Explore the beautiful scenery of NZ by bike
Journey through the South Island on gravel trails
Spend the first day on a stunning ride of the Banks Peninsula
Cycle the lakes and mountains of NZ's south
Bike a classic rails to trail route through Otago
At the end of the trip take a memorable boat trip to the final destination of Queenstown
Arrive in Q'town feeling great and ready to explore

South Island Gravel Explorer

7 days
Site savings
$2,372 USD

Explore the vast and impressive Mackenzie Basin and remote Central Otago on this remarkable gravel tour from Christchurch to Queenstown. You'll trace the footsteps of the early pioneers, along gold mining trails and stock routes which now form quiet back country roads. Journey from Christchurch to Queenstown, challenging yourself with 7 days of breathtaking gravel grinding. Enjoy incredible views of the Southern Alps from the Banks Peninsula and cycle through arid McKenzie Country surrounded by the highest peaks in the country. Admire a contrast of vivid blue lakes, sparkling rivers, snow capped mountains and golden tussock-lands and indulge in award winning wine and local Kiwi cuisine.

  • Category
    Trail Riding
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    3 - Active
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    326.2 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    46.6 miles
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  • Where does the tour start and end?

    The tour starts in Christchurch at the Pavilions Hotel and ends in Queenstown - the tour operator will drop you off at your hotel.

    Fly into Christchurch International Airport (CHC). Fly out of Queenstown Airport (ZQN).

  • How long is the tour? How many cycling days?

    The tour is 7 days long with all 7 days being cycling days.

  • What's the tour like?

    This tour is graded moderate to challenging. You will need to be a competent rider with stamina and a good level of fitness, you should be able to cycle comfortably for 6-8 hours or around 80-100km/50-60miles per day, day after day. There are some long undulating and hilly days on a mix of smooth gravel, dirt roads with some rougher corrugated and stony sections. There are some river crossings, so you can expect to get wet feet. You should be confident riding on roads with traffic, although the routes you'll cycle are quiet, you need to expect to see some vehicles. This tour is not for beginners. The tour is fully supported and if at any stage you feel like having a rest from cycling you will be able to ride in the support vehicle.

  • Is a bike available to hire?

    Yes. The tour operator can rent you a gravel bike or hard tail mountain bike for the tour. Please contact us for pricing. Or, you are welcome to bring your own bike. The tour operator recommends tyres wider than 35mm and disc brakes.

  • Who will lead the tour?

    The guides are one of the biggest assets of the tour operator and they have pride for their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people,  two expert guides will join to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of the guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but the guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.