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ultracycle New Zealand

itinerary

DAY 1-2

Depart UK / Transit

We begin our journey with a long flight to New Zealand.

 

Meals: B,L,D (in flight)

DAY 3

Arrive Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch we have time to relax before transferring to Nelson for the start of our challenge.

 

Meals: L,D   Accom: Hotel   Transfer: 5 hours

DAY 4

St Arnaud - 97 km

We being our bike ride from Motueka, cycling up the Motueka Valley on a delightful, quiet road through apple orchards, berry farms and vineyards before reaching open sheep country. We continue to climb through Golden Downs Forest before arriving in St Arnaud, set in a beech forest next to the beautiful Lake Rotoiti.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 5

Westport - 160 km

From St Arnaud, we follow the Buller River downhill through sheep farming country to the former gold mining town of Murchison, best known for the devastating effects of the 1929 earthquake. We continue alongside the river, before heading for Westport on the isolated west coast.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 6

Hokitika - 141 km

At Punakaiki we explore the fascinating Pancake Rocks and watch the sea surge through blow holes before heading south to the town of Greymouth, the site of the Mawhera Maori settlement. From here it is a flat run to Hokitika, famous for its 1860s gold rush and today visited for its ecotourism and greenstone (jade) found on the local river beds.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 7

Franz Josef Glazier - 135 km

Crossing the Hokitika River, we head south through native bush of rimu and kahikatea (white pine). We cycle through stunning countryside with one climb after the town of Harihari and a final flat run from Whataroa. As we enter Westland National Park we pass the beautiful Lake Mapourika, with superb views of snowcapped peaks.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 8

Haast - 145 km

The ride from the Franz Josef to Fox Glaciers is only 24 km but it includes three very challenging climbs and steep descents through beautiful native forest. From Fox to Lake Paringa the road is gently undulating, passing through lush rainforests of rimu and rata, across flax-filled swamps and past rugged hills. With fine weather, there will be superb views of Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps. Just south of Lake Moeraki, Knights Point affords excellent views of the rugged coastline where seals can often be seen basking in the sun.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 9

Wanaka - 152 km

From Haast we head inland, following the Haast River towards snowcapped peaks. We cycle, past tumbling waterfalls looking out for keas, fantails and bellbirds. After lunch we negotiate the stiff climb through the Gates of Haast before the gentle descent to Makarora. The country is now dramatically drier as dense bush gives way to open sheep paddocks. The scenery is breathtaking as we cycle as a peloton along roads hugging Lake Wanaka, crossing the Neck to Lake Hawea and back again to Lake Wanaka.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 10

Queenstown - 78 km

Our route today takes us up the Crown Range and over the Cardrona Road. We climb past the historic Cardrona Hotel to the summit where we are rewarded with amazing views of The Remarkables mountains and Queenstown. We descend the exhilarating hairpin bends to Arrowtown, with its quaint old cottages and avenues of elms. A short leisurely ride beneath Coronet Peak, a winter ski field, takes us to Arthur's Point where we cross the Shotover River on our way to Queenstown. Set on Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountain peaks, Queenstown is a pretty, buzzy town perfect to relax in after a hard days cycle.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 11

Invercargill - 188 km

We follow the shoreline Lake Wakatipu as far as Kingston, the home of the famous Kingston flier steam train, and then continue south in the lee of the Eyre Mountains. On a good day there will be views of the Kepler Mountains as we continue south to cross the Waimea Plains for a final flat run into Invercargill, New Zealand’s most southerly city and home to the country’s only indoor velodrome.

 

Meals: B,L,D   Accom: Hotel

DAY 12

Christchurch

Today we transfer back to Christchurch for our final night’s celebration after an incredible challenge.

 

Meals: B, L, D   Accom: Hotel   Transfer: 7½ hours

DAY 13

Depart New Zealand

DAY 14

Arrive UK

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