23 January 2017
Don't be fooled by the name, this might be a Bike and Hike tour of New Zealand's stunningly beautiful South Island, but you don't have to rely on pedal power and walking boots to see all the wonderful sights. This fun trip, which begins and ends in the lovely green city of Christchurch, is done mainly by car, although bikes and walking shoes play a part at lots of the destinations. There is no healthier country to visit than New Zealand, and there is no better way to see it than on this imaginative 12 day tour.
On arrival at Christchurch Airport you will have the advantage of our meet and greet service with rental car pick up. Then drive into this lovely city and begin exploring. There is so much to see and do in Christchurch and it makes a great introduction to the country. Tonight you will be staying at The Classic Villa.
Today you take your taste buds on a tour of Christchurch and sample some of Canterbury’s culinary delights including freshly roasted coffee, speciality cheeses and boutique beer. The Christchurch Gourmet Bike Tour is for people who love good food and gorgeous scenery and you can work off those calories while cycling around the city.
Travel south today to Oamaru. With its unique mix of historic and contemporary attractions, the town offers a chance to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and a stunning natural environment. Blue Penguins are nocturnally active on land and leave the colony before sunrise each morning and return at dusk each night. This evening, watch them come ashore from a purpose built outdoor viewing area and listen to an informative commentary on their life cycle, breeding habits, biology and feeding habits.
This morning is free for you to enjoy historic Oamaru either on foot or in your car. Then leave for the 100 mile drive inland to Kokonga and check into your next hotel. This evening go out and explore and try one of the many fine restaurants. You will need a good night's sleep because tomorrow is an active day!
The Otago Central Rail Trail originally provided a link to the country’s major goldfields. Now a recreational facility designed for walkers, bikers and horse riders, the trail follows the former railway line and is similar to a good gravel road – without vehicles or hills. Your accommodation is perfectly positioned in the centre of the Trail providing the perfect opportunity to spend the day cycling this region, steeped in a sense of history and remoteness, at your own pace.
Leave Kokonga today for the 150 mile drive to the exciting, sophisticated and scenic resort town of Queenstown. This world famous town set among mountains, rivers and lakes, is the adrenaline junkies capital of the world and you should make sure that you try at least one of the exciting activities which include bungy jumping, jet boat rides on the famous Shotover River and white water rafting.
Today after breakfast you tackle the Routeburn Trail. This relaxed tour explores the region's fascinating flora and fauna as you wander through beech forest, surrounded by the sounds of rivers and local birds, to a world of peace and tranquillity. Only an average fitness is required for this easy to moderate walk in well-graded, steady inclining terrain.
More time today to enjoy the adventure capital of New Zealand before travelling on to the lakeside resort town of Wanaka. From Queenstown drive through the Kawarau Gorge and via Cromwell and Lake Dunstan to Wanaka. An alternative route is across the Crown Range Road which is New Zealand’s highest sealed highway. This route is shorter than the one via Cromwell however travel time may take longer due to the winding nature of the road.
Today’s unique wilderness jet boating experience explores the braided channels of the Matukituki River. Travel past filming scenes from the Lord of The Rings as you jet towards Mount Aspiring National Park. This guided eco-tour, shares stories of the past of how these ancient lands were carved by ice and of the first peoples to come here. Learn about the forces that created this amazing landscape and enjoy a 50 minute walk into native beech forest to a hidden waterfall.
Another superb scenic drive today as you leave Wanaka and travel past opaque turquoise lakes, the colour of which is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension. The scenery is stunning for the 150 mile drive to Lake Tekapo and when you arrive you can stretch your legs by taking a short walk or longer hike in the area.
A busy day today as you drive through high country tussock via beautiful Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook Village. Take a bus to the beautiful Tasman Valley where your guide will lead you on a gentle stroll to the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake where you will board a boat to explore the fascinating glacial landscape dotted with icebergs and the ever-changing ice face of the glacier. The boat passes so close to the icebergs you can touch them! Spend some time enjoying Mt Cook before making your way back to Lake Tekapo.
A long drive back to Christchurch but the lovely countryside of the Canterbury Plains means that you will enjoy every minute. Today your tour comes to an end but there may be time to explore more of the city before returning your hire car at the airport. This great tour can be combined with a visit to New Zealand's North Island. After all, it's a long way to go and it would be a pity not to see both sides of this fabulous country.
Boutique fr £2465pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated