The Great Southern Circuit

The ultimate 2 week South Island adventure! This 13 day / 12 night tour packs in as much of New Zealand’s great outdoors as you can possibly fit within a 2 week holiday. We have put together the perfect mix of cycling, activities and a rest day in Queenstown where you can “do your own thing” - whether that’s skydiving or sitting by the pool. We think it's the best way to see New Zealand's amazing landscapes in 1 unforgettable holiday. The 13 day itinerary includes some of the best cycle trails in the South Island so you’re guaranteed to see amazing landscapes and nature while creating memories for a lifetime.

Great Southern Circuit Cycle Tour Highlights

  • Combining 2 of our most popular tours – the West Coast Wilderness and Alps 2 Ocean – into a 13 day expedition, showcasing the best of New Zealand’s natural beauty.
  • Around 500km of New Zealand’s best cycle trails, through every possible landscape, with ice-covered peaks, native forests, huge rivers, majestic lakes, and epic glaciers.
  • Traverse the South Island coast-to-coast, across the mountains to Te Tai o Poutini, the West Coast and back again to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Take the TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps – one of the greatest train rides in the world.
  • Includes the original Aoraki/Mt Cook start to the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail with a helicopter ride across the Tasman River..
  • Jet boat safari up the beautiful Haast River.
  • Includes 2 nights in Queenstown with a rest day to explore the town and have your own adventures.
  • Take all the stress out of your holiday – let us do all the planning, booking and organising for you. We’ve been guiding these tours for over 10 years and have carefully designed a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Make great new friends, enjoy genuine Kiwi hospitality and experience the natural beauty of the great NZ outdoors like nobody else!

Length

13 Days / 12 Nights

Start / Pick-up

Christchurch

Finish – Drop-off

Christchurch or Queenstown

See below for dates and prices

Included:

  • 13 day expedition riding on some of the best cycle trails in New Zealand.
  • 12 nights at charming B&B, country lodge, hotel or cottage accommodation.
  • Your choice of a new high tech ebike or mountain bike. All our bikes are top-of-the-line, perfect for the trails and serviced by professional bike mechanics before every tour.
  • Take the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth – one of the great train rides of the world!
  • Helicopter over the Tasman River at the start of the Alps 2 Ocean
  • Jet Boat Safari up the Haast River.
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Shantytown, West Coast Treetop Walkway, wine tasting and hot pools.
  • Fabulous, top quality meals at top restaurants and cafes, catering to all dietary requirements.
  • All meals included, except on Day 7 (rest day in Queenstown):
    1. Day 1: Lunch on the train, dinner.
    2. Day 2-6: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    3. Day 7: No meals included. Choose from the incredible selection of cafes and restaurants in Queenstown.
    4. Day 8-12: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    5. Day 13: Breakfast and fabulous pizza lunch
  • All meals are high quality with fresh local produce. We eat at a variety of top restaurants and accommodations. Lunches may include either cafés or our famous make-your-own picnics! Vegetarians and vegans welcome!
  • Our expert tour guides provide insight and background on your journey and show you how to use all cycling equipment.
  • Unlimited snacks provided – fresh fruit, mixed nuts, oat bars, selection of classic NZ sweets and lollies!
  • Drinks provided on the trail – a selection of teas, plunger coffee, soft drinks, juice and water.

Excluded:

  • Any drinks or coffees purchased in restaurants or cafés are not included.
  • There are no tour activities or meals included in Queenstown on Day 7.

Great Southern Circuit Cycle Tour Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Your journey begins by taking the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch across the Southern Alps to the West Coast. Your tour guide will greet you as you step off the train. Set off for a drive up the coast to see the incredible Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki in Paparoa National Park. Stay at lovely accommodation in Greymouth with dinner at a local top restaurant.
  • Day 2 – We get you on your bikes today for a gentle but beautiful ride on the West Coast Wilderness cycle trail. From Greymouth the trail follows the coast along tussock dunes then heads inland through native bush to reach Kumara. Stop for lunch and a glimpse of early life for the settlers at Shantytown. Stay at a lovely restored hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Day 3 – We follow the trail past large reservoirs and gently ascend the valley past a water race, old logging tramlines and a series of weirs, heading for the Southern Alps. There’s a lovely downhill section through beautiful podocarp forest, past a giant suspension bridge on your way to finish at the magnificent Lake Kaniere. We stay in Hokitika tonight.
  • Day 4 – Visit the magnificent Hokitika Gorge for a short stroll to see the amazing chasms, then return to the coast and enjoy lunch and a quick visit to Hokitika. The trail then crosses the river and heads across wetlands on a boardwalk around Lake Mahinapua. Take a walk through the forest canopy at the West Coast Treetops Walkway. Then finish the bike trail into Ross and stay at unique accommodation right on the beachfront. Enjoy a BBQ and watch the sun set into the Tasman Sea on this stunning beach.
  • Day 5 – We take a break from riding today and drive down the coast into glacier country, stopping at Franz Josef. After a short walk to see the glacier you can enjoy a 10km ride through stunning native beach following the river into town. After lunch you get to meet NZ’s rarest kiwi at the West Coast Wildlife Centre before we continue our journey down the Coast to reach the remote outpost of Haast.
  • Day 6 – Start the day with a jet boat safari into the Southern Alps before driving over the incredible Haast Pass. Get back on your bikes for a stunning ride between 2 of New Zealand’s biggest glacial lakes. After a late lunch together in Wanaka, we drop you at your hotel in Queenstown where you can enjoy a rest for 2 nights.
  • Day 7 – Today is a day of rest from the tour. There are no tour activities included. It is a day for you to rest, relax and explore Queenstown at your leisure. Relax around the pool or choose from the amazing selection of bars and restaurants. Spend a 2nd night at your hotel.
  • Day 8 – It’s back to business for the 2nd half of your adventure! We pick you up bright and early for the drive up to Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park to start the Alps 2 Ocean. After a short ride to the airfield you will be loaded in the helicopter for a short flight across the Tasman River. After 2 hours of cycling through incredible scenery you will arrive at your accommodation at a stunning high country station overlooking Lake Pukaki. Enjoy a home-cooked meal of fresh local salmon with amazing salads and a chocolate fudge cake for dessert.
  • Day 9 – The Alps 2 Ocean bike trail follows the edge of the lake with stunning views of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. We stop for one of our famous make-your-own picnics in Twizel and finish on the shores of Lake Ohau. We visit a fabulous restaurant tonight – one of the culinary highlights!
  • Day 10 – Today we conquer the infamous Tarnbrae hill! The trail climbs steadily to a high point looking out over the Mackenzie region, then after some fun downhill section, reach the van for another fabulous picnic. Finish an amazing day with a soak in outdoor jacuzzi hot tubs in Omarama before a memorable dining experience.
  • Day 11 – The landscape changes from alpine high country to a braided river valley. Today is one of the true highlights of the cycling with an incredible new section of trail to reach the Benmore Dam. One of the best rides in NZ! Finish the day with a wine and cheese tasting, followed by dinner at a fabulous lodge.
  • Day 12 – The A2O follows the Waitaki river as it winds through a patchwork quilt of crops and farmland, then climbs past some weird and wonderful limestone outcrops climbing up and over hills with glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. Finish the day with a fantastic downhill passing through an old railway tunnel on your way to stay at a charming converted accommodation which many report as one of the highlights of the tour.
  • Day 13 – Final day! Finish the last few kilometres through pasture and botanic gardens to reach the the historic settlement of Oamaru and finally – the Pacific Ocean!! Celebrate with a stone-baked pizza at a local brewery before taking transport back to  either Christchurch or Queenstown.
  • Day 7 in Queenstown is the midpoint of the tour. We do not plan any activities or meals for you. This is a day off from tour, for you to rest and relax and explore Queenstown. Your meals and activities are at your own expense today, but your accommodation is included in the price of the tour.
  • We can also combine the West Coast Wilderness with the Around the Mountains & Queenstown Trail, instead of the Alps 2 Ocean, if you prefer. Or you can even do all 3 for an incredible 20 day / 19 night adventure! Please send an enquiry for possible options.
  • You must make your own way to the Christchurch Railway Station and take the TranzAlpine train to Greymouth on the first day of the tour. Your tickets and vouchers for lunch on the train will be waiting for you at the train station.

Looking for something even longer? It is possible to combine our cycle tours into 2, 3 or even 4 week adventures. Please enquire for possibilities to create your perfect cycling holiday around the South Island.

Start DatePriceSingle SupplementStatus
14/11/2022 $7395 $1200 2 places left
28/11/2022 $7395 $1200 Sold Out
23/01/2023 $7495 $1200 6 places left
13/02/2023 $7495 $1200 Sold Out
27/02/2023 $7495 $1200 Sold Out
13/03/2023 $7495 $1200 places left
27/03/2023 $7495 $1200 Sold Out
10/04/2023 $7495 $1200 places left

Prices are per person and based on twin share (twin or double) room accommodation.
Individuals wanting a private room to themselves will be asked to pay a “Single Supplement”. 
Please note we require a minimum of 4 people booked to guarantee a departure. 
Prices are in NZD and include GST.

Looking for something unique? Contact us about custom tours