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Welcome to New Zealand's Alps 2 Ocean Cycle TrailĀ®

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is New Zealand in all its colour and natural beauty - from our highest mountains, past great lakes and rivers, and down to the ocean. Suitable for all ages, the 9 section cycle trail is an easy to intermediate grade, linking the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean.

The Cycle Trail starts at the base of the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook in the National Park or alternatively at Tekapo, with both routes meeting on the shores of the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki.  From there the Trail takes in Twizel and the shoreline of Lake Ohau before climbing to the highest point on the Trail where you view the magnificence of the Mackenzie basin before dropping down to Omarama.  The Waitaki Valley delivers a geo-park of wonders, you meander past more lakes and rivers, ride through vineyards and experience ever changing vistas on you way towards the Pacific coast.  Your final destination is Oamaru, a town famous for its neo classical 'Oamaru Stone' Victorian buildings, art galleries and the little blue penguins.

Allow 5-7 days to cycle the entire trail and remember to add some time to investigate the region while you are here.  Alternatively, if time is at a premium, simply make a day excursion or tick off a section or two over a long weekend...  What better way to reconnect friends and family or simply get away from it all, either way, you will be enjoying genuine hospitality in some of the best scenery that the South Island of New Zealand has to offer.

Whichever option you choose, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is sure to be a great destination and a most memorable experience.


Please check the Trail Status page for the latest updates on the amenities that are currently open along the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle trail.

Winter conditions are here!  That means that you need to pay extra attention to the weather forecasts and dress and ride to the conditions.  Much of the Trail is over 500m above sea level and the alpine location means that a sudden change to snow / wind / rain / hail and sleet are all possible, sometimes with little or no warning.  Make sure you wear / take with you, lots of layers including a warm hat, gloves and woolly socks to protect the extremities and high energy food to refuel, as well as wet weather gear, should conditions turn for the worse.

Taking a PLB is recommended, as is being fully equipped for poor weather and equipment failure.  Please do not ride alone and also make sure you make use of the intentions form found at  Freezing mud is an additional hazard, as this can build up and result in broken deraliers or chain.  This can happen anywhere on the Trail in frosty conditions, however Pukaki Flats (Section 2) and Tarnbrae (Section 4) are possibly the worst for this.

Section 4 - Tarnbrae section - this is the highest point on the Trail at 900m above seas level and also one of the most remote from road access (and emergency help).  This section remains open but it is not recommended that this section be ridden through winter (for all the reasons mentioned above).  


Important Update : The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is at COVID-19 Level 1 restrictions

The Governments Guidelines at Alert Level 1 allow everyone to return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and there are no restrictions on the size of group gatherings.

As we unite to recover from the effects of COVID-19, it's still important that we keep the basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into your elbow. 

We should all continue to keep track of where we’ve been and who we’ve seen to assist with rapid contact tracing if it is required.

Remember to follow the government’s recommended hygiene guidelines...

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and others:

The Golden Rules for everyone at Alert Level 1

  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Don’t socialise.
  • Don’t use any trails if you have symptoms (e.g. fever, coughing, shortness of breath etc). Please stay at home!
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor or Healthline and make sure you get tested.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  • If you are told by health authorities to self-isolate you must do so immediately.
  • If you’re concerned about your wellbeing or have underlying health conditions, work with your GP to understand how best to stay healthy.
  • Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen to help contact tracing if needed. Use the NZ COVID Tracer app as a handy way of doing this.
  • Businesses are required to help people keep track of their movements by displaying the Ministry of Health QR Code and a form to complete as an alternative to the tracer app - please continue to use either means to record your visit
  • Stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up Alert Levels if we have to.
  • People will have had different experiences over the last couple of months. Whatever you’re feeling — it’s okay. 

Be calm, be kind and be courteous and thanks for doing your part in getting use here.

Most of all, please enjoy the Trail being fully available once again...

Finally, in these troubling and confusing times, as we watch a worldwide pandemic unfold, more than ever, it is important to reach out to friends and family if you are feeling down or depressed and to find a safe and supportive environment. Please find here a useful guide about improving mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and understanding all aspects of dealing with the stress of the lockdown and bereavement.

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Trail Sections

Choose a trail section to view from the map


Aoraki/Mt Cook to Braemar Road [33km]

Fitness: Easy Skill: Moderate Traffic: Low Grade: 2
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Braemar Road to Twizel [41km]

Fitness: Easy Skill: Easy Traffic: Low Grade: 2
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Lake Tekapo to Twizel [54km]

Fitness: Easy Skill: Easy Traffic: Low Grade: 2
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Twizel to Lake Ohau Lodge [38km]

Fitness: Easy Skill: Easy Traffic: Low Grade: 2
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Lake Ohau Lodge to Omarama [44km]

Fitness: Intermediate Skill: Intermediate Traffic: Low Grade: 3
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Omarama to Otematata [35km]

Fitness: Intermediate Skill: Intermediate Traffic: Low Grade: 3
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Otematata to Kurow [44km]

Fitness: Easy Skill: Easy Traffic: High Grade: 3
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Kurow to Duntroon [27km]

Fitness: Easy Skill: Easy Traffic: Low Grade: 2
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Duntroon to Oamaru [54km]

Fitness: Intermediate Skill: Easy Traffic: Medium Grade: 3
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FAQs view details


The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is a grade 2-3 (easy to intermediate) cycle trail. There are a variety of trail surfaces. Riders are advised to take certain essentials with them (e.g. first aid, repair kit, water, food). Parts of the trail pass through alpine environments, where conditions can change.

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Itinerary Ideas view details

Itinerary Ideas

Ride the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail YOUR way. If you're an advanced cyclist or a family who are looking for a family-friendly adventure, have a look here for some ideas on possible itineraries and things to see and do along the way...

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Plan your ride view details

Plan your ride

Cycling one of New Zealand's best cycle trails is both fun and easy to organise! You can plan your adventure down to the smallest detail, including your accommodation, cycle hire and luggage transport along the trail.

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Getting Here view details

Getting Here

Located in the South Island of New Zealand, halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown, is the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It is recommended that you start your ride from Aoraki/Mt Cook - though there are numerous access points along the trail from which to start or end your ride.

Trail Status view details

Trail Status

Check here for updates on current trail status

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