Trail Safety

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

Great news, the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is fully available to those in Level 2 however please note the following information if you are heading out to ride on the A2O trail.

All public toilets are open, apart from public toilets situated at the Waitaki Lakes campgrounds which are usually closed in winter.

Please ensure you socially distance from other trail users.

Wearing a mask while out and about is recommended.

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.

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Before you head out on the trail please have a read of the Mackenzie and Waitaki District Council's Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail safety guide book.  A copy of which can be downloaded by  clicking HERE

For safety notes on each specific section please refer to the Trail maps

SAFETY IN THE OUTDOORS

1. Plan your trip
Seek local knowledge and plan the route you will take and the amount of time you can reasonably expect it to take.
 
2. Tell someone
Tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven’t returned.  The NZCT recommends that you don’t ride alone, especially if you’re heading into remote areas.

The website below provides 3 simple options which enable you to tell someone all the details about your ride into the outdoors.

https://www.adventuresmart.nz/outdoor-intentions-form/

3. Be aware of the weather
New Zealand’s weather can be highly unpredictable.  Take care in the alpine portions of the trail, and dress accordingly. Always check the forecast before you head off and be prepared for weather changes. Check weather.
 
4. Know your limits
Your responsibility is to enjoy and maximise your riding experience, while minimising the risk to yourself and others.  Challenge yourself, but ride within your physical limits and ability.  
 
5. Take sufficient supplies
Make sure you have enough food, clothing, equipment and emergency rations for the worst-case scenario.  Take some basic bike tools for any repairs and an appropriate means of communication.
 
6. Have a back-up plan

If something goes wrong, mobile phone coverage is non existant on some parts of the Trail and you could be kilometres from the nearest road.  Consider taking a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon).  Should an emergency happen this will call in an emergency helicopter.  PLB's are available to hire and drop off at network of providers along the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. 

PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) HIRE

Your PLB hire and drop off points can be found at the following towns and hire points along the Trail. 

  • Aoraki / Mt Cook Village:- DOC Information Centre, Tel.- 03 435 1186 ,      1 Larch Grove, Aoraki Mt Cook Village, Canterbury 7999
  • Tekapo:- Bespoke Bike Tours, Tel.- 021 151 3742,       8 Simpson Lane, Lake Tekapo
  • Twizel:- Cycle Journeys Depot, Tel.- 03 435 0578,      3 Benmore Place, Twizel 7901
  • Ohau:- Lake Ohau Lodge, Tel. - 03 438 9885
  • Omarama:- Oasis Bar & Cafe, Tel. - 03 438 9722,      4 Chain Hills Highway, Omarama, Waitaki 
  • Kurow:- Kurow Museum and Information Centre, Tel. - 03436 0950      57 Bledislow Street, Kurow, Waitaki
  • Oamaru:- (DROP OFF ONLY) Oamaru Information Centre, Tel, - 03 434 1656 and 03 434 7730,      1 Thames Street Oamaru, Waitaki

‚ÄčPlease book your hire from the supplier closest to the starting point of your tour, your hired PLB can be dropped in at any of the other outlets mentioned by prior arrangement (some opening hours may be limited so check before you hire).

Mobile Phone Coverage

Mobile phone coverage varies by service provider, phone and band width e.g. 3G or 4G etc.  New Zealand has two service providers with many additional phone companies using either of these services and roaming plans are also possible. 

 

For maps for the two service providers follow their links below links, select the appropriate band width of your phone and zoom in on the area of the Cycle Trail you plan to ride.

 

 https://www.vodafone.co.nz/network/coverage/         and / or           https://www.spark.co.nz/shop/mobile/network.html

 

Note: The coverage map is indicative only, and is intended to provide general guidance on where the Vodafone network and outdoor coverage is available. Coverage may vary depending on your exact location and the type of device used.

Your experience may vary from the coverage shown depending on mobile capability, how it's used, and the local environment.

 

SAFETY ON THE ROAD

Following are a few simple tips to help keep you stay safe when you’re out on the road. 

Be Seen - Wear high visibility or brightly coloured clothing.  Use front and rear lights at night, in low light and in poor visibility such as fog or rain.

Be Aware - Watch and listen for approaching vehicles, pedestrians, potholes, animals, car doors opening and other potential hazards. 

Be Predictable - Make eye contact with other road users.  Maintain a straight line, keep to the left and signal your intentions clearly. 

Be Confident - Know how to safely approach railway crossings, roundabouts and intersections etc.  Use hand signals to indicate your intentions and a bell to alert other road users to your presence.

Be Safe - Ride to the conditions and follow the road rules.  Cycle no more than two abreast and ride single file where visibility is an issue or traffic is busy.  Keep at least one metre away from parked cars and use cycle lanes.

Be Patient - Slow down near parked or lined up vehicles.  Pass slowly and only when safe.   On narrow windy roads, pull over where practical to allow vehicles to pass.

Be Prepared - Wear an approved helmet and check your bike regularly.  Plan your route and carry sufficient water and food, along with basic tools for any repairs.

 

Reporting Incidents, Accidents and Near Misses 

Sometimes things happen beyond your control and when they do, we'd like to hear about them!  And... we'd like to take every reasonable step to make sure that it does not happen to others in a similar situation.  Your on-Trail intel is invaluable to help us identify accident hot spots and fully investigate the circumstances behind something unexpected having happened. 

If we don't know about it we can't act upon it - so we have created a reporting form that hopefully captures all the important information - it can be downloaded here...

Please fill out the form as fully as possible, including all contact details for possible follow-up - we'd like to know everyone is OK. :-)  Instructions are included in the form as to the next steps / where to send it, etc...

Many Thanks - we really value your input and you taking the time to share your unexpected experiences with us.

Wishing you safe travels...

From all of us involved on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail

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