West Coast Road Cycling Experience

10 Day Road Cycling Tour - Queenstown to Picton

Enjoy serious southern cycling from alpine Queenstown through the wild West Coast to the Marlborough Sounds.

On this New Zealand cycling tour you’ll see constantly changing terrain: from Central Otago’s arid mountains, the West Coast’s rainforests to serene Marlborough vineyards and bays.

Our cycling tour leaves extra time for fun in the fast-paced alpine mecca Queenstown, and the scenic glacier village of Franz Josef.

  • From NZ$3599 
  • Starts: Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Road Cycling
  • Grade 3-4, Medium
  • NZ$920 single room supplement
  • Price is based on a minimum 7 participants


This tour is on request. We will confirm availability within the shortest possible time after we receive your enquiry.

Full Tour Itinerary

Day One - Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital. Depending on your arrival time, you could try a fly-cruise-fly package into the dramatic Milford Sound, white water rafting, jet boating, paragliding, or helicopter rides. You could shop in the pretty town centre, or take an afternoon cruise on Lake Wakatipu on the steamship TSS Earnslaw. Or, head out for your first cycle ride: we can suggest good routes. Tonight you'll meet your tour guide and your fellow tour members, some of whom started the tour in the southernmost town of Bluff.

Cycling: Optional ride
Meals: None

Day Two - Queenstown to Wanaka

We start in determined fashion with the most challenging climb of the tour: the Crown Range. First, a fairly easy ride to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown, with just one real climb. Then we head to the summit of New Zealand's highest highway (1080 m). It's a hard 3 km up steep hairpins, a flattish 5 km, then a lung-wrenching, leg-burning 3.5 km. Then it's ‘plain sailing’ as we follow the Cardrona River down to Wanaka, a popular lakeside resort town. Relax and enjoy local eateries and sights. There are also plenty of options for extra riding.

Cycling: 73 km, with further distances optional
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Three - Wanaka to Haast

A longer ride is in store today as we head west across the Southern Alps. The landscapes again change dramatically, from the dry, arid mountains of Central Otago to the dense rainforests of the wild West Coast. There will be numerous photo opportunities as we ride alongside Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and then over the glorious alpine Haast Pass. From here it’s a beautiful downhill as we follow the Haast River from its inception to the Tasman Sea.

Cycling: 143 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Four - Haast to Franz Josef

Heading north, we follow the rugged West Coast coastline for 30 km, with just one small climb before turning inland. Another little hill takes us to scenic Lake Paringa. A flat section through rainforest allows for some recovery until just before Fox Glacier at 120 km. To round off a spectacular day we now have three steep climbs and descents for around 22 km to Franz Josef. The rugged coastal scenery and dense rainforest make today’s ride one of the most scenic of the tour. The perfect finish could be the Glacier Hot Pools, nestled in lush rainforest near the township's edge.

Cycling: 144 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Five - Franz Josef Rest Day

A free day in this scenic alpine town, surrounded by native rainforest. Relax, rest your legs and do as you please. Optional cycling is available, or you may choose to book a half day hike on the glacier, or go for a helicopter ride. Those Glacier Hot Pools with their natural glacier water may again be tempting!

Cycling: Optional
Meals: Breakfast

Day Six - Franz Josef to Hokitika

There's a flat to slightly undulating ride up beautiful West Coast roads today. Most of the route is slightly inland. The only hills are a short climb over Mt Hercules on a very scenic, winding bush-clad road. There are also small undulations around Pukekura, home of the Bushman’s centre and some ‘tall tails’. Hokitika is a pleasant town known as the Heritage and Cultural centre of the West Coast. Here, you'll find New Zealand’s finest pounamu (local jade). Our accommodation tonight is on the beachfront.

Cycling: 134 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Seven - Hokitika to Westport

Continuing north, it’s a reasonably easy flat ride along the coastline for around 82 km to our rest stop at Punakaiki. It's spectacular layered 'Pancake Rocks' and Blowholes at the coastline are a must-see. Punakaiki is also the gateway to the 30,000 ha Paparoa National Park. Then it's on to Perpendicular Point and Pakihi Hill with their great sea views before descending into the port town of Westport for a hard-earned pint of their local Miner’s beer.
Cycling: 138 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Eight - Westport to St. Arnaud

After following the stunning coastal road for 3 days, we now head inland on a gradual climb. We follow the Buller River past Fern Arch and Hawk's Crag, a tunnel blasted through rock in 1900. We pass the smalll towns Inangahua Junction and Murchison to Kawatiri. Then we turn off onto a quiet road and cycle northeast to the alpine village of St Arnaud, in the Nelson Lakes National Park beside Lake Rotoiti and the towering Mt Robert. Today is our longest cycling day and while we cycled gradually uphill for the entire 158 km, it's only to 700 m above sea level.
Cycling: 156 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Nine - St. Arnaud to Picton

Through forest and then farmland, we cycle down the long Wairau Valley to the outskirts of Blenheim, in the centre of one of New Zealand's major wine regions. At Renwick, a meandering back road takes us to Havelock, a charming little port town on the edge of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. On our final 30 km of the winding coastline to Picton we see some of the most beautiful scenery in the region. It's a great finish to our last cycling day.

Cycling: 156 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Ten - Picton Departure Day

After 941 km of great cycling, it's time to pack up the bikes and bid our farewells. If you're traveling to Wellington and the North Island, the ferry terminals are close by, and the airport at Blenheim is an easy transfer. For those who wish to return with us to Christchurch, our support vehicle leaves mid morning for the 5-hour drive via Kaikoura and the East Coast.

No Cycling

Tour Inclusions & Exclusions

Tour Includes:

  • 9 overnight stays in excellent accommodation (3-4* NZ Standard)
  • Meals as specified on itinerary (breakfast and/or lunch)
  • Support vehicle and luggage transfer
  • Tour guide
  • Arrival transfer on day 1 only (between 7am and 2pm)
  • Department of Conservation fees

Tour Excludes:

  • Bike hire but is on offer
  • International flights and/or Travel visas (where applicable)
  • Single Supplement
  • Meals not included above
  • Drinks & snacks during cycling
  • Travel Insurance

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