What an incredible experience this tour has been! Some days felt like it was just yesterday that we had our welcome briefing but on other days especially when it was rainy or strong GUSTY WINDS on the downhill, it felt it has been a long journey. It’s always bittersweet when a tour ends. I’m really glad this journey has come to an end but also emotional that it has finished.
Extremely grateful that each day’s ride went so smoothly! Everyone is safe – that’s the most important 🙏🏼 Very thankful and humbled to be riding amongst another wonderful group of cyclists. Everyone is so strong, kind and generous with sharing their experiences and knowledge. Thanks so much team for making this tour enjoyable and joyous. And as always thanks very much All Trails amazing duo: Richard and Doug for your incredible support, patience and all around well organised trip!
Day 1 | Picton to Nelson
Clouds cleared overnight to a sunny blue sky with a temperature of 15 deg C. Perfect riding temperature! Calm this morning but wind picked up after M. T. and got very windy between 90-95km as it was exposed.
Absolutely stunning riding along Queen Charlotte Drive, which hugs the coastline offering beautiful views over the Marlborough Sounds through the gaps in the vegetation including Ngakuta Bay and Momorangi Bay. M. T. at Havelock Marina. Then we followed the river into the Rai Valley (lunch stop) before a couple of climbs over the ranges as we make our way into the Nelson region – the sunniest place in NZ.
Very quiet roads along Queen Charlotte Drive in the morning but traffic became very heavy after M. T. onwards along the New Zealand State Highway 6. Was bit scary to ride between M. T. and lunch as there were no shoulders. Traffic stayed heavy after lunch for the last ~45km but at least there were nice shoulder.
New Zealand is infamous for its narrow roads and much rougher surfaces. Really challenging for the bums, hands and shoulders. The last 20km into Nelson was extremely rough.
The last descent was terrific! Views were incredibly stunning. It’s a very picturesque day of riding. There was no boring bits. Other than sore bums, hands and shoulders, I had an amazing start to the tour! GRATEFUL to be riding in NZ again 🙏🏼
Dinner and overnight accommodation at Rutherford Hotel.
“Today we are on the bike and head out of the township of Picton straight onto Queen Charlotte Drive which hugs the coastline offering beautiful views over the Marlborough Sounds through the gaps in the vegetation including Ngakuta Bay and Momorangi Bay. We then leave the sounds and follow the river into the Rai Valley before a couple of climbs over the ranges as we make our way into the Nelson region – the sunniest place in NZ. Nelson town, on the banks of Tasman Bay, has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 300 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you. Every evening we meet together before dinner for a recap of the day and a briefing of the following day’s ride – what to look out for and what not to miss.”All Trails
Day 2 | Nelson to St. Arnaud (O/N Murchison)
Bit of cloudy start with temperature of 14 deg C. Slight breeze as we head out of Nelson but generally calm. Clouds move in and out throughout the day. First 15km on Great Taste Trail bike path. Narrow bike paths first 10km and lots of twists and turns. Then onto Hope Rd to get to Wakefield for M. T.
Gradual climb with a 1km of rather steep section, 7-11%, at 48km mark. Then a very nice descent and more gradual climb till lunch at 58km mark on the roadside. More climbing ensued after lunch with quite tough 7km section, ~5-15%. Legs were tired, hands, bums and shoulders were sore, it’s quite warm too. That part was challenging. Then it’s more undulations till we get to St. Arnaud.
The roads in NZ are so rough! There’s very little respite in it. Today’s ride was less picturesque than yesterday but still beautiful! No accommodation in St. Arnaud (very small town) so bus transfer to Murchison for next 2 nights.
Two nights stay at this recently renovated and very comfortable accommodation, Grand Suites Murchison.
“We leave Tasman Bay today – the last of the waters at the northern end of the South Island. We cut a track right down the geographic middle of the island heading for the tiny town of St Arnaud, sitting quietly beside Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park Region. It is off the beaten tourist track and doesn’t get much attention from the bulk of international tourists but the statistics showing 100 residents and 400 holiday homes shows that it is not a secret to the Kiwis. Head to the Information Centre for details on the Bellbird walk, a ten minute loop track through beech forest near Kerr Bay, or try the 40 minute Honeydew walk, named after the ‘Honeydew’ that you can find and taste on the trees in the area (it’s actually insect poo so do your research first!).”All Trails
Day 3 | St. Arnaud to Murchison
Bus transfer back to St. Arnaud, where we stopped yesterday. Very cloudy start with temperature of 16 deg C but feels a bit chillier. Clouds then move in and out. Another incredibly picturesque day as we rode along the Buller River! Views were jaw dropping throughout 😍🙏🏼
Easy consistent and gentle downhill to Kawatiri for our rest stop. Then abit of undulations till around last 10km, becoming flat but means headwind as the area was exposed.
NZ roads are TERRIBLE! Could feel my bike and whole body vibrating. My palms and butts are incredibly SORE! Whoever that says NZ is quiet has never ridden on the roads here! Heavy traffic and narrow roads are extreme heart attacks combo! For a population of only 5 million people (bear in mind majority resides in the North Island), there are alot of trucks, especially logging trucks. And they just zoom by us on narrow roads.
A friend of mine who lives in New Zealand his whole life gave really good explanations as to the reasons behind rough roads and busy traffic. “Sadly and in part due to small population but mainly because of the topography of NZ, we have few roads suitable for road bike tours so you end up on main routes with the trucks. NZ use large stone chips, which are cheap but hard on the hands and butt on a long ride.”
Lunch at Rivers Cafe and dinner at Cow Shed Cafe. The salmon pizza is surprisingly soo deliciousss!
“The Buller River is our constant companion today as it winds a consistent and gentle downhill all the way to Murchison through pastoral lands, valleys, tiny townships and past rural farming communities. It’s a beautiful day on the bike as we make our way towards the West Coast. Upon arrival in Murchison you’ll notice the township is an ode to its gold mining past with many buildings still in their original form from the late 1800’s and early 1900s. Despite being a small settlement, Murchison dubs itself the ‘white-water capital’ of the country, because there are rivers everywhere. Along with that are action sports and experiences such as zip-lining across the Buller River, walking the longest swing bridge in the southern hemisphere, blasting the rivers by jet boat or hiking to some of the most amazing vantage points in the region.”All Trails
Day 4 | Murchison to Westport
Perfect day all around! Perfect weather, calm, no wind (just a little headwind for last 10km). Gorgeous gorgeous views all throughout! NZ is magnificent! Undulating ride. I felt strong until about last 10km, my left knee got extremely sore. I persisted and kept pedaling through the pain and got to the finish line.
Fatigue has started to set in. My body was very close to shutting down the moment I sat on the chair for lunch. Once again, the body is so amazingly resilient and great at hanging on. Lots of mosquitoes, bees and other insects this time of the year. Got bitten all over my body. Hopefully less mosquitoes the further south we go.
Overnight accommodation at Asure Chelsea Gateway Motor Lodge.
Very delicious dinner at Yellow House Cafe & Restaurant. The owner cooked a delectable spread of food just for us!
Sadly Westport is becoming deserted, like many small towns in NZ.
“The Buller River is again our guide today as we follow it all the way to the coast as it reaches its end-point at Westport. The ride itself has small undulations all the way as you wind through the remote forests, cut through the valleys and soak up the opportunity to ride in a such a wonderful place. 5km before Westport you clear the ranges and leave the main road behind as you enter a town which holds a spectacular location on the mighty Buller River and the Tasman Sea with a backdrop of the steep Paparoa. Named after a town in Ireland, it is the service centre for the Northern West Coast and Buller region making it a busy hub of activity in an area made up predominantly of small rural communities amongst forest and bushland.”All Trails
Day 5 | Westport to Punakaiki
Very warm this morning, already 22 deg C when we started. Also bit windy especially when entering Punakaiki.
Rest stop at the historic gold mining township of Charleston, famous for its glow worm caves. Then we got to ride the incredibly spectacular Great Coast Road. Stopped a few times along the ride at Irimahuwheri Bay Viewpoint and Coghlans Lookout before finally reaching Punakaiki. Jaw droppingly beautiful! The colours of the water is amazing – it can’t get any blue-er than this 💙😍🙏🏼
Overnight accommodation and dinner at the amazing and beautiful Ocean View Retreat! The room is incredibly spacious and comfortable.
The three-course dinner was simply delicious! Happy tummy!
“This morning we pass through the historic gold mining township of Charleston, famous for its glow worm caves, where we will stop for morning tea, after which we enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Great Coast Road – it’s one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world (in the top ten according to the Lonely Planet). The road leads us to Punakaiki, where beach walks, sunsets and towering limestone cliffs define the area. Tonight’s accommodation is a treat as we enjoy a beautiful resort located just 300m from the world-famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast. Tonight why not join a 1 hour stargazing tour exploring the star studded southern night sky above the West Coast of the South Island where there is almost no light, dust or air pollution.”All Trails
Day 6 | Punakaiki to Greymouth (TranzAlpine to Christchurch)
An easier day and another stunning ride! Abit cloudy and very humid start to the day with temperature of 22 deg C. Felt very stuffy.
Short day and very late start as we made our way to Greymouth. We continued on the last section of the Great Coast Road with the Tasman Sea on the right and Paparoa National Park on the left.
We then board the TranzAlpine railway to Christchurch, experiencing the South Island’s striking natural landscape from a different perspective, taking in epic vistas, travelling the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traversing the Southern Alps, and seeing miles of native beech forest. This is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 km one-way.
We stayed at the Rydges Latimer Hotel for 3 nights. Very comfortable and nice room.
Another three-course dinner tonight and was fantastic!
Finally a rest day tomorrow (Day7)!! Yayyy! Looking forward to a day off saddle and nurse that painful left leg.
“Today we continue on the last section of the Great Coast Road with the Tasman Sea on the right and Paparoa National Park on the left on the way to our cycling destination of Greymouth. You can pack up your bikes for the day but don’t think that the day is over just yet. A special treat lays ahead as we all board the TranzAlpine railway to Christchurch, experiencing the South Island’s striking natural landscape from a different perspective, taking in epic vistas, travelling the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traversing the Southern Alps, and seeing miles of native beech forest. This is one of the world’s great train journeys covering 223 km one-way. In Christchurch, the AllTrails crew will meet you with your bikes and luggage as we settle in for a rest day in our city-centre hotel in the Garden City of NZ.”All Trails
Day 8 | Christchurch to Springfield (O/N Christchurch)
Cloudy day with temperature of 16 deg C. Perfect weather for riding, not too hot. Very busy coming out of Christchurch. Then very nice ride once we got to Old West Coast Road at 16km. Nice cruisy ride with four others from the group till our rest stop at 33km at St Matthews Church Cemetery. Then the peloton grew to 6 people with smooth riding till Springfield.
Today’s ride is the least interesting. We begin our crossing of the island via bicycle from east to west, beginning with the Canterbury Plains. The area of braided rivers and pastoral perfection between the Southern Alps and the Pacific Ocean is a long, flat patchwork of agricultural activity that ranges from grazing grass and wheat to herbs and sunflowers. The area produces more than 80% of New Zealand’s grains, crops and seeds.
Bus transfer back to Christchurch.
“Today we begin our crossing of the island via bicycle from east to west, beginning with the Canterbury Plains. The area of braided rivers and pastoral perfection between the Southern Alps and the Pacific Ocean is a long, flat patchwork of agricultural activity that ranges from grazing grass and wheat to herbs and sunflowers and is a magnificent place to cycle. The area produces more than 80% of New Zealand’s grains, crops and seeds. The ride today is a gentle, easy, consistent 400m climb over the full 66km of the route which will land us in Springfield in the foothills of the Alps. Springfield’s main claim to fame is a statue of a giant pink doughnut which was erected to promote the 2007 Simpsons Movie. Given that Springfield is a very small town with not enough accommodation for our group and boasts a #1 highlight of a Simpsons donut statue we have decided to bus the group back to Christchurch tonight for a third night in our downtown hotel (for The Simpsons fans among us, Shelbyville accom was also unavailable).”All Trails
Day 9 | Springfield to Arthur’s Pass
What a magnificent day! All the pain, aches and grumbles from the legs are very much worth it! 🙏🏼🙏🏼 We were rewarded by majestic views as we traverse a corridor of high country plateaus margined either side by towering peaks. We followed the Waimakariri River through this ancient, glacier carved valley into Arthurs Pass National Park.
Bus transfer back to Springfield to begin our assault of the Southern Alps. For the first 15km, we ride a gentle gradient that will warm up the legs in preparation for a ~400m climb to the highest point of the day and the entire tour (953m). It’s a steep 3km climb, particularly the last 1km to the top. The wind got abit strong towards the top. At >10% gradient + wind + big trucks passing by on narrow roads = I thought I’d never make it to the top 😬🥵 The rest of the ride was undulating with some very steep pinches. Legs were really tired!
Very cloudy start with temperature of 16 deg C. The rain looked imminent but we were extremely blessed! Clouds cleared and the sun shined through while we began the steep 3km climb of the day. The sun gave colours to the hills, making them more contoured and beautiful! Then clouds moved back and started drizzling while we were leaving lunch and continued showery for last 15km. The day was generally calm until at ~60km, wind picked up and was feeling the headwind.
“This morning we will transfer cyclists back to Springfield to begin our assault of the Southern Alps. For the first 15km, we ride a gentle gradient that will warm up the legs in preparation for a 550m climb to the highest point of the day and the entire tour (945m). It’s a steep 3km climb, particularly the last 1km to the top. For those unwilling or unable, our support vehicle is always on hand to assist where required. For those accepting the challenge, as you roll over the summit you will be rewarded by New Zealand’s finest vistas as you traverse a corridor of high country plateaus margined either side by towering snow-capped peaks. Thankfully we do not climb any of those monsters! We follow the Waimakariri River through this ancient, glacier carved valley into Arthurs Pass National Park. You’ll probably spot New Zealand’s inquisitive, intelligent, and comical alpine parrot, the kea, along the way. We overnight in Arthurs Pass Village in cosy motels, enjoy a well-deserved rest and celebrate a challenging day on the bike. As usual, our nightly brief will recap the challenges, achievements and highlights of the day as well as discuss tomorrow’s wonderful downhill run and points of interest along the route.”All Trails
Day 10 | Arthur’s Pass to Hokitika
Heavy rain + gusty winds + 16% descent = ride called off for most of today. Such a shame not to be able to do the thrilling downhill after all the efforts climbing up yesterday. Would be an amazing descent I think with winding roads and gobsmacking views of towering hills left and right. Bus transfer to Kumara for lunch at Theatre Royal Hotel. Sightseeing from the bus instead.
Then we decided to ride the rest of 30km to Hokitika. Very WINDY 💨 30kph with wind gusts of 44kph. Thanks so much team for leading and shielding me from the WIND!
Overnight accommodation and dinner at Beachfront Hotel. Nice comfy room and decent three course dinner.
A short stroll around the very small town of Hokitika after dinner. Was caught in strong wind and showers halfway through the walk.
“Don’t let the first section of climbing fool you – today you need to be prepared for downhill. As we pass the 4km mark, you begin 5km of downhill that can be as steep as 16% gradient until you meet the Otira River. The road itself is a piece of extreme engineering involving viaducts, rock shelters and waterfalls that have been redirected into chutes over the road. From this point you still have another 50km of downhill before the terrain flattens out, but it is much gentler and will appeal to the “rolleur” within us. If you would like to skip any steep uphill or downhill sections on any day, remember that our support vehicle will always be there for you. After riding coast to coast, we turn south and follow the beach towards our overnight stop. Hokitika is dubbed ‘The Cool Little Town’, and that says it all really. It still has that small-town feel where you can walk around everywhere very easily and has a vibrant art, culture and heritage scene. Go to the beach, have a whitebait fritter from the Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop (or whitebait pizza!) or shop for some Pounamu (Greenstone / NZ Jade) in one of the shops & galleries.”All Trails
Day 11 | Hokitika to Franz Josef
What a day! Challenging but felt amazing to complete the full route today! Very cloudy all of today. Started drizzling at the start of the ride. Then stopped until about 66km, showers passing through from then on. Rain got a little heavy ~90km for a bit. I’m all soaked. Jersey got so wet that it felt stuck to my skin. Not the best weather but today could have been much much worse given the forecast. Grateful that we didn’t get as much rain as forecasted.
Today’s ride is also made much brighter and cherrier riding with this amazing and super strong group of people! Very grateful for all of you especially to Rod, Alex and Gloria! 🙏🏼 Thanks for leading, the pull and letting me draft throughout today’s ride!
Views varied from lakes and forests that occupy the relative flatlands between the mountains and the sea. Sceneries were still so incredible despite the gloominess. The clouds and fog gave a melancholy and majestic feel to the mountains. Thankful to witness and experience this riding through. We had rest stops at Ross at the Historic Goldfields Info Centre, Lake Iantha at 55km and lolly stop at 103km at Whataroa.
Last 20km was tough. Started to get hungry and chewed the last half of snack bar. Butts were incredibly sore. Energy was depleted. Took some willpower to push through to the end.
“It’s an easy, flat 10km out of town. If you have time, take Shanghai Rd on the left at 10km to Lake Mahinapua for a nice photo opportunity. The road then travels inland for some time as we have morning tea at the lovely town of Ross and push on further past the lakes and forests that occupy the relative flatlands between the mountains and the sea. It’s a long day today (108km or full route option 136km) but you’ll love the scenery and contrasts as you make your way to the Franz Joseph Glacier village where we have a great motel located a stone’s throw from the Glacier which you can explore on tomorrow’s rest day.”All Trails
Day 12 | Franz Josef Rest Day – Helicopter Tour
Incredibly grateful to be able to do this helicopter tour of some of the glaciers in Franz Josef, an activity that I’ve been looking forward to. Weather was touch and go. Thankful that clouds cleared this morning and took the first flight of the day. Clouds moved in again after noon and many of the afternoon tours were cancelled.
It saddened me to hear from the pilot that the glacier has been receding ~1km now. The reason is because it doesn’t get as much snow as previous. Also learnt that the brown stuff on the snow at the top was from the ashes of bushfires in Australia 😮🤯 The wind blew them across the Tasman!
Incredibly magnificent! I love mountains and so grateful to witness the majestic and mysteriousness of the mountains and glaciers here 🙏🏼😍 I’m awed but couldn’t form any words as I’m extremely sleep deprived so I’d just leave this quote that I wrote back in 2019 after having done the helicopter tour from Milford Sound to Queenstown:
“There is something about mountains that races my heart and make me in awe of it. Probably it is the majesticness, the grandeur, the elegance as it stands tall and mighty. Probably it is the serenity, the peacefulness and the tranquility it manifests. The mountains require no words nor anything else, just standing tall in the wild. I love the mountains and seems to always find myself back in its presence whenever possible 😊🏔”
A short stroll around the town after lunch.
“We couldn’t come all the way here and not take the time to explore the glacier, so we have scheduled in a rest day for our cyclists to take a walk or a Heli Tour to one of NZ’s biggest attractions. The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers, and one of the most impressive sights to be found anywhere in the world. Other rest day options include a visit to the Glacier Hot Pools, walking tracks, or kayaking to name just a few.”All Trails
Day 13 | Franz Josef to Haast
No riding today due to heavy rain, which turned torrential with gusty winds. Four valiant riders brave the extreme weather conditions. Six of us stayed in the bus, including myself.
“Yet another day of spectacular scenery and cycling. It’s a long day in the saddle as the main group will ride 116km (full route option 141km, shorter route option 60km). The full route includes a climb over 3 peaks in the Westland National Park between Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers which will get the blood pumping; 600m climbing with 550m downhill over a 18km stretch. You can take this section on if you wish and if you are prepared to leave very early; or you can jump in the support vehicle with the main group and take in the mountain climbs from the bus until the terrain flattens out at Fox Glacier where you can begin your day. The rest of the ride leads you through dense native bushlands, rivers, hills, mountains, forest and coastline until we finally hit Haast, situated in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. With National Parks to the north, south and east, everywhere you look, Westland rainforest tumbles across the landscape.”All Trails
Day 14 | Haast to Wanaka
A monster of a day! LONG and HARD! Lots of steep climbs and even towards the end. Just relentless! Plus rain factor. Felt like a great achievement to finish today’s ride.
Extremely cloudy and gloomy start. Not inviting for riding at all. Then rain from 20km onwards until ~60km or so. And much colder today. It’s freaking cold whenever we stop. Everyone was soaking wet. I was shivering at lunch. The gloominess and clouds gave a different feel to the mountains in the background. The views along the steep climb between 52-55km were gorgeous. Shame that I couldn’t take any photos there as we were constantly at >7% with Single Lane Bridge, lots of bends and barely catching my breath as it is.
Although I must say traffic was absolute best this morning. Roads were empty, partly due to the miserable weather (no one would probably want to be on the road in that rain) and it’s a public holiday – Waitangi Day – New Zealand’s National Day. Cars were very respectful, passing us reallyyy slowlyyy and some even cheered us on. I think they felt for us, these crazy bunch of cyclists riding in the rain. Finally clouds cleared after lunch to sunny blue sky. It’s like we were transported to another world! Wet clothes dried in about 30mins, which helped tremendously for the rest of 63km.
And what an ABSOLUTE TREAT we had for the last 63km. The sun was shining on the hills, creating layers of colours. Then out of Makarora town, we rode the highway that hugs the shores of Lake Wanaka for quite some time before it cuts through ‘The Neck’ and once again hugging the shores of Lake Hawea. STUNNING! This would probably be the BEST 30km or so stretch of riding I’ve ridden thus far. Plus there was abit of tailwind to speed us up. Yay! We had rest stop at Fantails Falls, freezing. Decided not to walk into Blue Pools, freezing again. Lunch was at Makarora, Wonderland Makarora Lodge Cafe (inside tourist centre).
Today is Waitangi Day – New Zealand’s National Day, so expect to see some NZ flags and celebrations happening. We say one last goodbye to the Tasman Sea as we work our way inland today around and through Mt Aspiring National Park. Today’s full route to Wanaka is 143km and again available for experienced cyclists up for the challenge. The rest of us will ride either the first 85km from Haast or the last 85km into Wanaka. At the 50km mark there is a very short but steep climb (up to 19%) and again our support vehicle is available to shuttle those who may wish to avoid it. Moving further into the National Park we begin following a new river, the Makarora, this time downstream as it flows towards Lake Wanaka. Be sure to stop at Blue Pools Walk – a definite “Well Worth A Look” (WWAL). From Makarora town, the road hugs the shores of Lake Wanaka for some time in a stunning display of natural beauty – depending on the recent weather you may get the famous picture postcard vista of the snow-capped mountains backdrop, fronted by the beautiful deep blue lake, fringed by green ferns and trees, and a crisp blue sky to accentuate the scene. Take a few photos at Lake Wanaka Lookout before the road cuts through ‘The Neck’ and takes you past the equally impressive Lake Hawea, where we will enjoy afternoon tea on a lakeside beach. Finally, we cross over the flatlands to the stunning township of Wanaka, waiting for you to enjoy your rest day tomorrow.”All Trails
Day 16 | Wanaka to Queenstown
The FINALE! 🚴♀️💪🏼🥳🎉
A very chilly start, only 10 deg C in Wanaka 🥶 Temperature doesn’t really get much higher as the day goes. I only started to feel abit warmer at the start of the long steep climb (~30km). Absolutely FREEZING on the downhill. VERY WINDY today especially on the downhill with gusty winds blowing us everywhere. This was the first downhill that I didn’t quite enjoy – I was fearing for my life whenever the gusty winds hit. There were lots of very narrow hairpin! STRONG GUSTY winds towards the end too. The forecast was 30kph with gusts of 48kph when we near Queenstown.
Today’s roads wasn’t my favourite either. The Crown Range Road was so narrow, not much if any shoulder and it was so so busy, full of cars, most likely tourists. There were also a few roadworks. Gravely between 26-29km. Heavy traffic and more roadworks for the last few kms into Queenstown.
Astonishingly, I found today’s climb to the Crown Range Summit at ~40km was easier than the 10km downhill. The gusty winds REALLY made the downhill so nerve-wrecking! It was windy as well while climbing but I was feeling quite strong reaching the top. I found the 3kms steep climb in Arthur’s Seat was much harder than today’s Crown Range Summit.
We had rest stop at little town of Cardrona. Lunch at Provisions Cafe in Arrowtown then a little loop of Arrowtown.
“Our last day on the bike! You’ll notice a distinct change of scenery today as we take the Cardrona Valley Road up into the alpine region past the cute town of Cardrona and continuing along to Crown Range Road. The rich greens and deep blues that you have become accustomed to in the scenery give way to shades of brown today and the dense vegetation on the roadside has now become much more barren and open, with outstanding vistas out over mountain ranges which will often still be holding snow-capped peaks in the distance, even in summer. Make sure you take a break at a few of the rest stops and roadside viewing areas. You will reach the Crown Range Summit at around 40km which is followed by 10km of downhill and a comparatively flat run for the final 30km of the day. As we plateau out for that last section we loop around the north road via the charming and quirky gold rush village of Arrowtown, where we stop for lunch, and Arthurs Point where we gather at the Shotover River, made famous by the Shotover Jet (anyone up for a ride?!). The last 5km into Queenstown we will ride together as the road snakes down through the hills and opens into the hustle and bustle of Queenstown – finishing lakeside with a celebratory champagne. Our final night digs are at our Swiss Style hotel with stunning views of the surrounding region. Tonight, we celebrate with one last group dinner reflecting on an amazing Kiwi cycling journey. Congrats!”All Trails
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