Southern Lakes Sensation

9-days of challenging off-road biking, this trip is full of adventure, challenge and excitement amid the stunning scenery of New Zealand’s South Island.

  • Intro
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Price and What's Included

This Christchurch to Queenstown tour has been designed for average to experienced mountain bikers, who have less time to spare but who want a power-packed cycling adventure! You will bike through the scenic wonderland that is the South Island experiencing the diversity of sparkling lakes, steep alpine passes, sweeping pastoral landscapes, sheer sided fiords and the grandeur of breathtaking mountain views.

Our route takes you along quiet roads, past beautiful lakes and across private farmland. You will travel over high Alpine passes surrounded by dense bush and high, rugged peaks, down through lush river valleys and across wide, rolling pastoral plains. Taste New Zealand’s delicious cuisine, washed down with our fine wine and finish your tour in the outdoor adventure capital of the world!

Southern Lakes Sensation itinerary

View Detailed itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Christchurch
We will be at the Christchurch airport to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel (between 7am and 2pm). In the afternoon, we will take a scenic afternoon tour of this picturesque city, including a highlight stop at the “Sign of the Takahe”, where you will be treated to a bird’s eye view of the city, the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps and the South Pacific Ocean. Later, we will fit your bikes, before enjoying an evening at one of the many excellent local restaurants.
Biking: None
Meals: None
Day 2: Christchurch to Lake Coleridge
The nearby Port Hills not only provide us with magnificent views, but are a mountain biker’s dream. After lunch in Sumner we board our bus and will be driven to Lake Lyndon, a ninety minute drive across the Canterbury Plains, before we reach the lower peaks of the impressive Southern Alps. We cycle on a gravel road to Ryton Station, where we will be based for the next two days.
Biking: 45km single trail & gravel road biking; Summit Road Tracks 500Am, Lake Coleridge 80Am
Meals: B/L/D
Day 3: Lake Coleridge, Pinnacle Track
After a hearty country breakfast we get on our bikes and make our way through the “high country”. The Pinnacle Track guides us over meadows and rivers, up and down with fantastic views of the mountains and valleys. We have got all day to experience the peaceful natural surroundings on private farmland.
Biking: 41km biking; 860Am
Meals: B/L/D
Day 4: Lake Coleridge to Omarama
The day starts with an upstream jetboat ride on the Rakaia River, which is an adventure in itself. Then we bike along the expansive riverbed of the Rakaia River and around the Mount Hutt Range where the view overlooking the wide Plains is spectacular. At Lake Heron we load our bikes onto the trailer. During the 3 hour bus ride you will witness a dramatic change in landscape from barren farmland to the rich fertile land of the Fairlie Basin, before we travel past the turquoise coloured Lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki. On a clear day, we can view the snowcapped famous peak of Aoraki, or “Mount Cook”, the highest mountain of New Zealand. We then continue to Omarama or “Place of light” which is famed as a gliding centre.
Biking: 45km; 685Am
Meals: B/L
Day 5: Omarama to Shortlands Station
For the next few days we will be accompanied by a local guide. We follow the Omarama stream with many river crossings before we climb to St Bathan’s Pass. This is an old goldmining track and leads us to the little settlement of the same name. Today the former digging hole is a fantastic lake that varies in colour daily. A refreshing dip in the lake or a cold beer at the historic pub could finish this beautiful ride, before our bus takes us back to the farm.
Biking: 45km; 1045Am
Meals: B/L/D
Day 6: Shortlands Station, Danseys Pass
The Station owned by our hosts David & Glenys, is huge and a mountain biker’s heaven. Today’s track provides us with breathtaking views and a fantastic downhill ride. At the end of the day a scrumptious meal in Glenys’ kitchen awaits us.
Biking: 34km; 1140Am
Meals: B/L/D
Day 7: Shortlands Station to Clyde
Phil, our local mountain bike guide will show us some great tracks around Naseby Forest, the highest exotic forest in the South Island. We will then ride along the famous Otago Rail Trail. It is an old railway line, which has been officially converted into a cycling and hiking track. After lunch at Chatto Creek we stay on the Rail Trail for the 25km to Alexandra followed by another 10km alongside the mighty Clutha River to Clyde where we stay the night in an historic homestead.
Biking: 95km; 850Am
Meals: B/L

Day 8: Clyde to Queenstown
This morning we start with a steep ascent to the Bannockburn Range. As always we will be rewarded with magnificent views – this time across the old gold digger’s country, and on a clear day we can see Mt. Cook in the distance. The last stretch for the day is a downhill ride to the well known wine-growing area of Bannockburn, where our bus is waiting for us.
Biking: 35km; 994Am
Meals: B/L

Day 9: Queenstown – Departure
We have a last leisurely breakfast together and then you are free to leave the tour at any time today. We offer airport transfers between 7am and 3.30pm from the hotel.
Biking: None
Meals: B

Please note that your trip may differ from the above itinerary either to better suit the needs of the group, or due to circumstances beyond our control such as the weather.

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We run this trip during the New Zealand summer from November to April as this is the time of year where there is least rain and the days are longer and warmer.

Best time to go







Base price per person NZ$3945

Note this price is in NZ Dollars.


This tour is fully supported with a mini bus or 4WD there as backup most of the time. You will be lead by a very qualified tour leader along with local mountain bike leaders. We stay in Hotels, hostels and on farms during the entire tour.

What is included

  • Airport transfers
    Day 1: Christchurch (7am – 2pm)
    Day 9: Queenstown (7am – 3.30pm)
  • 8 nights accommodation
    4 nights in 3-4star hotels/motels
    4 nights in Farmstays (sometimes with shared facilities)
  • Meals = 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners (excluding drinks)
  • Support vehicle (minibus or 4WD) with a bike trailer (& luggage space)
  • Tour guide (also our driver) & local MTB guide for Farm tracks
  • Jetboat trip on Rakaia River
  • Local fees for use of private land

What is not included

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes and any excess baggage costs
  • New Zealand visa fees
  • Airport transfers outside the days/times specified
  • Travel Insurance (we insist you have comprehensive insurance)
  • Meals where not specified on the itinerary
  • Drinks (except water while riding)
  • Personal expenses such as bar bills, phone calls, laundry, any specific medical related requirements
  • Optional trips and sightseeing tours
  • Additional nights at the beginning or end of trip
  • Bike repairs and maintenance (except if hiring a bike)

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