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


Important Update: The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is within ORANGE setting under the COVID-19 Protection Framework 

Cycling the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is fully available for all however please note the following information if you are heading out to ride on the trail. 

Please ensure you socially distance from other trail users, keep tracking where you have been and stay at home if you are sick.

Wearing a mask while cycling is not expected however should be worn when you are near others not from your party and entering any premises.

You will need a Vaccine Pass if you wish to be seated on premises and purchase food and drinks at any of the towns along the Trail. 

A Vaccine Pass is required by food and drink service businesses (cafes and restaurants) and will need to be verified before serving you. Their staff are required to be fully vaccinated. If they choose not to do this they can only operate as a contactless service i.e. takeaway. 

Accommodation, tour companies, retail, transport and other Alps 2 Ocean support services can choose whether they require a Vaccine Pass but are more than likely going to mandate this to keep customers and locals safe. When booking your accommodation you will need to confirm that they require Vaccine Passes if that is your preference.

Please note that there may be Trail maintenance staff out working. If you come across maintenance or repair work sites, please follow all instructions of staff, ensure you maintain social distance from them and proceed through the site with care and caution.


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/ spring 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).  

Kia Kaha, take care.


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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