Sweeping vistas on a stretch of the South Island's south
Discover a lesser-travelled part of NZ and all its beauty
Green and blue splendour wherever you look and wide, open roads
Experience the wild and rugged landscapes of the Catlins
Journey to the most southern depths of New Zealand by bike
See and enjoy the wildlife and natural surrounds of the region
An example of one of the charming accommodation options used on tour – in lovely settings with comfortable lodgings

Southern Coast Cycle

7 days
Site savings
$2,095 USD

Cycle the Catlins rugged coastline over 7 days. Lush green rolling plains, wild windswept coastlines and unique wildlife experiences characterise New Zealand's southernmost region. This remarkable tour begins by cycling the scenic border roads of the Fiordland National Park before visiting Invercargill, the world's most southern city.

  • Category
    Road Cycling
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    300.1 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    42.9 miles
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    7 days
  • Main Destination
    South Island
  • Distance
    300.1 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    42.9 miles
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Queenstown to Te Anau

    You will meet the tour in central Queenstown around 8:00 am for a bike fit. From Queenstown, you will drive the narrow lakeside road alongside Lake Wakitipu to Kingston, where you start the ride for the day on the rolling rural roads of upper Southland. The native red tussock covered hills lead you into the township of Te Anau, perched on the edge of the Fiordland National Park; your goal is the remote Five Rivers cafe for lunch and then onto Mossburn, but stronger riders can be challenged by the possibility of a metric century ride today.

    • 41.6 - 78.3 miles
    • Accommodation in Te Anau
    • Lunch and Dinner
  2. Day 2Te Anau to Invercargill

    The morning’s ride takes you alongside the lakes of Te Anau & Manapouri before you head south through an ever-changing landscape. The stark arid mountains give way to more gentle pastures as you enter the productive Southland farm country. Small communities dot the landscape and the coastal riding becomes spectacular. This coast is exposed to southerly blasts creating some surreal windswept scenery. Gradually you will quit the farmlands and approach Invercargill where you'll stay tonight.

    • 37.3 - 93.2 miles
    • Invercargill Accommodation
    • Breakfast and Lunch
  3. Day 3Invercargill to McLean Falls

    The route today skirts the beautiful and undiscovered Catlins Forest Park and coastline. The roads are quiet and the scenery diverse as the coastline increasingly becomes spectacular. The morning ride ends at beautiful Curio Bay where you will enjoy a leisurely picnic by the sea, short walks along the beach, a swim for the brave & a visit to a petrified forest on the seashore. This is a renowned wildlife area & you are likely to see the rare Hector's Dolphins, Fur Seals & Yellow Eyed Penguins.

    After lunch, there is an optional ride to your overnight accommodation near McLean Falls.

    • 52.8 - 71.5 miles
    • Accommodation near McLean Falls
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4McLean Falls to Owaka

    You will have a relaxed start this morning to explore your beautiful surroundings here on the Catlins coast, with options to walk to the nearby McLean Falls and/or explore Cathedral Caves. Then it is back on the bikes for more scenic cycling along quiet roads. The cycling is tough with some serious climbs but the rewarding views of the coastline make the effort well worth it.

    Another picnic by the sea gives the chance for a beach walk before you continue cycling on to Owaka. Late afternoon you'll drive out to Cannibal Bay for yet another walk on a remote and beautiful beach to visit the resident Sea Lions.

    • 23.6 miles
    • Owaka Accommodation
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  5. Day 5Owaka to Dunedin

    This morning you will ride to the seaside village of Kaka Point then drive out to Nugget Point and enjoy a short walk to the lighthouse. You will be driven on the busy main road section through rural landscapes to Balclutha for lunch.

    This afternoon you'll cycle from Waihola down to the coast for the final gentle ride along the beach to Brighton, on the outskirts of Dunedin. This cosmopolitan university town is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand due to its rich Scottish heritage and it is where you will stay tonight.

    • 19.9 - 38.5 miles
    • Dunedin Accommodation
    • Breakfast and Lunch
  6. Day 6Dunedin Peninsula to Oamaru

    Today you will explore the Otago Peninsula by bike. This ride has some challenges, taking you first up and over the Portobello hill for sweeping views of the whole Peninsula before dropping down to finish with some relaxing, flat riding beside the ocean. After lunch back in Dunedin, you'll make your way to historical Oamaru, stopping at Koekohe Beach along the way to see the Moeraki Boulders, some unusually large and spherical boulders lying on the beach. There is also the option for some more beautiful coastal riding on quiet roads as you reach the destination. You'll stay in Oamaru for the evening.

    • 36.7 - 52.2 miles
    • Oamaru Accommodation
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  7. Day 7Oamaru to Christchurch

    Today you are Christchurch bound - but not before more rural cycling. You'll have an option to visit the award-winning Whitestone Cheese factory in Oamaru or nearby Riverstone Kitchen, to see their amazing gardens where they grow most of their own culinary produce. You will then start cycling on quiet roads through small farmlets and communities along the Pareora River valley. An optional challenge is a climb over Pareora Gorge before you visit the spectacular St Davids Pioneer Church, made without nails and out of local river stones and timbers. A final burst of cycling takes you to a late lunch at Pleasant Point and the start of the final drive back to Christchurch. With good traffic flows you should be into Christchurch by around 6 pm.

    • 20.5 - 29.8 miles
    • Breakfast