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The definitive where-to-ride guide for cycling in New Zealand

Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

New Zealand Cycle Trail

Mackenzie Country, South Island

Planning on riding the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail? Check out the Alps 2 Ocean Full Tour Experience or Contact us for help in planning your itinerary and booking your trip. 

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail will stretch 312 kms through the Mackenzie Basin and down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru and the Pacific Ocean. Beginning at the base of New Zealand's highest peak and passing a number of glacial lakes while descending 780 metres to the mighty Pacific Ocean, this promises to be one of New Zealand's most epic Great Rides.

While there will be a number of entry points along the trail, the logical path is heading downhill from Mt Cook Village with the prevailing north-westerly wind to aid you along the way. A number of towns along the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail will offer accommodation options, delectable cuisine and other activities along the way - catering to both single and multi-day cyclists. 

It is also the only New Zealand Cycle Trail to have Helibike alternative to one of the sections. Instead of riding from Twizel to Ohau Village around the mountains on the flat, fly to the summit, admire the views and ride down the other side. An amazing backcountry adventure for all abilities. If you are keen to take this heli-bike alternative (and why wouldn't you be?), check out in our Things to Do tab above. 

This epic trail will continue through The Mackenzie Basin, past Lake Ohau, Omarama, Otemetata, Lake Benmore, Lake Aviemore, Lake Waitaki, Kurow, Duntroon, past Elephant Rocks and Vanished World sites and into Oamaru.

The section from Mt Cook Village to Omarama is scheduled to open on February 16th. 

Sections of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

Route Distance Trail Grade Approximate Time Notes
Mount Cook - Braemar Station 37km 2 3-4 hours The Alps to Ocean Cycle trail begins in the picture-perfect Mount Cook Village - surrounded by the Southern Alps and... ...more
Braemar Station - Twizel 45km 2 3 - 4 hours The second section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail begins with 1-2 hours of riding along a quiet gravel road. ...more
Twizel to Ohau 39km 2 3-4 hours The Twizel to Ohau section of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail is the only section that has an elevation gain. ...more
Ohau to Omarama 42km 2 3-4 hours This Alpine section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail goes from the Lake Ohau lodge to Omarama on dedicated... ...more
Omarama to Otematata 24km 2 2-3 hours This is arguably your biggest day on the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail. ...more
Otematata to Kurow 43km 2 3 - 4 hours On this section of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, you'll take in the largest dam within the Waitaki Hydro... ...more
Kurow to Duntroon 27km 2 3 - 4 hours On this second to final day of the Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail, you'll leave the mountains behind and come... ...more
Duntroon to Oamaru 53km 2 4 - 5 hours On this final section of the A2O trail, you'll pass through limestone formations where you'll find Maori rock drawings and... ...more


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  • Alps to ocean
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  • Alps 2 Ocean 2
  • Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

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    Articles Posted from:

    Posted by Michaelbug, 30/01/2015 7:03am (18 hours ago)

  • Hi
    Myself and girlfriend enjoyed the incomplete Alps2Ocean trail in 2012. While we were hoping it would be ready to go, the fact it wasn't complete didn't deter us from the adventure. Certainly some of the trail was ready and an easy ride, other sections were on the road. We still felt safe as the passing traffic was always careful to avoid getting in our space. We are planning our next trail adventure and can't wait. Check out our blog to help with your planning

    Posted by Stephanie, 05/11/2013 2:16pm (1 year ago)

  • Hi
    Myself and girlfriend enjoyed the incomplete Alps2Ocean trail in 2012. While we were hoping it would be ready to go, the fact it wasn't complete didn't deter us from the adventure. Certainly some of the trail was ready and an easy ride, other sections were on the road. We still felt safe as the passing traffic was always careful to avoid getting in our space. We are planning our next trail adventure and can't wait. Check out our blog to help with your planning

    Posted by Stephanie, 05/11/2013 2:16pm (1 year ago)

  • Is there a pick drop off/pick up service associated with the mt cook to Ohau Lodge section of the trail? I am planning a trip the week before Christmas.

    Posted by Maggie, 29/10/2013 9:05pm (1 year ago)

  • Anyone who would like to join me on Alps 2 ocean cycle trail for this upcoming loong weekend?
    Will be leaving ChCh Thu morning and must return this Sunday. So I have something like 3 days to accomplish 310km + 1 day for transport.
    Reach me on: 0211-37-84-94

    Posted by Daniel, 23/04/2013 10:12am (2 years ago)

  • I have just come back from riding this route, and enjoyed it very much. My bike is loaded with gear so I
    didn't do any of the off road trails, but the bits I saw near the road looked okay.
    I started at Mt Cook and finished in Oamaru,and I think this is the best way to do it. You can get to where you want to start by using the bus services,
    just check the web.
    The more people that use this route the more
    services will be set up ,just takes time.

    Posted by Greg, 10/03/2013 9:30am (2 years ago)

  • Do you have to start from mt cook? I was thinking of starting from oamaru, and then when I if ish I can bike south to get picked up by a bus. Is this doable?

    Posted by Caterina , 27/02/2013 7:25pm (2 years ago)

  • Yep Sara is right. there are a lot of land owners to ask and some will take more time than others to say yes. Its 314km long and that will take a huge amount of money to get 100% off road. In 5 years there will be a lot more off road. I know the route very well and I am very excited about where its going. Give some sections ago this coming season and you will see it going to be great!

    Posted by Rob , 08/08/2012 4:35pm (2 years ago)

  • Hi All. There's a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding the trail due to the limited information released so far. In a nutshell, it's ridable from December 2012 and some bits will be on the road for the next few years. Remember, the Rail Trail took years to be what it is today. Good things take time!
    Happy Riding!

    Posted by Sara, 21/05/2012 12:13am (3 years ago)

  • Hi Joy, yes until the trail is completed then the only way to make this ride would be via the main road - so far from ideal.

    It is our understanding that the Alps to Ocean trail is forecast to be officially completed in November of this year.

    Gerald's comment below is the only bits of the trail we have recently been able to ride.

    Posted by Dan Roberts (NZByBike), 14/05/2012 9:01pm (3 years ago)

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