Our Story

Back in 2006 while we were running guided tours ex Christchurch, there was a major growth in the number of cyclists exploring the Otago Central Rail Trail. Led by female baby boomers travelling in groups while their husbands somehow were forced to stay home and work, play golf, see a man about a dog….,  women clearly gained the ascendency in cycling the dedicated cycleways. Rolling forward to 2009, and our PM John Key recognised a great idea when he saw one – and with that (and a small bundle of $50 million) the Nga Haerenga Cycle Trail umbrella was born.  Now hosting 23 cycle trails of many different grades, the network provides trails from Northland through to Southland.

By 2012, the organising committee of the Alps 2 Ocean was ready to open – on a somewhat limited basis. Cycle Journeys was first off the block with a depot in Twizel. 30 bikes which soon became 60 and then three years later 150.

By 2017/18 Summer, in time for our 6th season, we now have 300 bikes, 30 of which are E-Bikes, 6 vehicles – buses and vans, and some 6 cycle trailers. We opened a new base in Twizel at Benmore Place as well as an Oamaru depot where you can drop your bikes off.

For the 2017/18 season we also opened a depot on the West Coast Wilderness Trail in Hokitika and in association with Chris Steel of Wilderness Trail Shuttle, now have a full offering as well for this great West Coast experience.  As the trail network expands, so also will we, ensuring we cater for the needs of cyclists on key trails across the country.

The Beginning

Our early engagement with the planning of the Alps 2 Ocean trail got us excited and based on our knowledge and experience of providing awesome tours for cyclists since 1992, establishing ourselves on the trail felt like a natural thing to do.

In November of 2012, we took over a sunny office, relocated two containers, 30 bikes and 2 vehicles and an ‘Open Now’ sign in Twizel. New sections of the trail slowly opened, as did the awareness of this amazing opportunity.

Too big for our boots…

More clients required more bikes which required more containers and even a roof to keep out the sun (and occasional rain and snow – four years into the life of Cycle Journeys and we risked looking like a container port, having outgrown our site and feeling that we deserved to give our great staff some warmer working conditions!).

The nearby Mackenzie Centre beckoned and in December 2016 we celebrated bright new depot and offices, just in time for an extremely busy season. The word has spread quickly about the stunning scenery of the Southern Alps and the beautiful lakes of the Waitaki Valley.  Trail sections continue to be completed, allowing us to take more and more of the trail off-road, or to share quiet backcountry rural roads.

The West Coast beckoned

The 132 km West Coast Wilderness Trail opened for its first riders in 2012.  As our customers from the Alps 2 Ocean trail started to express interest and request assistance in organising their next trip, expanding our reach to include the West Coast Wilderness Trail seemed an obvious thing to do. In partnership with the major shuttle operator Wilderness Trail Shuttle, we established a Hokitika depot mid Winter 2017 in time for our first Winter group to enjoy what is special about the coast – away from the mad rush of Summer. Part of the appeal of the trail is experiencing the history of the area – famous for early gold strikes, the milling of native timber or the mining of coal reserves. Some accommodation has been lovingly preserved and restored providing a picture into the past, and the township of Kumara is a stunning example of that.