Covering an impressive 300km of raw, untouched New Zealand countryside, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Route is not to be missed by adventure cyclists. From rich golden landscapes to bright turquoise glacial lakes, this scenic track covers some of the country’s most impressive scenery. The longest continuous trail in the country, this extensive track begins at the centre of the South Island atop New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook before descending 2000ft through the legendary scenery of the Southern Alps and eventually making its way to the east coast township of Oamaru.
Among the natural wonders of braided rivers, limestone cliffs, Maori rock art, turquoise hydro-lakes, glacier-carved valleys, tussock-covered highlands and rural plains, cyclists will find plenty of opportunities to take part in off-road adventures. Highlights of the trail include the legendary Southern Alps, a mountain range extending through the majority of the South Island, the World Heritage-listed Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and the small farming town of Duntroon, home to the fascinating limestone formations and fossils found at Elephant Rocks. Here, cyclists have the chance to hike through breathtaking mountain peaks, ski down powdered slopes, ride horses, go fishing or take a boat tour on a glacier lake and view the largest glacier in the country.
Suitable for all experience levels, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Route includes a mixture of off-and on-road trails on both rough and smooth terrain, which can be enjoyed in its entirety or in sections. Experienced cyclists have the option to complete the trail in four days, while those wishing to take a more leisurely pace can complete it in 6-8 days (accommodation is available in several towns throughout the journey). Although the recommended starting point is Aoraki Mt Cook Village in the Southern Alps, there are numerous other access points along the track, with many tour operators beginning their tours to Aoraki Mt Cook from Christchurch.
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Image credit: Miles Holden
Video Credit:100% Pure New Zealand