The Great Southern Circuit

The ultimate 2-week South Island adventure! This tour packs in as much of New Zealand’s great outdoors as you can possibly fit within a 2 week holiday – without exhausting yourself. We have put together the perfect mix of cycling, walks, activities and a couple of days where you can “do your own thing” - whether that’s skydiving or sitting by a pool. We call it a cycle tour, but really it’s just a fantastic way to see the country for an unforgettable holiday. This 12 day itinerary covers 3 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 12 day expedition, showcasing the best of New Zealand’s natural beauty.
  • Around 450km of New Zealand’s best cycle trails, through every possible landscape, including 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.
  • 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

12 Days / 11 Nights

Start / Pick-up

Christchurch

Finish – Drop-off

Christchurch or Queenstown

See below for dates and prices

Included:

  • 10 days riding on 3 of the best cycle trails in the country.
  • 11 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 after every tour.
  • TranzAlpine train, Haast River Jet Boat Safari, West Coast Treetop Walkway, wine tasting and hot pools.
  • Meals included:
    1. Day 1: Dinner
    2. Day 2-5: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    3. Day 6: Breakfast only – choose your own arrangements for lunch and dinner in Queenstown
    4. Day 7-11: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    5. Day 12: Breakfast and lunch
  • All meals are high quality with fresh local produce. We eat at a variety of restaurants and accommodations. Lunches may include either cafés or picnics (depending on weather). 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, bars, sweets and chocolate-coated coffee beans!
  • Drinks provided on the trail – a selection of teas, plunger coffee and bottled water.

Excluded:

  • Drinks (alcohol, hot or cold) purchased in restaurants or cafés throughout the tour are for your own account.
  • Lunch and dinner in Queenstown on Day 6.
  • Extra activities you decide to book on Day 4 in Franz Josef or Day 6 in Queenstown.

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 – the cycle trail starts right at the station! The first 30km of West Coast Wilderness trail is a gentle ride along the coast and up the Taramakau river to Kumara. We stay at a lovely restored hotel with an excellent restaurant.
  • Day 2 – 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 3 – After a visit the magnificent Hokitika Gorge, we return to the coast following the historic Mahinapua Tramline. 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, watching the sun set into the Tasman Sea.
  • Day 4 – We take a break from riding today and learn how the Maori have carved pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) for centuries. Then take a drive down the coast into glacier country, stopping at Franz Josef Glacier. You can either take a walk to the glacier (included) or choose from a range of other local activities on offer (eg a scenic flight, ice walking, etc- not included). We then continue our journey to the remote outpost of Haast at the southern end of the West Coast.
  • Day 5 – Start the day with a jet boat safari up the beautiful Haast River before driving over the Southern Alps via the epic Haast Pass stopping for a short walk to a beautiful waterfall. We get you back on your bikes to ride a stunning cycle trail following the Hawea river to Lake Wanaka. After a late lunch together, we drop you at your hotel in Queenstown where you will have a fantastic dinner overlooking the lake.
  • Day 6 – Today is entirely up to you – you are free to make your own arrangements. You could take a scenic flight or go skydiving! Or you could just relax around the pool at your accommodation. We give you the day off to enjoy yourselves and do what you want to do in Queenstown. Apart from breakfast, your meals and activities today are not included in the tour, but we can offer you a range of great suggestions of places to eat and things to do. And we can help you make any bookings before your trip. There is a huge selection of excellent cafés, bars and restaurants for you to try.
  • Day 7 – It’s back to business for the 2nd half of the cycling tour! We pick you up bright and early for the drive up to Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park. After a short ride to the airfield you will be loaded in the helicopter for a short flight across the Tasman River. 2-3 hours of cycling on the far side to reach Braemar Station, set in a stunning location, overlooking Lake Pukaki.
  • Day 8 – The bike trail tracks the east side of the lake with stunning views of the mountains. We stop for a picnic on the edge of the lake and cross the stunning Pukaki flats to spend the night in Twizel. The restaurant tonight is one of the highlights!
  • Day 9 – We make our way across to Lake Ohau, before the trail turns south and climbs a fairly challenging hill followed by some lovely winding downhill sections to finish. Finish an amazing day with a soak in outdoor jacuzzi hot tubs in Omarama before we take you for a memorable dining experience.
  • Day 10 – The landscape changes from alpine high country to a braided river valley. The trail skirts around beautiful lakes. We end the day with a wine and cheese tasting followed by dinner at a fabulous lodge.
  • Day 11 – We follow the Waitaki river as it winds through a patchwork quilt of crops and farmland. After morning drinks break in Duntroon, the trail then leaves the Waitaki and climbs past the Elephant Rocks to finally catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. Finish the day with a fantastic downhill passing through an old railway tunnel.
  • Day 12 – Final day! Finish the last few kilometres through pasture and botanic gardens to reach the Pacific Ocean in the historic settlement of Oamaru. Celebrate with a stone-baked pizza at a local brewery before taking transport back to Christchurch or Queenstown by Saturday evening, arriving about 7pm.
  • Day 6 in Queenstown is the midpoint of the tour. We do not plan any activities or meals for you, aside from breakfast. This is your opportunity to explore Queenstown your way. We can assist with making any bookings if you would like. Meals and activities are at your own expense but your accommodation is included in the price of the tour.
  • Day 4 you can choose to take a walk to see the Franz Josef Glacier (approx. 1.5hrs return – free) or if you prefer, you can choose from the local activities on offer, like a scenic helicopter flight over the glaciers, ice trekking or a massage or soak in the hot pools. These additional activities are not included in the tour.
  • Alternative drop-off points can be arranged upon request – just let us know your plans and we will see what we can do.

IF THE SCHEDULED DATES DO NOT WORK FOR YOU, PLEASE CONTACT US! WE MAY BE ABLE TO PUT ON ADDITIONAL TOUR DATES, SUBJECT TO MINIMUM NUMBERS AND AVAILABILITY OF STAFF, VEHICLES, BIKES AND ACCOMMODATION.

Start DatePriceSingle SupplementStatus
01/12/2020 $5750 $750 6 spaces left
12/01/2021 $5750 $750 6 spaces left
02/02/2021 $5750 $750 4 spaces left
23/02/2021 $5750 $750 Sold Out
16/03/2021 $5750 $750 Sold Out
06/04/2021 $5750 $750 spaces 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.

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