New Zealand

Cycle New Zealand South Island

Pedalling through one of the most gorgeous areas in the entire country.


8 days

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Sat, Dec 14

Sat, Dec 21


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Is there a better country to cycle through than New Zealand? This is a land known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine, and this cycling trip just happens to take in the best of it. Kick things off in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the country and perhaps the world, t...

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This tour is operated by

Intrepid Travel


Day 1Queenstown
Kia-ora! Welcome to Queenstown, New Zealand. Known as the country's adventure capital, there's simply no end to the line up of optional activities including bungee-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding. There are also plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars to keep you entertained. This cycling trip kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm then the the evening is free for you to do as you wish before settling into your accommodation for night. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the welcome meeting will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Day 2Roxburgh Gorge Trail/Clyde
Explore the area by bike and boat during today's adventure on the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, featuring some amazing cycling and a jet boat ride on the Clutha River from Doctors Point to Shingle Creek. The Gorge Trail is a tad more challenging than the Otago Rail Trail so prepare for a few climbs and descent, but any extra effort is well worth the scenery and views. The adventure starts in Clyde, an hour out of Queenstown, where you'll be fitted with your bike then transferred to the starting point at Roxburgh Hydro Dam. From here, the group will start cycling back to Clyde along the trail. Aside from the views, the area also has a rich goldmining history – Clyde was actually New Zealand's most populous town at the height of gold fever. Cycle 12 kilometres to Shingle Creek, where you'll be picked up by jet boat and transferred to Doctors Point, then continue a further 10 kilometres to arrive back in Clyde. 
Day 3Otago Rail Trail - Clyde to Alexandra
Today you'll start riding on the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail, which has been voted NZ's Favourite Ride for the past two years. The trail runs for 152 km in total and was originally used to transport supplies to and from the Gold Fields, then later to transport goods and livestock. It fell into disrepair but was refurbished into a rail trail in 2000, and is now – in our humble opinion – the best way to explore the area and contribute to the local economy. You'll begin the day in Clyde and cycle past vineyards, over an old wooden trestle bridge and along the Clutha River Centennial Track for a distance of 16 kilometres before arriving in Alexandra. The rest of the day is at your leisure – check out the gold rush-era town or perhaps visit one of the wineries in the surrounding area.
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Trip title

Cycle New Zealand South Island

Trip code



Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019


Is there a better country to cycle through than New Zealand? This is a land known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine, and this cycling trip just happens to take in the best of it. Kick things off in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the country and perhaps the world, then...
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Active Adventures,Cycling


Bicycle,minivan,train (e-bike available)

Physical Rating


Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are bot...
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Joining point

Earnslaw Lodge

Joining point description

This small and comfortable hotel is conveniently located near the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is within 10 mins walk of most of Queenstown's main sights. The hotel is smoke free, has free wifi in the lobby and has breakfast available. The front desk is open daily from 7 AM - 8 PM. If you are plannin...
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Joining point instructions

The hotel is located approx. 7kms (10-15 mins drive) from Queenstown Airport. To get from the airport to central Queenstown costs approx. NZD $25. Shuttle services are also available - see for further details. Public transport from the airport is also available and easy to use...
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Finish point

97 Moray Motel

Finish point description

Conveniently located in the heart of Dunedin, just 1 minute walk from St Paul's Cathedral, this small non-smoking 40 room hotel is clean and comfortable and includes WiFi in the rooms as well as the public areas. Check out time is 10am.

Finish point instructions

If you are leaving by train Dunedin railways station is a 10 min walk (approx. 800 metres) from the hotel. Dunedin International Airport is located approx. 28kms (30 min drive) - taxis and shuttle bus services are available.

Important information

To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the c...
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Group leader

All Intrepid cycling group trips are accompanied by one of our cycling leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of t...
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We take safety seriously on all our trips, but cycling tours deserve a few special considerations. HELMETS: Helmets are compulsory and we do not allow anyone to ride without one (including our own staff!). You can bring your own, or purchase one that meets international safety standards on the gro...
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Wireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in New Zealand. Some properties may charge a fee for use.  Cafe's and pubs across NZ may have wi-fi for a fee, with those in more tourist area's offering it for free. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces offer limited free wi-fi access....
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Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specif...
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Why we love it

Cycle the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail, the oldest rail trail in New Zealand and voted 'New Zealand's Favourite Ride' for the past two years. 

Is this trip right for you

This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary, and are working with a local supplier with over 10 years experience riding this exact route, we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always base...
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Our trips require a level of independence and physical endurance. Before embarking on one of our trips, it is important to consider your physical and mental health and your suitability for the trip. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor about your current health and the possible implic...
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Food and dietary requirements

New Zealand is renowned for its fresh air and clean waters. Fresh food, including dairy (amazing cheese and milk), produce, seafood and meat - especially lamb. From high end restaurants and gastro pubs and cafe's to local restaurants and suburban dairies there is plenty of choice for all budgets....
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Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a...
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What to take

Packing for a cycling tour isn’t that different from any other adventure. But if you want to be comfortable and warm, here are a few bike-specific tips. • Helmet – these are compulsory, but if you don’t have your own you can sometimes purchase an approved and well-fitted one at the start of the tr...
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Climate and seasonal

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. Check the Met Service website for forecasts prior to travel. Christchurch: Summer From December to February, sunshine and high temperatures come...
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A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use...
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Emergency contact

For general contact details please use the following page: While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while...
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Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestio...
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The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and...
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Transport notes

On this trip we use ‘hybrid’-style bikes that have been manufactured specifically for the Otago Rail Trail, by local New Zealand Bike manufacturer Avanti Cycles. The bikes come in 2 versions – standard (for men and taller women) or ‘low-step’ (which feature a low top tube to make getting onto the bi...
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Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When trav...
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Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and pr...
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Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important tha...
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Hotel (7 nights)
Cycle New Zealand South Island