and Elder, extraordinarily talented cyclists, hikers, coaches and guides. Nick and Elder seemed to work round the clock making sure everything was perfect for all of us and much of our joy from this trip come from their unending efforts to make it the best for each of us. Nick kept us briefed on what was next, what the weather might be like (always carry an extra layer in NZ as it is so unpredictable!), and he made us all feel safe and relaxed as he drove the narrow roads in NZ. Thanks, Nick! Elder, as “tail-end Charlie” encouraged those of us who lagged behind often just wanting to stop and take more photos. Sometimes he aided by taking photos, giving us riding tips and other times he simply let us know we were doing fine and it was okay to go at a slower pace. For me this was critical as I have been involved in three separate accidents (two involving vehicles and one caused by another cyclist) and can become inexplicably anxious. Nick and Elder were both non-judgmental when I chose to ride in the van a few times. Other times I surprised myself (as well as them I think) by taking off and zooming ahead absorbed in the scenery. Nick and Elder, aka “brothers from different mothers” are terrific cooks (breakfast, lunch and dinner), wonderful guides to the local places (I’m drooling just thinking of the Arrowtown Bakery’s delicious pies), and wonderful about keeping our van stocked with fruit and nutritious bars as well as NZ treats (hokey pokey, pineapple lumps). They kept our van windows clean (so critical for great photos) and even fixed the noise (someone stored rocks in the overhead?). Elder and Nick helped identify what we were seeing, told us Maori tales, fed us information on NZ and answered our questions. There were also numerous books for us on NZ in the van. Nick even took the time to consult his grandfather on one question. We shared riddles and answered their quizzes. Elder brought in his own perspective as a native of Peru (where my husband had lived as a child) and a guide in Ecuador and Nepal.
    Our group really bonded and cheered for each other. Near the end of the trip we called the office to see about getting the entire group their own Weka bike jerseys and we were successful much to the amazement of Nick and Elder (who totally deserve a percentage of the sales). It is really due to their love of NZ, bicycling and people as well as the support of the entire Active Adventures staff that we all had such a great time and wanted the Weka jersey as a way to keep the memories of our trip alive. Thanks to the entire team at Active Adventures!”
    Millie Meyer – New Mexico, United StatesApril 2018
  • Incredible!

    “How does one begin?! NZ had been number one on my bucket list since before retiring almost 2 years ago. While eagerly awaiting my 'Weka' Trip, little did I imagine it would exceed my excited expectations! Beginning with Elder and Nick, our 2 excellent young guides, to the itinerary, equipment, gourmet meals, top-notch accommodations and congenial group, I could not have asked for a better balance of cycling & hiking adventures and touring sites. Elder and Nick’s hard work and planning 24/7 were key in making this such a fantastic trip! They demonstrated concern for everyone’s safety and welfare, expertise in biking and hiking, knowledge of the sites, NZ and history, and gourmet cooking skills. They encouraged and guided. Above all their integrity, patience, love of NZ and sense of humor made for an unforgettably fantastic experience.
    Thank you!”
    Deby Six – California, United StatesApril 2018
  • Hike + Bike South Island

    “Our Weka trip was AWESOME from start to finish. The South Island has so many wonderful locations, and all those we rode or hiked through were outstanding. The trip avoided crowded locations for all but the most iconic venues - Aoraki, Milford Sound - which I certainly appreciated. The result was a feeling of remoteness most fitting for an adventure trip. As a competitive mountain biker, I was worried that the rides would be too tame and boring. Not the case! The surroundings were always deeply interesting, and I was able to add riding in various ways to get a great workout every day. The capper was our day off in Queenstown, when (together with our guides Nick and Elder, and cheered on by Ellie and Tess) I was able to race in the Motatapu MTB Race! WAY too much fun.
    Our tour group really came together, laughing and cheering each other on for the whole 14 days. Some really great conversations in the bus, on the trail, at meals. Folks went out of their way to support and encourage each other. This was set in motion by our fabulous tour guides, Nick and Elder. They made every aspect of the trip fresh and exciting, from natural history, to human history, geology, current NZ conditions. Great senses of humor, really engaged every one of us. Managed the whole trip with impeccable dexterity - so pro! Yet so spontaneous. And, not to be taken for granted at all, Nick is a great driver.
    We will gladly look to tour with you all again, especially a bike trip.”
    David Redding – California, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Amazing!

    “What a great trip! The scenery exceeded our already-high expectations! And the guides were so good (plus the fact that we would like to see New Zealand in the winter), we are already thinking about our next trip with Active Adventures!”
    Ron Clark, III – Virginia, United StatesFebruary 2018
  • Best Guides ever!!!

    “We didn't have the best weather on this trip, but Nick and Elder were able to bring out the best in all of us. Their energy was boundless, their cooking was superb, and their humor and good natures made every day a pleasure.”
    Sherry Malone – New Mexico, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Sad to Say Goodbye

    “This tour had me leaving the South Island with thoughts and wishes about coming back one day soon. We put on a lot of kilometres through your country of such beauty and knew there were many places we simply didn't have time to explore. Thanks for your hospitality New Zealand and all the memories we've taken away.”
    Sharon Ashton – Alberta, CanadaMarch 2016
  • Gorgeous country, great people

    “We really enjoyed the variety and range of the country that we saw. New Zealanders and in particular our crew of Nick, Elder and Gary were wonderful”
    Teresa Mitchell – Alberta, CanadaFebruary 2016
  • Great trip

    “Our Private South Island Biking trip was very good, I saw, and biked and hiked far more on this trip than I would ever have if I had tried to do it on my own. The guides were outstanding, the biking equipment was the best I have ever experienced (I've been on a few trips with other companies in Europe). I would highly recommend active adventures.”
    Sarah MacDonald – British Columbia, CanadaJanuary 2016

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

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.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

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.

Everything is Included

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.

A Sense of Achievement

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.

Small Groups

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.

Diverse Experiences

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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