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“What amazing riding, great food and wine, while the Ventouro team looked after our every need, with a seemingly effortless day to day routine”

Mark Rabkin, San Francisco 

 

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The ultimate New Zealand cycle tour, a trip that explores New Zealand like no other.  With insights to rural communities, local cuisine, natural ice wonders, mountain passes, and much more this journey will leave you with a sense of satisfaction and memories for many years to come. 

A journey that follows the early pioneers along the Forgotten Highway, past the once bustling Republic of Whangamomona and other trading posts that are now virtual ghost towns.  We cross the expansive Central Plateau, under the watchful eye of Mount Ruapehu as we descend on the Gumboot capital of the world. Our last leg the ‘Gentle Annie’ takes it’s name from the steep descent from the Central Plateau to the Kaweka Forest, before opening onto glorious fields of vineyards flanked by the hills and tipping into the Atlantic Ocean.  Our final stop on the North Island is a hidden retreat in the golden Tuki Tuki Valley, before a short transfer to the South Island.

We start the second leg of our journey with a winding rolling ride across the Queen Charlotte Sounds into sunny Nelson. We then descend the serene West Coast before arriving in the stunning wine country of the Gibbston Valley, which creates part of the backdrop to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. With optional start and end points to your ride, you will always take in the most amazing vistas by bike.  We have reshaped this epic ride to challenge the avid rider, but also wind down nicely as we arrive in Queenstown with time to put our feet up and enjoy a Central Otago Pinot with a view over Lake Wakatipu.

 

 

Trip Highlights

  • Forgotten Highway 
  • Southern Alps
  • Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers
  • Queenstown

 Details of the trip

  • $10,490 per person
  • 1,479km (21,343m Elevation)
  • Rides between 50 to 135km
  • Massage after long rides
  • Max group size of 12 
  • Vehicle support
  • Guided rides most days
  • Wine tastings
  • Couples or shared rooms
  • Single supplement $1500
  • Airport transfers
  • All food included
  • Sports nutrition
  • Daily laundry
  • Ventouro goodie bag 
  • Bike hire is available

Arrival 

New Plymouth – King and Queen Hotel

Day 1

Inglewood to Whangamomona
Distance 90km, Elevation 1013m (*70km, 55km)
A journey that follows the early pioneers along the Forgotten Highway, past the once bustling Republic of Whangamomona and other trading posts that are now virtual ghost towns.
Lodging: Whangamomona Hotel

Day 2

Whangamomona to Owhango
Distance 110km, Elevation 2304m (*75km, 50km)
Exiting the Forgotten Highway we take in stretches of gravel road, signs of the time for this once busy stretch to many traders.  The views from the top of the short climbs will make it all worth the effort along with the post ride refreshments on our short transfer to Ohakune.
Lodging: Powderhorn Chateau

Day 3

Ohakune to Taihape
Distance 105km, Elevation 2063m (*75km)
A chance to climb New Zealand’s highest road for those wanting more of a challenge, or take a sleep in if legs are feeling it, and take in the gentle ride across the flats to Taihape.
Lodging: High Country Station Farm Stay

Day 4

Taihape to Havelock North
Distance 145km, Elevation 2319m  *(75km)
Our last leg the ‘Gentle Annie’ takes it’s name from the steep descent from the Central Plateau to the Kaweka Forest, before opening onto glorious fields of vineyards flanked by the hills and tipping into the Atlantic Ocean.
Lodging: Black Barn Retreats

Day 5

Picton to Nelson
Distance 107km, Elevation 2031m (*56km, 35km)
As we climb out of Picton you will have time to drink in the glorious views of the Marlborough Sounds, a pristine region with countless inlets and islands. There is achallenging end to the ride over the Rai and Whangamoa saddles before descending on New Zealand’s sunniest city, Nelson.
Lodging: Boutique Hotel Warwick House

Day 6

Tour of Tasman 
Distance 85km, Elevation 750m
New Zealand’s Great Taste trail, today will impress both your legs and your taste buds.   With panoramic views over Tasman Bay, and winding country roads we will navigate our way around New Zealand’s sunniest region.
Lodging: Boutique Hotel Warwick House

Day 7

Nelson to St Arnaud
Distance 88km, Elevation 1314m
Today we exit Nelson and begin our journey South, through Golden Downs forest we continue to climb to St Arnaud, set in beech forest by beautiful Lake Rotoiti.
Lodging: Alpine Lodge

 

 

Day 8

St Arnaud to Wesport
Distance 152km, Elevation 1433m (*97km, 64km)
As the sparsely populated West Coast beckons we meander our way gentle down hill almost all day.  Following the Buller River from St Arnaud, through Murchison and a scattering of small country towns as we wind our way down the gorge before arriving at the coast.
Lodging: Carters By the Sea

Day 9

Westport to Greymouth
Distance 100km, Elevation 1537m (*48km)
A costal ride of epic proportions, we pass one of New Zealand’s most phenomenal natural landmarks the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki.  Watch the Tasman Sea burst through the blow holes of these layered limestone formations.  The final part of the day is a gentle spin into Greymouth.
Lodging: Awatuna Homestead

Day 10

Hokitika to Franz Joseph Glacier
Distance 134km, Elevation 1180m (*100km, 60km)
Waking up to the peaceful West Coast you will hear nothing but birds and the rolling ocean.  Leaving the historic gold mining town of Hokitika the country is rolling through native bush, before crossing into the Westland National Park where the landscape opens up exposing the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps.
Lodging: Te Waonui Forest Retreat or Franz Joseph Oasis

Day 11

Franz Joseph Glacier to Lake Moeraki
Distance 109km, Elevation 1355m (*65km)
With 3 climbs before Fox Glacier in the first 25km, the legs won’t take long to warm up.  Again a beautiful ride through dense native bush of rimu and rata, we continue through undulating country passing the coast at Bruce Bay.  A short trip inland and we descend upon Lake Moeraki and our accommodation at the Wilderness Lodge offering views down the spectacular Moeraki River.
Lodging: Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge

Day 12

Lake Moeraki to Makarora
Distance 114km, Elevation 2123m (*60km)
Today we leave the West Coast and venture inland bordering the beautiful wilderness of the Mt Aspiring National Park. The main challenge of the day comes at the ‘Gates of Haast’ that then leaves a gentle descent to our destination for the night.
Lodging: Makarora River Ranch

Day 13

Makarora to Wanaka
Distance 65km, Elevation 812m (*50km)
The terrain changes and the landscape is now noticeably drier opening to expanse sheep paddocks.  An undulating ride down the banks of Lake Wanaka before crossing at the Neck to Lake Hawea. The quaint ski village of Wanaka will be waiting to show you it’s true beauty from the lakes edge and flanked by Alps.
Lodging: Private property 

Day 14

Wanaka to Queenstown
Distance 75km, Elevation 1127m (*40km)
We roll out of Wanaka on a gentle ride up the Cardrona Valley, ahead lies the renowned accent of the Crown Range though we will take time to enjoy a coffee at the historic Cardrona Pub before tackling the climb.  Cresting the summit you can feast on the spectacular views down the valley to Queenstown and beyond. A dramatic descent to Arrowtown follows, with a short stop and onto our final stay in Queenstown.
Lodging: The Sherwood