A route that defines New Zealand’s pure beauty, diversity and tranquillity. Traversing through the high misty peaks of the Southern Alps, descending 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 endpoints 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.
With Ventouro’s pro-level support you will coast your way down the country with ease. Your every need is catered for, whether it be a homemade snack from the follow vehicle, a gem of information from your local guide or a rejuvenating massage from the soigneur to shape up the legs after the day's ride.
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Stunning Gibbston Valley
Southern Alps Traverse
Diversity of scenery
Details of the trip
668km (7546m Elevation)
Rides between 50 to 135km
Massage after long rides
Max group size of 12
Guided rides most days
Couples or shared rooms
All food included
Ventouro goodie bag
Bike hire is available
Direct flights into Christchurch from both Auckland and Australia mean there will be time to explore the ever-changing sites of the garden city. The container mall is now a vibrant strip of cafes and shops as the city rebuilds from disaster. We will commence our tour with a late afternoon aperitif among the modern sophistication of Christchurch newest boutique hotel, followed by a meal that will set the standard for our week ahead.
Springfield to Arthurs Pass
Distance 82km, Elevation 1700m (50km option)
After a short drive out of the city, we arrive at the small farming settlement of Springfield where the tour starts. It’s straight into it for those keen on the full ride as we head up over Porters Pass, the shorter options start just down the other side.
Lodging: Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge
Arthurs Pass to Hokitika
Distance 89km, Elevation 951m
Today we leave the shingle riverbeds of the eastern side of Southern Alps and crest the highest pass on the range, before descending to the west coast past deeply gorged rivers, which run through dense rainforest. We also cross a spectacular piece of extreme civil engineering, the Otira Viaduct, with an 11% grade you won’t miss it!
Lodging: Awatuna Homestead
Hokitika to Franz Joseph Glacier
134km, 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
Franz Joseph Glacier to Lake Moeraki
109km, 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
Lake Moeraki to Makarora
114km, 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
Makarora to Wanaka
65km, 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 edge of the lake and flanked by the Alps.
Lodging: Private property
Wanaka to Queenstown
75km, 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
Sitting on the crystal clear shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. With endless activities, we welcome you to stay but for us sadly the tour is over. Depart at your leisure or stay and enjoy the Sherwood’s blissful surroundings.