A2O Express Tours
The A2O Express offers you the same great service and hospitality as our fully inclusive 7-day tour, but allows you to experience the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle trail in just 4 or 5 days. This means you can either ride further each day or we can drive sections of the track - saving your legs for the very best the A2O has to offer! Our A2O Express can be modified to suit the length of time you have. Please enquire and we will design it to suit your requirements; we can arrange dates to suit you.
- 4 days/ 3 nights and 5 days/4 nights
- Return transport from Christchurch, Dunedin or Queenstown
- All accommodation staying in lodges, Bed and breakfasts, Farmstays and Homesteads
- Evening meal day 1, to breakfast day 4
- Bike & helmet hire
- Helicopter flight to the start of the trail
- Vehicle supported with a local experienced tour guide
- Luggage transfer
- Omarama Hot Tub
- Wine tasting Kurow
- Penguin tour in Oamaru
- Rock climbing at Elephant Rocks
- Scenic flights/gliding
- Lord of the Rings Location Tour
- SteamPunk HQ
- Mountain bike riding
Tour costs 2017 -2018:
$1900 ($2100 incl bike hire) - off peak season 5 day A2O express
$2200 ($2400 incl bike hire) - peak season 5 day A2O express
Tour dates 2017 / 2018
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"An amazing journey. Rob, Kate and Jess went above and beyond to ensure we had everything we needed. Vertical Ventures made sure our accommodation was perfect. Jess kept us well feed and didn't we look forward to her amazing picnics. Again thank you so much for one of the most amazing weeks I've ever had." - Andy and Leslie, Feb 2016
"Best trip, best operators. Can't recommend Vertical Ventures and the Alps to Ocean ride highly enough. A must do for Kiwis discovering parts of New Zealand they've never seen. Vertical Ventures had great food, great guides and fantastic gear. JUST DO IT!!" - Sue, from Kerikeri, 2016
"Best cycle ever! Alps 2 ocean with Vertical Ventures. Rob goes above and beyond to give his tour group the best experiences. This is a highly recommended tour ...beautiful scenery, amazing accommodation and great company with Rob!" - Linda, 2015
"If you are cycling the Alps to Ocean this is the company to use. Rob from Vertical Ventures ensured we had an amazing holiday, from great accommodation, superb lunches , wine tasting and expert local knowledge. Nothing was too much trouble and his attitude and attention to detail is world class. " - Mark, May 2016
- We will need to depart Christchurch by 8.00am for the drive to Mt Cook. We will arrive at the start of the trail in the early afternoon. A short ride to the airport allows you to test the bikes out before you fly by helicopter over to the remote part of the section and ride along Lake Pukaki and to Braemar Station.
- Following the turquoise blue Lake Pukaki along gravel roads and smooth cycle trail you head away from Aoraki, Mt Cook. Stop to soak up the magnificence of the scenery around you. Once you leave the lake you head directly to Twizel across the Pukaki Flats. After lunch you depart from Twizel on the sealed roads to Ohau Canal below Ben Ohau to join Lake Ohau. The cycle trial around the Lake is stunning and smooth. Be careful not to leave the trail as the local native Matagouri will relish making holes in your tyres! Head up to the side of Lake Ohau to the Lodge for the evening.
- After breakfast you will ride to the highest point of the trail, Tambrae point. The gentle gradient gains you 350m higher and gives amazing vistas over the Mackenzie basin. The expression goes ‘what goes up must come down’, but please be careful with your speed as you whizz down to Quailburn. Once you are there a quiet gravel road and cycle trail takes you to Omarama, half way at 152km. From Omarama the scenery changes and brings to light how the region and its water catchment was used for the Waitaki Hydro Electric Scheme. The evening is at a private Luxury holiday home in Otematata. Whilst we whisk you off to recover at Omarama Hot Tubs our private chef will whip you up a fantastic meal for your return.
- Heading for your next stop at Kurow you cycle past Lakes Aviemore and Waitaki. The trail varies from smooth shingle to sealed road. Some are on Highway 8 so please be careful of the traffic (Due to be off the highway by November 2016). Departing from Kurow toward Duntroon you get a few glances of the mighty Waitaki River as you ride. This part of the trail goes through some wetlands, a planting collaboration between local farmers and the community. You exit into the small settlement of Duntroon and head on to quiet roads and cycle trail passed Elephant Rocks and through The Rakis Tunnel. Your evening stop is at the historic Burnside Homestead or before at Tokarahi Homestead if you wish to shorten your day from 105km to 80km.
- Today after your grand stay at Burnside or Tokarahi you ride to Oamaru (22km from Burnside or 47k from Tokarahi). Cycling through the town you will see many of the Victorian buildings and get a feel for its history. Ride to the end of the trail to the harbour and celebrate the end of your journey with a classic photo opportunity provided by the enormous photo frame! Go back 300m to find the Brewery opposite our shop. A celebratory lunch and beers are called for before you leave your bikes and get taken to your accommodation if you have chosen to stay in Oamaru for the night or we will take you back to the airport.
We have handpicked our accommodation to provide you with quality and variety. Due to the limited accommodation on the trail there are evenings where there are shared bathrooms as it is not possible to provide en-suite facilities with groups of 8 or more all the way. At the time of booking you will be informed of any changes to the accommodation listed below.
- Braemar high country station – Shared bathroom facilities
- Ohau – En-suite rooms at Lake Ohau Lodge
- Otematata – Private luxury holiday home part en-suite/shared bathroom
- Burnside or Tokarahi – Historic Homestead with en-suite/ own bathrooms