Trail Status

This page was last updated on the 18/2/2021. 

A recent extreme weather event has had a significant impact on the lower areas of the Trail, resulting in some slips, slumps, washouts and rough Trail surfaces.  Much of the damage sustained has either been repaired or had a quick interim fix to be addressed more fully later - as a result there is more loose gravel about particularly at the approaches to bridges, culverts and cattle stops.  Please also watch out for contractors Trail-wide, who will be out making repairs over the next days and weeks, please give their machinery a wide berth, making sure you follow their instructions on site.

UPDATE 15/1/2021 - SECTION 8 - DUNTROON TO OAMARU OPEN -  EXTRA CARE REQUIRED to negotiate this section, further information in Section 8 below..

FURTHER SECTION BY SECTION STATUS UPDATES BELOW...

There has been no change in Trail issues (that we are aware of) since this was last updated.

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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... https://covid19.govt.nz/.

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.

 

Kia Kaha, take care.

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Before you head out onto the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail at any time please click HERE to read or download your copy of the Trail's Safety Suggestions for each section.  Please prepare for the conditions and weather before you set out and take some water with you  At any time and the weather can change quickly, please take something warm and a separate waterproof layer just in case.

Should you discover any issues along the Trail (other than those listed below) or should you see a potential hazard please let us know about it.... 

Please report any events or Trail issues to: 021 196 0127 or CONTACT US BY EMAIL

ENJOY YOUR TRAIL TIME!!!

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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

  1. The toilets at the White Horse camping ground and at Mt. Cook Station Rd are open.  The toilets at the Mt. Cook Airport will be open during operational hours.
     
  2. The Tasman River has been in flood over sections the Trail from Rotten Tommy (February 5th - 9th)  but is OK to ride from the Rotten Tommy Helicopter drop off point. Obviously some caution is required as there will be loose shingle and washouts along the Trail. 
     
  3. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Caution Required - as on many parts of the Trail, your route includes time spent on or crossing quiet country tracks and shingle roads.  It is easy to allow your attention to wander and marvel at the great scenery, however don't forget to pay due attention to the road surface in front of you and be prepared for the odd bump, pot hole or section of loose gravel.  The inappropriate reaction and application of brakes can turn a seemingly innocent surface into the wrong kind of holiday story of scrapes and bruises.  

 
‚ÄčSection 3: Twizel to Lake Ohau Lodge

  1. The Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail from Twizel to Lake Ohau and on to Omarama is now OPEN.

    Please stick to the Trail and avoid closed areas. Obviously, the area surrounding the Trail has been burnt and will have associated ash and other debris. Waterways will have been affected by the fire and cyclists are advised to carry plenty of water and not to drink from the streams.

  2. 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 infallible) is a link to Meridian's Lake Ohau lake level information, also found at the bottom of this page.. 

  3. Lake Ohau Lodge (03 438 9885). Due to staff shortages, lunches will not be available every day.
    Untill further notice the Lake Ohau Lodge is closed for lunch with he bar openening from 4pm, when snacks including nachos and toasties etc. will be available.  There are no alternative food outlets on this and the next section between Twizel and Omarama - please carry the appropriate provisions or time your travel accordingly.  Lake Ohau Lodge would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Section 4: Lake Ohau Lodge to Omarama 

  1. The Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail from Twizel to Lake Ohau and on to Omarama is now OPEN. 

    Please stick to the Trail and avoid closed areas. Obviously, the area surrounding the Trail has been burnt and will have associated ash and other debris. Waterways will have been affected by the fire and cyclists are advised to carry plenty of water and not to drink from the streams.

  2. Lake Ohau Lodge (03 438 9885). Due to staff shortages, lunches will not be available every day.
    Untill further notice the Lake Ohau Lodge is closed for lunch with the bar opening from 4pm, when snacks including nachos and toasties etc. will be available. There are no alternative food outlets on this and the previous section between Twizel and Omarama - please carry the appropriate provisions or time your travel accordingly.  Lake Ohau Lodge would like to apologies in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause. 

  3. The toilets at Quailburn and Ahuriri camping grounds are both open

  4. Lake Ohau Lodge to the Historic Woolshed - CAUTION ADVISED -  unstable weather patterns in alpine conditions mean that 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 reports when organising your outing.  Please plan your journey accordingly and anticipate the conditions - sunshine, rain and cold are all possibilities on the same day!  At some points on this section you can be more than 5km from the nearest road should you have an accident or breakage - consider bringing or hiring a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) if you have any concerns.  Hire points include Lake Ohau Lodge and from the Cycle Journeys in Twizel.

  5. Quailburn Road CAUTION - about 14km of this road is a gravel surface. Please take care and watch your speed, the gravel can be very loose in places and requires additional care especially while breaking and cornering.  We have had recent reports of riders falling off at speed on the gravel road - being clipped in may also have been a contributing factor in some cases.

Section 5Omarama to Otematata 

  1. MERIDIAN ENERGY - Advanced Notice of AVIEMORE DAM ROAD CLOSURES 

    Friday 12th February - 8.00am - 4.00pm
    Friday 19th February - 8.00am - 4.00pm
    Monday 22nd February - 8.00am - 4.00pm


    The Dam Road will be closed to all forms of traffic including pedestrians and bicycles, we appreciate your assistance in ensuring the safety of our staff and the public. 

    Road Closed signs will be put up at the junctions of SH83 at Aviemore Dam and Loch Laird Rd as well on the top of Benmore Dam to notify Cycle Trail traffic emerging from the new Sailors Cutting to Benmore section. 

    This work may be finished earlier than planned and all signage will be removed as soon as the road is open again – there is a contingency day planned for the following day in case of inclement weather.Thank you for your understanding and compliance. 

    Meridian apologise for the inconvenience caused while they work to maintain the safety and operation of their assets. 

  2. UPDATE 4/1/2021: This section is open and the newly opened part from Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam has held up really well, however there has been some rockfall on to the trail so please take extra care and watch out for our contractors who are clearing and monitoring the Trail.


     
     
  3. The toilets in Omarama and Otematata are open as is Pumpkin Point and Sailors Cutting camping ground . 
  4. The new section from Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam is now open to the public which means that there is no longer a requirement to ride on SH83 over the Otematata Saddle from Sailors Cutting.  This new 16km purpose built off-road cycle Trail is mix of Grade 2 (Easy) and some narrower and steeper Grade 3 (Intermediate) parts.  The scenery this new Trail opens up is amazing, so if you are a little nervous of your riding ability or fitness, leave plenty of time to take it slow and be prepared to walk any part you are not comfortable riding.  Take a supply of water and snacks - you need to be self sufficient - phone coverage is limited so you may also consider taking a PLB with your party.  There is a toilet on this new section at about the 10km mark from Sailors Cutting towards Benmore Dam.
  5. Some minor variations in surface outside Omarama, otherwise the Trail in good condition.   

Section 6: Otematata to Kurow

  1. MERIDIAN ENERGY - Advanced Notice of AVIEMORE DAM ROAD CLOSURES 

    Friday 12th February - 8.00am - 4.00pm
    Friday 19th February - 8.00am - 4.00pm
    Monday 22nd February - 8.00am - 4.00pm

    The Dam Road will be closed to all forms of traffic including pedestrians and bicycles, we appreciate your assistance in ensuring the safety of our staff and the public.

    Road Closed signs will be put up at the junctions of SH83 at Aviemore Dam and Loch Laird Rd as well on the top of Benmore Dam to notify Cycle Trail traffic emerging from the new Sailors Cutting to Benmore section.

    This work may be finished earlier than planned and all signage will be removed as soon as the road is open again – there is a contingency day planned for the following day in case of inclement weather.Thank you for your understanding and compliance. 

    Meridian apologise for the inconvenience caused while they work to maintain the safety and operation of their assets. 

Section 7Kurow to Duntroon 

  1. UPDATE 22/1/2021 - SECTION 7 - 3 Rivers - Kurow Creek / Oteake Rv. / Otekaieke River Fords OPEN  - Please take care as some of the riverbank approaches are still rough in places and the worst of the areas have just been graded, so loose shingle remains a hazard.   

  2. The toilets in Kurow and Duntroon are both open.

  3. Please Note:- For the Kurow Creek, Otiake and Otekaieke Rivers -  moderate rain events cause the rivers to rise quickly (and then recede).  Both the Otiake and Otekaieke River crossings have an alternate flood route on their norther side 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 Otekaieke River flood route requires lifting you bike over several electric fences, however this is still safer than attempting a flooded river crossing.

  4. Please Note:- The river beds are rocky/shingly and soft going in places (even if they are dry) so please use you judgment 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

  1. UPDATE 5/1/2021: IMPORTANT: THERE ARE MULTIPLE HAZARDS and our recommendation is to take extreme care and be prepared to dismount if in any doubt as to the terrain and your ability to negotiate that section of Trail

    Hazards: Most hazard areas are marked, but not all. EXTREME CARE needed.

  2. -    Major wash-outs at cattle stops and bridges – carry bikes
    -    Wash-outs and deep ruts on trail parallel to cycling direction, some 6 inches deep – dismount and walk
    -    Soft gravel deposits washed into piles – avoid – if wheels go in these, cyclists can go over handle bars
    -    Trail surface washouts exposing rocky surface – navigate carefully
    -    Slips across trail – go around

  3. There are slips before and after the Rakis Tunnel as you head towrds Windsor.  This will require extra attention and care to get past as the drop is significant.  Safety netting has now been put in place around this slip - please give the area as wide a berth as possible as the ground may still be unstable in the vicinity of the slip. WDC will be monitoring this closely to see whether the slip gets any worse.  If the it does worsen then a diversion down Peaks Road directly to Windsor, avoiding the Rakis Tunnel altogether, will be required - if you see a diversion in place, please follow the signs, as it is very likely the Trail is impassable and it is a long way (and a big hill climb) back from the Tunnel to Peaks Rd..
     

  4. Inside Rakis Tunnel - inside the Tunnel the Trail surface is very rutted and slippery.  Given that there is very little natural light here, we remind you to take a torch and not to attempt to ride through - play it safe - dismount and walk the 100m to the other end.

  5. There is a significant slip plus rock falls that cover the Trail before and after Rakis Tunnel...

          

  6. A selection of the hazards that you will be required to carefully negotiate... (This is indicative only and not a complete list!).  Repairs are progressing on various areas of the Trail - some of the images below are of the completed works or are before and after shots of the initial emergency repairs (with the top surface layer to be added later as time allows).

              

     

    Thanks for your patience as we work through the assessment and repair phase. We will keep you updated.

     

Section 9 / Alternative Route: Lake Tekapo to Twizel

  1. 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 pedestrian path when crossing the bridge - pedestrians have priority! Images below of the new starting point signage and view up Lake Tekapo from that location. (See also the map of the new starting point below).

      


 

  1. The toilets at the Tekapo 4 Square are open.  The toilets at Lakeside Drive (opposite the campground) and beside footbridge are also open. The toilet beside the canal bridge below Tekapo A power Station is open. 

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PLEASE BE AWARE - Alps 2 Ocean Cycle 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.

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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. 

See our Instagram photos #Alps2Ocean
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