get inspired. goRideWe Did It!  The Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail over 4 days & 3 nights – October (Springtime) 2016!

UPDATE:   Sections of the track have since been made off road and completed in Feb 2020.  In particular Aviemore Dam to Kurow.  Please see Alps to Ocean Trail Status page for the latest on the trail.

Rhea, 11yrs & Isaac, 8yrs rode sections on the first 2 days with me.  We choose the alternative start point in Tekapo.  See our story Alps to Ocean:  Planning & Preparation for all the details.  Read on for the highlights and our comments about our trip…

 

Spring time is a fantastic time of year to ride this trail….snow capped mountains reflected in canals and lakes…just breath taking.  The down side to this is slightly unstable weather, we had rain overnight on two of our three nights camping and I endured a southerly weather change going into Oamaru making me cold and wet for the end of my ride.

MY HIGHLIGHTS:

Day One:  Tekapo to Lake Pukaki:  Riding with the kids, canals and the colour of the water, Mt Cook and surrounding snow capped Southern Alps, just awesome.  Also the great little cycle track along Lake Pukaki shore.

[one-third-first]

Tekapo Canals. Alps to Ocean. goRide

[/one-third-first]
[one-third]

Views of Southern Alps. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]
[one-third]

View from Hydro Dam. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]

Day Two:  Lake Pukaki to Lake Ohau to Omarama:  Riding with Rhea to Twizel with stunning views of Mt Cook behind us and the MacKenzie countryside opening up in front of us.  The majestic Ben Ohau & stunning views over Lake Ohau from Tarnbrae Track.

[one-third-first]

Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook. Alps to Ocean. goRide

Lake Ohau. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third-first]
[one-third]

Pukaki Flats Track. Alps to Ocean. goRide

Lake Ohau from Tambrae Track. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]
[one-third]

Ben Ohau. Alps to Ocean. goRide

Tambrae High Point. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]

Day Three:  Omarama to Otematata to Lake Aviemore Dam: Lovely ride along the shore of Lake Benmore to Sailors Cutting – this would be great for kids. Riding over Benmore Dam and peaceful ride along shores of Lake Aviemore.

[one-third-first]

Sailors Cutting. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third-first]
[one-third]

Benmore Dam Pipe. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]
[one-third]

View from top of Benmore Dam. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]

Day Four: Kurow to Duntroon to Oamaru: Great little section through a working vineyard, fun little climb & downhill after Elephant rocks & these amazing rock formations, surprisingly pretty street that is Winsor, Oamaru gardens is stunning and finally the streets and shop fronts of the Oamaru old town – Wow!  It just puts a smile on your face when you see the ocean.

[one-third-first]

Kurow Winery. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third-first]
[one-third]

Maori Rock Art Site. Alps to Ocean. goRide

Winsor. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]
[one-third]

Rolling Oamaru countryside. Alps to Ocean. goRide

Oamaru Public Gardens. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-third]

 

[full_width][/full_width]

MY COMMENTS:

I don’t recommend doing this entire trail over 4 days, it’s meant to be ridden in 6 to 8 for a reason.  Instead of spending most of the day on the bike you can rest up and explore the area you have stopped at and enjoy your surroundings in a more relaxed manner than I managed.

I lost count of how many of these I went through.

I lost count of how many of these I went through.

Sections of this track have not been designed with young families or people towing trailers in mind. Some of it would be really challenging in terms of track widths and surfaces for bikes towing trailers.  Every section of track seemed to have multiple gate/vehicle stop barriers – see photo to right.  I imagine you would need to unhitch your trailer at all these barriers – depending on its height.

Towing any kind of trailer for gear or for your toddler would be difficult from Ohau over the Tarnbrae Track and there are several gravel road sections that are sluggish and hard going on a bike without the added weight of towing something. Bike tyres can clear patheways but trailer wheels sit wide and don’t follow these lines so would get stuck in gravel & shingle.  The river crossings heading to Duntroon where over a foot deep and a couple of metres wide.  The two State Highway 83 road sections after Omarama would also prove difficult/dangerous with any added width.  NOTE – these sections are now off-road, Feb 2020.

So if you have limited time, want to ride with your kids or want to ride with a trailer behind you I suggest picking out sections to complete.

Kid friendly sections include:

  • The Canal Roads make for easy, flat riding but could be a bit long depending on the age of your children, two 15km sections at Tekapo, one 12km section after Twizel
  • The off road section of track next to Lake Pukaki, 13km from Tekapo B Power Station to Lake Pukaki Visitor Centre
  • The Pukaki Flats Track from Lake Pukaki to Twizel, 11km
  • The Lake Ohau shore track from the end of Glen Lyon Road to Lake Ohau Road, 11km
  • Tarnbrae Track from Lake Ohau Lodge to Quailburn Road, 18km – your kids would enjoy this track only if they mountain bike regularly
  • Omarama to Sailors Cutting, 13km
  • Otematata to the top of Benmore Dam, 6km – the last 800m is steep! But well worth the effort
  • Benmore Dam to Aviemore Dam is on an undulating lake side road – watch traffic flow in summer, 22km
  • Kurow to Duntroon, 28km. Give yourself 3hrs…if this is too far do the beginning and finish just after 15km when the trail comes back next to the highway
  • Elephant Rocks to Conlans Road, single track through farmland with great little down section, 7km – your kids would enjoy this track if they mountain bike regularly
  • Pig Island Road just after Winsor to Oamaru, 18km. If this is too far there are a number of places along this section to join the trail at

For more details of sections see Alps to Ocean: Planning & Preparation

 

KIDS COMMENTS:

Isaac, 8yrs said:  It was beautiful because there were lots of canals – the colour of the water was beautiful.  The mountains were exquiste.  The lake was really big and beautiful in front of Mount Cook.

Rhea, 11 yrs said:  It was a good challenge and it was satisfying at the end when we finished.  You got to see the mountains they were amazing.  On the second day the little hilly bit at the start was fun then it was just flat.  It was good to be able to see the buildings of Twizel that we were heading to.

My kids road from Tekapo to Hayman Rd on the first day (30km) and then from Lake Pukaki to Twizel on the second day (11km).

[one-half-first]

ALPS TO…

Mt Cook, Lake Pukaki. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-half-first]
[one-half]

OCEAN

Friendly Bay Oamaru Harbour. Alps to Ocean. goRide[/one-half]

 

 

[themeone_section type=”full-width” bgcolor=”#fafafa” txtcolor=”dark” decotop=”” decobot=””]

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related goRide Resources:

Alps to Ocean:  Planning & Preparation
get ready to goRide – The Kids Guide

We like to help you find your riding smile. Now it’s your turn… Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us smile.

[/themeone_section]

 

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

Clothing & Bags

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Tops and Jackets

Headbands & Neck Warmers for Biking

Bags, Baskets & Panniers for Biking

Rider Safety & Protection

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Gloves

Bike Lights

Bike Bells

First Aid & Personal Care

Hydration

Bike Tow Ropes

Bike Parts & Care

Bike Saddles

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Bike Carriers

Bike & Chain Cleaning

Bike Tools & Tool Kits to Carry

Kids Bike Seats & Bikes

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Mid Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Towing Kids who ride their own Bike

Bike Trailers for Kids

Kids Balance Bikes

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids & Youth

Padded Bike Underwear

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Riding Clothing

Jackets for Biking/Outdoors

Protective Padding

Bike Gloves

Bike Bells

Handlebar Grips

Bike Locks

Hydration

Women

Padded Bike Pants & Underwear

Bike Saddles

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Tops & Jackets

Bike Gloves

Bike Bells

Hydration

Handlebar Grips

Family 

Riding with - 1 year old

Riding with - 2 year old

Riding with - 3 year old

Riding with - 4/5 year old

Riding with - 6+ year old

Ride More Places with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

Men

Bike Helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

Bike Saddle

Bike Gloves

Handlebar Grips

Bike Bell

Smile when you ride

Be Comfortable on your Bike Seat

Riding in Cooler Weather

Riding in Wet Conditions

Be Visible on the Bike

'Fun Up' the Kids Bike/Biking

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Bikepath Riding

Beginner to Fitness

Commuting

Multiday

Multiday with Kids

Kids Attached or Towed on Bikepaths

Grow & Improve your Bikepath Riding

Ride more Bikepaths

Mountain Biking

Women Beginner to Intermediate

Kids Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking with Kids Attached or Towed

Ride more Mountain Bike Trails

Riding in Traffic

Kids Attached or Towed in Traffic

Family Riding

Multiday Bikepath Riding with Kids

Kids Mountain Biking

Ride More Places with Kids

Full Range Kids Bike Seats - Attached or Towed

E-biking

Successfully Ride an E-Bike

goUnders

Buying Guides

Ride more places

NZ Made

Solution Finder

Kids Attached or Towed Buying Guides

Rear Kids Bike Seat

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seat

Front Kids Bike Seat 

Towing Kids who ride their own bikes

Kids Bike Trailers

Kids & Youth Buying Guides

Kids Bike Helmets

Kids Riding Clothing

Kids Padded Bike Pants

Kids Padded Protection

Kids Handlebar Grips 

Kids Balance Bike

Comfort on the Bike Buying Guides 

Bike Saddle

Padded Bike Pants

Bike Jackets

Carrying Gear 

Handlebar Grip

Hydration

Rider Safety and Protection Buying Guides

Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Helmet

Be Visible 

Bike Glove

Bike Light 

Mountain Bike Light

First Aid & Personal Care 

Gear & Care for Bikes Buying Guides

Bike Carriers

Bike Cleaning

Chain Cleaning and Lube

Women & Families Learning

Comfort on your Bike Seat

Improve your Riding

Carrying Gear

Ride More Places

Ride more Bikepaths

Ride more NZ Cycle Trails

Ride more Mountain Bike Trails

Ride more Places with Kids

Riding Gear

Bike Helmets

Padded Bike Underwear & Pants

Bike Gloves

Bike Jackets

Bike Locks

Bike Tools to Carry

Handlebar Grips

Kids Bike Seats

Front Kids Bike Seats

Mid Mount Kids Bike Seats

Rear Kids Bike Seats

Kids Bike Seats - Attached

Types of Riding

Bikepath Riding