A2O Fast Track Overview
Our A2O Fast-Track is designed for the serious bike rider, and is based on high daily mileage to cycle the entire Alps 2 Ocean trail in just four days.
Choose to start the trail from the base of the Alps at Mt Cook Village or from Lake Tekapo. You will wind your way across the tussock plains of the Mackenzie Basin, around the edges of the big lakes created by the hydro power system, and through the Waitaki Valley and rolling farmland to end at the harbour in Oamaru.
With the nature of the Alps 2 Ocean trail being a mix of off-road trails, gravel road, and some tarseal, the 67-83km daily distances of the A2O Fast Track are equivalent to cycling 85-105km on road. This makes this trip option suitable for extremely fit cyclists who are comfortable being on the bike for long durations for four consecutive days. Only standard bike hire is available for the Fast Track.
Select the map to view your start options – Mt Cook or Tekapo.
Trips operate between October – Mid May
A2O Fast Track Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Twizel & get ready for your cycling holiday
We recommend allowing a day of travel to get to Twizel from Christchurch or Queenstown.
If you have chosen the Mt Cook Village or Tekapo start you can stay the night in Twizel and take the afternoon to explore this rural township. Or go on our 2:30pm shuttle to Mt Cook Village and upgrade your accommodation to stay at Mt Cook Village itself.
Day 2: Mt Cook Village or Tekapo to Twizel
Our morning shuttle will take you to your chosen start point on the trail, or if you have stayed the night at Mt Cook Village you can head away on the bike from there.
For the Mt Cook Village start, after a 6km trail section you will take a heli-flight over the Tasman River to continue the trail on the other side of the river. If having started from Tekapo the ride begins by following the canal where it eventually meets up with Lake Pukaki at the top of the Tekapo B Power Station.
Cycle the trail along the edge of Lake Pukaki with stunning views of the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook. You’ll then cross the tussock plain of the Mackenzie Country to end your first days cycle back at Twizel.
- 54km cycle from Tekapo to Twizel
- 77km cycle from Mt Cook Village to Twizel
Spend the night in Twizel
Day 3: Twizel to Omarama (83km)
Cycle the sealed canal roads from Twizel before joining on to the lakeside trail that follows around Lake Ohau. From there it’s a long climb to the Tarnbrae Highpoint where at the top you will have incredible views of the Mackenzie Basin, Lake Ohau, and the canal in the distance. The route then heads downhill through the Quailburn.
For extra sightseeing take the 7km detour to the amazing Clay Cliff rock formations, or carry on directly to Omarama to relax in the wood fired Omarama Hot Tubs in town.
Spend the night in Omarama.
Day 4: Omarama to Kurow (67km)
One of the most scenic days on the trail, todays ride takes you along the backcountry roads of Lake Benmore and Lake Aviemore. Take in the spectacular views of the Waitaki Valley from the top of the Benmore Dam, the biggest earth-filled water retaining structure in New Zealand, and cycle on to Kurow township via several sections of dedicated cycle trail.
Spend the night in Kurow
Day 5: Kurow to Oamaru (82km)
Follow the trail along the Waitaki River, passing through the vineyard just out of Kurow’s township. After about 23km you will come to the Maori Rock art site before continuing on through the wetlands into Duntroon.
Cycling out of Duntroon you enter a region of some of New Zealand’s most stunning farmland. The rolling hills feature the Elephant Rock formations, the Rakis Railway Tunnel, and the trail twists and turns on its way to the seaside town of Oamaru where you will end up at Friendly Bay at the Pacific Ocean.
Finish your journey here, enjoy a celebratory drink at Scott’s Brewery, explore the unique Victorian precinct, or add an extra night’s accommodation in Oamaru.