Before you head out onto the Cycle Trail please click HERE to read or download your copy of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Safety Suggestions for each section.
This page was last updated on the 9/12/2019.
Please prepare for the conditions and weather before you set out. In summer for example, please have plenty of water with you, wear sunblock and don't forget your sunglasses! Spring time and the weather can change quickly, please take something warm and a separate waterproof layer just in case.
Also just a heads-up to keep a whachtfull eye out for dive-bombing magpies - it is obviously nesting season and these guys can be very agressive and territorial at this time of year. We have had two reports to date on this - one angry magpie around Glen Lyon Road, Twizel ...about 100m from nuns veil junction (heading towards the canal) and another around the Fort Enfield. Please take care!
We are not aware of any other issues along the Trail (other than those listed here) but if you see a potential hazard please let us know about it....
Please report any issues to: 021 196 0127 or CONTACT US BY EMAIL
ENJOY YOUR RIDE!!!
Trail Status Summary
To help get a overview of what is happening on the trail we have given a brief update on each section of the trail here. Please check back regularly for any updates...
Section 1: Aoraki / Mt Cook to Braemar Road
- The Tasman River is currently running high because of snow melt and heavy rain. The trail is CLOSED from Rotten Tommy To Jollie River Carpark... (first photo taken 1/12/2019 and second photo taken 3/12/2019)
- This section will only be reopened once the river flow has dropped - we expect that to be around Tuesday 10th of December. In the meantime, please continue your journey from Jollie River Carpark south. If you have flights booked through Rotten Tommy, please check with your helicopter company to see another option.
- Logging operations are in progress on this and Section 2 until further notice. Many very large logging trucks are using Hayman and Braemar Road each day. They have been very courteous to cyclists, which is very much appreciated, give them a wave of thanks.
Section 2: Braemar Road to Twizel
- Logging operations are in progress on this and Section 1 until further notice. You may notice the black and white Km markers on the road side - the logging trucks are using these to let each other know of any cyclists they encounter.
- Caution Required! As the Trail enters the Lake Pukaki camping area and joins the road, there is a wash of deep and loose shingle to cross which requires special attention - the shingle has been raked but will build up again with traffic and rain. The plan is to get a more permanent fix in place here but in the meantime plase negotiate with care.
Photo 1 - entering the camping area (loose shingle in place) Photo 2 - leaving the camping area and joining the Trail again (shingle raked)
- Caution Required! After leaving the SH83 at the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon shop and public toilets (at the bottom end of Lake Pukaki) and as you head into the pines heading towards the Pukaki Flats, there is lots of loose gravel on the road (and as you cross it to continue on the Trail). Please use caution as the loose gravel can be tricky to negotiate.
Section 3: Twizel to Lake Ohau Lodge
Ohau Weir is currently Closed (3/12/2019) and the Weir Open signs have been changed at Glen Lyon Road (as you leave Twizel) and at the Ohau Canal intake. The Lake Ohau lake level is very high due to heavy recent rain at the moment and the weir is expected to be overflowing for at least a week. The alternative route to Lake Ohau Lodge is via SH8 and the Lake Ohau Rd.
The current Ohau weir camera image at the very bottom of this page is now out of date (the battery is flat but the image will only update as the solar panel recharges the battery). More reliable (but not infalable) is a link to Meridian's Lake Ohau lake level information, also found at the bottom of this page..
Lake Ohau is so high at the moment that it is covering the Trail at about 3km from the weir as you travel towards Lake Ohau Village
Section 4: Lake Ohau Lodge to Omarama
Lake Ohau Lodge to the Historic Woolshed - CAUTION ADVISED - spring is here which means alpine conditions can change quickly, Given the altitude (it is the highest part of the A2O at 900m above sea level at the top) , it is advised to pay particular attention to the weather conditions and weather reports when organising your outing. Please plan your journey accordingly and anticipate the conditions - sunshine and rain, cold with snow and ice are all possibilities on the same day!
Section 5: Omarama to Otematata
- Some minor variations in surface outside Omarama, otherwise the Trail in good condition.
Section 6: Otematata to Kurow
- Caution is required on the narrow road section at the Waitaki Dam. The installation of the KDIC irragation pipe from the dam continues and traffic management measures are in place, including a 30km/h speed limit while they are working on site - 50km/hr at other times.
Stop/go lights are in operation on SH83 at the Waitaki Dam as a pipe is connected from the dam to the irrigation scheme pipe and later from the vacuum station on the other side of the road to the syphon for the irrigation scheme at the dam. This is likely to be in place for another 2-3 weeks while this work is being carried out (18/11/2019).
A new section of trail is OPEN for riding on the lake side of the road just east of Wharekuri ruins. The section of trail on the south side of the road by the Wharekuri ruins is NOT OPEN and leads to a dead end. Work will begin (7th November) along side SH83 from the Aviemore dam past the woolsheds on the other side of the road. This will not affect road traffic and cyclists will need to remain on the road till this work is completed. Check back here for updates on when this work is completed and that section (and Wharekuri) is open to cycle traffic.
Work has also commenced on the Trail section through what was the Gallipoli Pines, just above the Waitaki Dam and on bridge abbutments on one of the streams near, there in preparateion for the new Cycle Trail bridge crossing. With some luck both of these works will be completed in 3-4 weeks time.
In the meantime creeks still need to be crossed by using the road bridges in the interim with normal road rules applying.
The extension to the trail past the Kurow Bluffs is open. Sections of trail not yet available are marked off by cones.
Section 7: Kurow to Duntroon
- The Otekaieke River levels have dropped and the river ford may now be passable. Please assess the situation for yourselves and your group's ability. The Otiake and Otekaieke rivers have alternative flood routes out to the road on the nortern sides of both rivers - please take this option out to SH83 if in any doubt. UPDATE:- The Kurow creek is currently running at 1 cumec, so perhaps around the flow shown in the October picture below - the crossing is wide and shallow - however you may choose to take the road from Kurow and rejoin the trail a few kilometeres down the road where these meet up again. We would expect this to drop quite quickly once the rain has stopped.
- Please note:- for the Kurow Creek, Otiake and Otekaieke Rivers - moderate rain events cause the rivers to rise quickly (and then receed). Both the Otiake and Otekaieke river crossings have an alternate flood route to get you out to the main road - please take this option if you have any element of doubt as to your ability to make a safe river crossing.
- The Kurow Creek Culvert was washed out recently - the plan is to reinstate the culvert and that the ford will be maintained as a wide shallow crossing - so if the creek is flowing significantly, expect to get wet feet! Photo below taken mid October after heavy rain.
- The river beds are rocky/shingly and soft going in places (even if they are dry) so please use you judgement and dismount if you are unsure of what lays in front of you. We have many reports of people taking a (soft) tumble when they hit a patch of river bed sand!
Section 8: Duntroon to Oamaru
- The Rakis Tunnel work has just been completed which diverts road water run off from washing away the Trail cutting bank and it now comes out further down the hill... See photos below...
- Record rain during November 2018 resulted in serious flooding and Trail damage at many points in this section. With the assistance of a $380,000 MBIE Extreme Weather Events grant, these and many other Trail upgrades have been made possible - Thank You MBIE.
Most of that upgrade work on this section have now been completed and we expect that the Trail will be more resistant to similar events in the future.
Section 9 / Alternative Route: Lake Tekapo to Twizel
- The Alternative Route starting point has been moved to the Lakeside Car Park. This is accessed off Hamilton Road and SH8. The route to Aorangi Crescent is all off road - please use the pedestrain path when crossing the bridge - pedestrians have priority! Images below of the new starting point signage and view up Lake Tekapo from that location.
- There is a new subdivision going in on Andrew Don Drive, with a large construction vehicles using the road that takes you around the area of construction. As a result the road has a great deal more traffic on it and the Trail route is not well marked (but soon to be improved!). Please use caution when using this section and be aware that large vehicles need more room to turn, and if you are behind them - if you can not see their rear view mirrors, they can not see you!
PLEASE BE AWARE - Alps 2 Ocean Trail users need to be aware that erosion and washouts are a constant hazard and care should be taken. As always, weather conditions can change quickly, so you will need to regularly check weather reports for updates and prepare for your trip accordingly.
Ohau Weir Camera.
Service from the Ohau Weir camera is not 100% reliable as it does not always update (in winter the update is set to update every 8 hrs due to low sunlight conditions). If you wish to check on the Lake Ohau Weir status and lake levels you can also visit the Meridian Energy website (www.meridianenergy.co.nz/about-us/our-power-stations/lake-levels) - you will need to refer to the current lake level indicated in the graph of the Lake Ohau section for information of the current lake level. Levels above 520.4m result in water discharging over the outlet weir and into the Upper Ohau River.