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 18/1/2020. Happy New Year!
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! At any time and the weather can change quickly, please take something warm and a separate waterproof layer just in case.
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
- UPDATE: Rotten Tommy to Jollie Carpark OPEN (with caution). The Tasman River has dropped sufficiently to allow the Rotten Tommy To Jollie River Carpark to be RE-OPENED to those more experienced - extra care is advised as a 300m section has newly deposited shingle and rock deposited on the Trail and is extremely rough in places - we advise that you walk your bike through this to be on the safe side! This damaged Trail is about 15 minutes ride from Rotten Tommy. In places 1m of shingle was deposited on the Trail almost covering some of the the Trail markers. These markers have now been reclaimed and reinstated. See the picture below...
- The section below Jollie Carpark Jollie (towards Twizel) is still really rough too, with scouring from water running straight down the road. Extreme care is also advised through here and a plan is being worked up for the repairs to the Trail in these two areas, which will happen in the new year.
- 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 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, how ever 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.
Section 3: Twizel to Lake Ohau Lodge
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..
Section 4: Lake Ohau Lodge to Omarama
Lake Ohau Lodge to the Historic Woolshed - CAUTION ADVISED - summer is here, however that is no guarantee of stable weather patterns and 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 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!
No major issues have been reported from Lake Ohau Lodge to the Historic Woolshed although with recent heavy rain there are areas where the Trail surface has sustained some water damage - take care and expect some rutting and loose shingle in places..
Quailburn Road - about 14km of this road is a gravel surface which can be corrugated and with loose gravel in many places. Take care and watch your speed. We have had recent reports of riders falling off at speed in the gravel road.
Section 5: Omarama to Otematata
- Some minor variations in surface outside Omarama, otherwise the Trail in good condition.
Section 6: Otematata to Kurow
Meridian would like to give you early warning of a number of road closures at Benmore Dam planned for late January through to mid May.
From Meridian:- The road closures are for stoplog installs and headgate refurbishment works, which means that all traffic (motorised, peddle power and walking) will not be permitted to cross at these times. We will have cranes, open hatches and large trucks in operation during the works. Meridian will endeavour to minimise the duration of these outages where possible. The current planned dates are:-
28th January – Stoplogs install (half day starting at 8.00am - if all goes well work could be completed at around 1.00pm).
10th February – Headgate removal (full day - starting at 8.00am continuing till work is completed which could be 5.30pm or later)
19th March – Head gate return (full day - starting at 8.00am continuing till work is completed which could be 5.30pm or later)
5th May – stoplog removal (half day starting at 8.00am - if all goes well work could be completed at around 1.00pm).
These dates are currently only provisional and are subject to change (although the 28th January is quite firm). We will notify you again when each date is finalized.
Meridian thank you in advance for your understanding during these road closures as we maintain the integrity of our assets.
Meridian will have Road Closed Ahead signs (like the example above) out at the SH83 junctions at Otematata and the Aviemore Dam. If the Road Closed sign is there then the work on the dam is continuing, so please do not ignore them as it is possible works have over run. Meridian assure us that the removal of the Road Closed sign will be the first action taken once the work is complate and the road over the dam is open again.
The toilet at Pumpkin Point (Lake Benmore) is CLOSED due to a broken door - this will be fixed and operational again as soon as possible.
A new off-road section of trail is OPEN for from Aviemore Dam past the Wahakuri ruins. The Trail crosses over the road and runs between the road and Lake Waitaki before popping back out on to the road to cross the Awahokomo Stream. You will need to travel on about 200m of road before getting back on to the off-road section through what were the Dunkirk Pines, which then takes you to the Waitaki Dam.
Now that the KDIC irrigation scheme upgrade work has been completed at the Waitaki Dam, Cycle Trail construction work has begun from the top of the Waitaki Dam down to the Awakino Stream.
Sections of Trail not yet open are marked off by cones and some 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.
Section 7: Kurow to Duntroon
- 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 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 a couple of times 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! The photo below was taken 6th January 2020. For safety's sake please walk your bike around the culvert and through the loose riverbed shingle as the going in the loose stuff can be really tricky to ride. Many thanks!
- 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 fallen pine tree has been cleared from the Trail as you go through the plantation of trees between Grants Rd and Prydes Gully Rd. Thanks to everyone for sorting this out so quickly...
- There is an overgrown weed issue on parts of the Trail on this section. The Council is aware of the exceptional growth and are doing everything they can to remedy the situation. Please bear with us while the weeds are brought under control.
Section 9 / Alternative Route: Lake Tekapo to Twizel
- ROAD CLOSURES - please commence your journey at the Tekapo Canal Rd while road re-alignment work is undertaken on Andrew Don Drive for 4 days next week (Mon – Thurs 20-23 January) and an additional three days the following week (Mon – Wed 27-29 January). Andrew Don Drive will be closed to all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians at the end of the new subdivision while this new road allignment is built.
Please do not ask your clients to cycle from the alternative start point at Hamilton Drive on these days as there is no alternative route to the Tekapo Canal other than by staying on the fast / narrow and scary SH8, this is strongly not recommended.
If your clients are in Tekapo and wish to arange a local lift to the Tekapo Canal Rd, please call Bespoke Bike Tours who operate in Tekapo - 021 151 3742.
There is ample parking and a toilet located at the spot indicated on the map above.
- 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 map BELOW).
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.