This is the grand South Island experience. Wonderful biking with a superb range of magnificent scenery that includes four National Parks.
We start with a magical ride around the Marlborough Sounds coastline, to Nelson Lakes National Park, and then down spectacular Buller Gorge to the wild West Coast. See Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Paparoa National Park.
Pedal past picture perfect West Coast Glaciers and lakes, over Haast Pass and down to Wanaka and Queenstown, the bungy jumping capital of New Zealand. Follow our February /March 2013 Southern Grand tour here, with Bruce Nelson and Axel Kunzmann's wonderful professional-looking blog and stunning photos.
The Grand Tour is comprised of two short tours:
Accommodation includes award-winning eco-tourism hotel, alpine lodge and friendly luxury lodge. More>
DAY 1 PICTON.
We can drive you from Christchurch to Picton if required. Take a short ride around the bays.
DAY 2 NELSON.
Along Queen Charlotte Drive with its beautiful bush-framed views of the Marlborough Sounds to New Zealand's sunniest city of Nelson.
DAY 3 ST ARNAUD.
We cycle through orchards, farmland and pine plantations on our way to Nelson Lakes National Park.
DAY 4 MURCHISON.
Time for a forest walk near the lake edge before following the Buller River down to Murchison.
DAY 5 WESTPORT.
Ride down impressive Buller Gorge to the sea and the start of the West Coast. A great downhill day!
DAY 6+7 PUNAKAIKI.
Visit a seal colony and the famous Pancake Rocks and blow holes. A rest day gives time to explore the area, go kayaking or walk in Paparoa National Park.
DAY 8 HOKITIKA.
We head south along the rainforest clad coast to Greymouth and then to Hokitika, a former gold rush town.
DAY 9 OKARITO.
Spend a night in a holiday home in the tiny beach settlement of Okarito. Here you can walk on the beach, kayak, take a kiwi tour or visit the White Heron Sanctuary.
DAY 10+11 FOX GLACIER.
Cycle over Mt Hercules into Westland National Park, with superb views of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. A rest day gives time for a walk to the glacier, a day on the beach, a visit to the white heron colony, or a scenic flight.
DAY 12 LAKE MOERAKI.
Time for an early morning walk around Lake Matheson, famous for its reflections of Mts Cook and Tasman. Ride through tall stands of ancient rainforest to stay at a beautiful lodge overlooking the Moeraki River. Canoe on the lake or take a bush walk.
DAY 13 MAKARORA.
Knights Point affords excellent views of the rugged coastline where seals can often be seen basking in the sun.
DAY 14 WANAKA.
Spectacular mountain and lake views as we pass Lakes Hawea and Wanaka. Visit a vineyard or take a hike up Mt Iron.
DAY 15 + 16 QUEENSTOWN.
Over the Crown Range to the quaint old gold mining town of Arrowtown. Queenstown lies ahead with a chance for exciting activities: rafting, jet-boating, a scenic flight or a lake cruise on the historic SS Earnslaw.
The Grand Tour can be extended to a 23-day tour by adding the Southern Scenic tour.
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