Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Oamaru: Hours, Address, Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Reviews: 4.5/5

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is a 316km journey from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. This is New Zealand - in all its splendor and beauty - from the highest mountain, past great lakes and rivers to the ocean. , the 9 section Trail is an easy to intermediate graded ride, offering a pleasing mix of on and off-road trails. Allow 5-7 days for the entire ride, or simply try out a day excursion. Amidst the grandeur of braided rivers, glacier-carved valleys, turquoise hydro-lakes, tussock highlands and rural plains, are a host of tantalising off-the-bike activities including wine-tasting, penguin-spotting, or simply quietly soaking in alfresco hot tubs. It's no wonder people have come from all over the world to enjoy the Trail's stunning vistas, wide open spaces and expansive landscapes. The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is internationally recognised and a great way to experience the diversity of the South Island. Not just for cyclists, the Trail is for walkers and runners too...
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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139 reviews
Very good

Grant T
25 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
We are on the wrong side of the 60s and 70s age bracket and rode the full A2O from the Whitehorse Campground after riding from the Hermitage to the start sign. Our destination was Twizel. We had bought our own emtbs from the North Island. We rode to Mt Cook airport where we caught the chopper across the Tasman river. This was a oncer so why skimp. Awesome until we got onto Braymar / Hayman road which was badly corrugated for 30-40 kms and we had a head wind which didnt help but glad of full suspension which took a hammering. This was the worst part of the whole trail with this and dust from passing vehicles and 25c temps. Arrived in Twizel after 82.06kms and 5.5hrs. Mileage boards need correcting on this leg. At Whitehorse campground the start board states Oamaru is 301kms, after riding 8kms to the airport and crossing the river the board at Rotten Tommy says Oamaru is 300kms away. We seem to be going backwards.
Day 2 to Lake Ohau was mainly an easy on road ride but also so pleasant single track. This was 40.31kms and 2.50hrs. Awesome Ohau Lodge, well worth it.
Day 3 to Omarama was over the Tarnbrae summit in heavy fog, no views at all, the track was very rocky and would be a challenge to some bikes but we throughly enjoyed this section as our bikes are built for this sort of riding. At the far end was Quailburn Road which was a long unsealed road but easier than day 1 with a nice bit of single track at the end. We didn't detour to the Clay Cliffs but returned after we finished the A2O as our car was based at Twizel. We are glad we did it this way after seeing the road. We arrived in Omarama after 46.62km and 3.20hrs. The Ahuriri motels are a great base and right next to the trail
Day 4 to rural Kurow was the day we felt would challenge our batteries so leaving Omarama we rode economically for the first 15kms in using our batteries which paid dividends later in the day. Our destination was rural Kurow. We absolutely loved the Benmore section and as experienced mountain bikers it's a must do. The weather turned on us before we got to the dam so we had to kit up with wet weather gear.
After the dam we had 40kph+ ( we were told later) head winds for 30+ kms around the back of the lake . Obviously it would have been more enjoyable without the wind but the sealed road was quiet and the 3 dams were awesome. We arrived at our accomodation at Settlement View which was an awesome and highly recommended place to stay and after doing 74.2km and 7.15hrs later. My battery was down to its last 15%.
Day 5 from Kurow to Rural Duntroon. Started with steady rain and and 6kms of muddy unsealed road, we crossed some creeks and one was too deep to ride so carried our bikes over. We crossed several muddy cow races covered in excrement, visited Elephant rocks and so that's how we were when arriving at our final accomodationm the Tokorahi Huts some 14kms from Duntroon after 46.6kms and 3.5hrs. The last 50mtrs of driveway also covered in excrement. Unfortunately this accomodation was not geared for cyclists wet, cold and muddy. No laundry or drying facilities other than one centralized fireplace with a broken clothes rack. The temps were around 9-11c at one point and although there was a hose for cleaning mud off bikes, and undercover storage, there was very little opportunity to clean and dry gear although we did manage this. This is probably a great place in warm dry weather.
Day 6 to Oamaru dawned wet and foggy and we were relying on Fort Enfield for a food and drink break only to find it closed. Again take nothing for granted. We arrived in Oamaru off an unsealed trail onto a main road to find no directional signage. A passing motorist was kind enough to point us in the right direction. Signage through town was good. We arrived after 47kms and 3.45hrs at the A2O frame on the beach front. And 337km total on one of the most awesome bike adventures you could wish for. Five of the six night had excellent accommodation, Weather ranged from 9c to 25c, fog, rain, sun, strong headwinds, flooded creeks, and dust. The trail conditions were great with some challenges for less experienced riders.
No injuries, no break downs, tender butts and big smiles. A must do for anybody who has an interest in off road biking(there is plenty of on road) especially mountain biking. Would we do it again. If we were younger "hell yes"
Written 1 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dunedin, New Zealand67 contributions
Dec 2021
This is absolutely a bucket list must do ride if your in to bike riding. But, as I said in the title, the marketing rather overlooks some of the difficulties and dangers of the ride which I'll go into as I explain the journey. My wife and I rode ourselves (not in a tour group) and stayed in accom alone the way. We have e bikes (so take that into consideration), ride to work most days and are 'pretty competent' riders. We decided to skip Mt Cook because essentially it is a short ride to the airport and then approx $350 for a very short trip in a helicopter over the river. We where dropped off at the Jolly Rd car park and did the short ride to Braemar Station accommodation. OK first caution: This road is a relatively rough, long gravel road. To be comfortable, riders must have a 'reasonable level of experience' on gravel. The road had been recently graded and was hard going. The A2O web site says, Almost anyone with a moderate level of fitness can ride the Trail. This, in my view is just not correct. They would be really freaked out and likely have a fall. To carry on: the Braemar stay is well worth the short first day and lovely place to stay. Julia was great and fantastic meal. We then went Braemar to Ohau in one ride (80KMS) which was great, but maybe a little long to allow the many photo stops. We would now recommend: Jolly Rd to Twizel first day, twizel to Ohau second. Third day Ohau to Omarama was again fantastic views, a
great ride and not as hard as some reviews or the marketing say. It's a steady (but not too steep) climb to the top and then all sorts of warnings about difficulty for the ride down (they must have some criticism about difficulty). If you take it slowly, ride inside your ability and be mentally prepared to stop and get off, it's absolutely fine. More manageable (in our view) than the gravel road!!)
Have dinner in Omarama at the Pink Glider, which offers much better choices and prices than the Pub. Open November through end of April.
Omarama to Otematata, as others say, is by FAR the best part. It is stunning scenary around Lake Benmore. So... If you want to take bits of the trip, do this one. BUT... it is actually quite dangerous and NOT for 'beginners'. We encounted day trippers coming fast the other way and if you just happened to be in the wrong spot, you could actually die falling down the sides. I'm amazed DOC or whoever manages this would allow some of the sections to open. However dying aside...stunning just the same. In Otematata, go to CJ's bar for dinner and ask if Leggy is the guy behind the bar, who offers a free drink if while opening a beer bottle, gets the cap into box in the corner.
The remainder, Otematata to Duntroon and then on to Oamaru is all worthwhile but is
not as stunning. Definitely do it, but if your time limited, you could miss these out.
Written 14 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Auckland, New Zealand2 contributions
May 2021
Absolutely fantastic ride. Self organised and rode with panniers over 6 days; accommodation on way was great- highly recommend duntroon hotel service abs food were impeccable)

Trail is mostly off road and when on the road on extremely quiet roads along fabulous canals etc. when on tracks-the track is fantastic and in good condition- a few stony bits but I am not a highly experienced technical mountain biker and managed easily (was on a hard tail bike not electric bike).

This trail is so varied in scenery and absolutely stunning. We did it end of April / may ; cold fingers/feet in the morning but a great time of year to do it.
Written 2 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi adiegel, Thanks for sharing your experiences on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It is true the autumn days are shorter and mornings colder but being prepared with the appropriate water and wind proofing, merino and Thinsulate layers all help! :-) The Southern Alps provide the perfect backdrop and as you will have seen, have already had their dusting of snow to make the scenery all the more magical. Well done for your self supporting and non e-bike efforts - your 300+km achievements must seem all the more rewarding as a result Very best regards,
Written 23 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand15,665 contributions
Mar 2021
Average compared to other cycle trails we have done. So much on the road, four wheel drive tracks and really boneshaker rocky parts.
It can be real windy and is exposed.
.didnt enjoy many parts of this trail. Lake Pukaki the exception which is stunning.
Written 1 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi nzp0ppy, We're sorry to hear that your trail experience did not measure up to your expectations. The Trail's ambitions are to have the whole of the Trail off-road and with the completion of the Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam section in December 2020, we now have all of the Trail off 100km/hr State Highways (with the exception of some road crossings of course). This new 16km section build (at a cost of about $1.2m) turned what was our previously least loved road section, into our most loved off-road section (and as you mentioned the Lake Pukaki section is stunning too). I hope you will keep an eye on our progress in getting the remaining quieter country road sections off-road in the coming years, with a view to revisit the Trail at some point in the future. Very best regards,
Written 23 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wellington, New Zealand626 contributions
Feb 2021 • Family
Long wanted to do this trail. We took six days and used ebikes which I would highly sure recommend. Some legs are definitely more fun and/or more scenic than other legs. We liked Omarama to Otematata leg best thanks to the newly opened off road portion allowing access to stunning scenery. This part only opened December 2020. Second best leg was Lake Tekapo to Twizel for us and lastly Duntroon to Oamaru leg. You could easily skip Otematata to Duntroon part as we found this quite boring. The Lake Ohau to Omarama leg was very tough due to the trail condition of so many big rocks. We averaged 5-8 km an hour on this part. Some signage poor along the trail and some of the conditions of the trail poor. Not easy for all, a certain level of experience would be beneficial. Found the official A2O brochure not detailed enough. Also some of the trail still on road which is a real detraction.
Written 22 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Camda, Thanks so much for sharing your Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail experiences and observations. The newly opened 16km section you mention between Omarama and Otematata has indeed opened up some great scenery and of course avoids having to ride on the busy SH83 over the Otematata Saddle (which was previously our least loved section!). The reviews and feedback on this new section have been extremely positive. We had a big rain event in the district early in the new year (3&4th Jan 2021) which resulted in some sections having to be closed due to flooding and slips - by the sound of it you missed that action but the trail surfaces obviously has suffered as a result and while emergency repairs were swiftly undertaken, the funding application and more permanent repairs will take more time yet. With over 300km of Trail to manage and maintain it is a big task (and cost - the new 16 km off-road section was built at a cost of more than $1.2m) and that task and cost continues to grow as we get more and more of the Trail off-road. With the completion of the newly opened section that you enjoyed so much, we now have pretty much all of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail off the busy State Highways which is quite a milestone. The Trail is graded 2 easy, and some sections are grade 3 intermediate, so you are absolutely correct in that to enjoy it fully you do need a certain level of experience, skill and of course fitness! Six days on a bike seat is not to be taken lightly... LOL We really appreciate your feedback on the other aspects of the Trail too and if you have a few minutes to complete the online feedback (found at the top of banner of the Official Website) and that feedback will be seen by those that can make a difference for all those that follow! Very best regards and safe travels...
Written 4 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dunedin, New Zealand14 contributions
Nov 2020 • Friends
Been dreaming of this trip for a while and delighted to have experienced all it has to offer. Stunning views, great biking, wonderful accommodation and superb meals. We self organised but enjoyed meeting so many other people on the trail. Highly recommended, even without an ebike.
Written 20 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Challospoint, Big congratulations to you and your group for being equal to the challenge! If you have not done so already, we'd love your feedback and there is a link at the top menu bar of the Trail's website that will allow you to share the thoughts and experiences of your brilliant achievement. Hopefully you will inspire others to the Trail (with or without ebikes!) ... Well done. We wish you all the best for your next trip and hope to see you and your friends back on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail in a few more years to do it all again. There are plans afoot to extend the Alps 2 Ocean Trail down the coast from Oamaru to at least Palmerston (in the direction of Dunedin), so keep an eye out for those developments once we have all of this one 100% off-road. Thanks for sharing. Keep on biking! :-)
Written 4 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Northland Region, New Zealand7 contributions
Nov 2020 • Couples
We started our self organized 6 day itinerary from Lake Tekapo. Stayed in the lovely Lake Tekapo cottages and the manager allowed us to leave our car there. We plan to rent a car in Oamaru when finished and return for the car making the trip in same day. About 60$ with local Oamaru company. Bus schedules too inconvenient and paying for car relocation too expensive. Quoted $250.
We have our own ebikes and panniers and both 70 years old. One mire say to Oamaru and all good!
We had discussed possible assistance from cycle journey company in case of bad weather or unexpected event as they offer a shuttle service along the trail.
Great staff there and after a great first 2 days Tekapo to Twizel then Twizel to Lake Ohau we did take the shuttle on day 3 to Omamara due to rain cold and wind! Worked really well for us.
Omarama to Kurow then Kurow to Duntroon great trail. Well described on web page. Staying mostly in motels and all good. Booked entire route before leaving in order to make sure we had a place each night.
Lake Ohau lodge definitely a highlight and worth the costly price. Fantastic ski lodge atmosphere.
Duntroon hotel newly refurbished. Lovely old pub and the only place to eat in town.
Ebikes have opened up this experience for us and good to see small towns benefiting from alps to ocean cyclists.
Written 9 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi homeNorthland, Thanks so much for your review and knowledge sharing. Well done also for accepting that conditions were not to your liking and making alternative arrangements - the Tarnbrae section you skipped around is the highest section of this Trail and can be really uncomfortable (even dangerous) if you are not prepared or properly equipped, as it can be super cold up there even over summer. Perhaps you'll bringing some more friends back with you another time to tick this Section 4 off?!? :-) There is no doubt that the Trail has breathed new life into the many towns and villages that the Trail touches from it's official starting points at Aoraki Mt Cook or Tekapo, through to Oamaru and we are especially grateful to the many kiwis that have made that journey this year. We know that in the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, we have a national treasure, and it is great to be able to share that with the country. Very Best Regards, and we hope to see you back here again some time.
Written 4 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jocelyn P
Christchurch, New Zealand89 contributions
Nov 2019
Great riding experience over a range of country. The route off road is nearly complete and when done it will be perfectly safe across the whole route. Great campgrounds along the way but if you'd like a bit more luxury there are motels & B&Bs that can be booked.
We appreciated the information signs along the way as we learnt new things as we travelled. Particularly loved Duntroon & the Vanished World Centre. Campground there was well stocked, too.
Written 29 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Jocelyn, We're glad that you enjoyed your cycling through the Mackenzie and Waitaki Districts. Indeed there is ever changing scenery to enjoy at almost every turn and the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is very well serviced with lots of camping grounds along the way. And for every new vista there are many more stories to be told! Duntroon is a gem of a village and it is strongly supported by the great work of the many volunteers that look after the Vanished World Centre, as well as the historic gaol, Nichols Blacksmiths and the Duntroon Wetlands. The Maori rock drawings on either side of the town are worth a look, as is the Brewery Hole, an underground stream that runs under the village. A glimpse of this can be viewed just behind the Nichols Blacksmiths. The Maori name for these waters is "Waikoakoa" which translates as ' happy waters' and was seen as a source of pure, clean water. The local agreed, and for a time in the 1970 & 80's was also the source of the town's water supply. We hope that you'll come back with friends and family to discover more stories (and camping grounds!) that the two districts have to offer... Kind regards...
Written 4 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ruth D
1 contribution
Mar 2020
One week out and Air NZ bring 14 day isolation when you arrive there, out trip is off and we are so disappointed. A2O have been amazing since the time we booked our trip it started with 4 then 6 and ended up with 10 of us and with every change the company have been awesome. Communication is spot on and reply to questions was very prompt, I can't wait to do this ride and would recommend A2O to anyone wanting a well organised friendly company, Thanks to you all.
Written 17 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sorry to hear of your cancelled trip and can appreciate your disappointment that you and tour group must be experiencing right now. Rightly the number one priority is for everyone to be safe and well. Thank you for the glowing recommendation. We very much look forward to welcoming you on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail at some point in the future and am sure it will live up to your expectations. Stay safe and very best wishes...
Written 24 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toni and Mal
3 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
I would like to thank the staff from the Alps to Ocean trail ride, as they have worked tirelessly to help us sort out our trip,due to the COVID19 situation.
I highly recommend this organisation and hopefully we can get back over there to complete this bike trail.
Written 16 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi 709malm, Thanks for your kind words and appreciation. That means a lot to all those involved. We look forward to welcoming you and your group back when ever you are able to make it. Stay safe and well. Very best regards from us all.
Written 24 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is open:
  • Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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