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Southern Alps 10 Days
Enjoy friendly Kiwi hospitality, a superb scenic mix of mountain passes and easier coastal terrain that will delight cycle enthusiasts on a 10 day road biking tour running from Christchurch to Queenstown. Unspoilt New Zealand - glaciers, rainforests, lakes and snowy peaks; the Southern Alps tour takes you on a breath-taking loop through some of the world's finest scenery. New Zealand was one of the last places in the world to be settled by man and it still retains a rugged, incomparable pristine beauty. "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed here on the West Coast and is rightly recognised as a World Heritage Area.
- CategoryRoad Cycling
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration10 days
- Culture LevelFamiliar
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance199.5 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance28 miles
The South Island is known for friendly Kiwi hospitality, excellent local cuisine and includes interesting history from the region's gold mining days. The vibrant towns of Wanaka and Queenstown-both on the shores of beautiful lakes with an alpine backdrop –make for a wonderful experience. Watch a sheepdog demonstration on a real high country sheep station and experience New Zealand at a cyclist’s pace.
The tour starts in New Zealand's second-largest city Christchurch, (pop. 350,000); New Zealand's cycling capital and gateway to the South Island. It is an attractive city with the river Avon winding its way through the centre bordered by weeping willows and has an excellent botanical garden at Hagley Park. Points of interest along the journey include Arthur’s Pass National Park with magnificent mountain scenery, lakes, the dramatic viaduct and descent through the Otira Gorge. It is a park of contrasts, with dry beech/tawhai forest in the east, luxuriant rainforest on western slopes, and a historic highway and railway running through the middle. The park was established in 1929 and was New Zealand’s third national park and the first one on the South Island.
Further on in the trip you'll visit glow-worms, try whitebait fritters and look out for kea (a cheeky native parrot); they are known to chew bike saddles. Westland National Park and Franz Josef Glacier will astound you, with views of the dramatic glacier flowing down to rainforest, with a backdrop of New Zealand’s highest snow capped peaks. Pedalling further south, you'll witness Lake Wanaka’s spectacular location at the foot of the Southern Alps with the wilderness of the Mt Aspiring National Park nearby making it a magnet for outdoor lovers the world over.
The tour concludes in Queenstown, where around 1.9 million visitors are drawn each year to enjoy their own unforgettable travel experience. Visitors come to experience the awe-inspiring scenery, to search for adventure, to seek out relaxation and rejuvenation, or just to breathe the pure mountain air. Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world.
This tour is classified by the operator as moderate with 2 challenging days. The support vehicle is always available so you can cycle as much or as little as you wish.