Remember Me
Reset your password...

Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

New Zealand S Island Off Road Highlights 2023

  • Arrival
  • 2/10/2023
  • Departure
  • 2/25/2023
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Grant McAlister
  • Tour Company
  • NZBicycletours Ltd
  • Starting Location
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Finishing Location
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4800
  • Deposit
  • $1800
  • Number of Riders
  • 16 (min. 10 /max. 16)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

View larger map...

† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

This tour showcases the terrific off-road cycling in the South Island of New Zealand by utilizing the best parts of the numerous regional bicycle routes and trails. The trails are not a continuous route through New Zealand, consequently there will be several transfers from one regional trail to another allowing you to experience a wide variety of ecosystems from mountains to oceans, grasslands to forests, glaciers to sunny beaches. Generally the trails are well maintained and the cycling on them is what is referred to a “gravel cycling”.

The 15 day tour departs from Christchurch, travelling by minivan to Lake Tekapo where we begin our cycling on the Alps2Ocean cycle trail.  We cycle from Lake Tekapo to Lake Ohau on canal roads and then cycle from Mount Cook Village in the shadow of New Zealand’s tallest mountain to Lake Pukaki, including a short scenic helicopter ride to cross the Tasman River. We cycle through glaciated valley landscape features of the Southern Alps past alpine lakes, popular with local trout fishers. We then transfer to Wanaka, where we cycle trails from Lake Wanaka to Lake Hawea, before a transfer to Haast on the West Coast. After the transfer we will cycle a quiet paved road to Jacksons Bay and back to Haast. From Haast we will transfer up the West Coast to the town of Hokitika to pick up the West Coast Wilderness Trail, passing through historic gold mining towns, wetlands and native forest before heading east again to cycle through the dense beech forests of the Matakitaki Valley in the Buller River region. Heading north, we cycle on quiet country roads and cycle trails to Richmond. We continue to cycle the Great Taste Trail along the coastline around Tasman Bay through orchards and vineyards with views across the Tasman Bay, to finish at the golden sand beach of Kaiteriteri. On the final full day of tour there will be a number of ride choices in the Nelson area or since we are staying on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park, you may choose to spend the day on one of the excellent hiking, kayaking and water taxi options in the park area.

NZ Bicycle Tours will support our ride. This company is based in Christchurch and the owners are experienced cyclists and guides.

The tour is rated 2B with 12 required riding days. The ride includes 3 days above the 2B rating, one day with 59 miles and 200 feet of climbing, a second with 49 miles and 2,800 feet of climbing and one day with 53 miles and 2,900 feet of climbing. Most days have additional routes for riders wanting longer rides and there are optional routes on non-mandatory riding days including rides up to a 4D rating. The cycling will be on purpose built cycle paths and lightly used gravel roads. Some rides include paved roads with light traffic.  A day-by-day itinerary with daily mileage and elevation is available by contacting the Ride Coordinator.

While NZ Bicycle Tours will transfer luggage and be available for emergency support due to injury, illness or mechanical problems, it is expected that riders be willing to cycle the entire ride, except for group transfers. On a number of days there will be portions of the trail that cannot be accessed by the support van.  Rental bikes will be supplied with flat repair kits.

If you bring your own bike, we strongly recommend it be equipped with 40mm or wider tires due to the off-road nature of the tour. Your bike boxes will be stored in Christchurch at no additional cost.

Bike rentals are available through NZBicycletours ( offers 24 speed Specialized Roll Elites, equipped with a rear rack and trunk bag, Suntour Suspension Seatpost and BBB touring seat. Specialized Align helmets are included. The cost of bike rental including helmet, if required, is NZ$230. 

The temperatures in February, mid-summer, are typically 70 – 77°F during the day and cooler at night, but may be higher inland and lower near the coast. The weather is unpredictable in New Zealand, so you will need clothing for a wide range of conditions including warm and water-proof clothing for cycling and walking.

Accommodation is on a double room basis, with private facilities and are typically 3-4 star quality. Included in the tour price are 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 11 dinners, as well as a daily happy hour with snacks and drinks featuring NZ wines and craft beers.

The tour begins Monday late afternoon, Feb 10 at the Orari Bed and Breakfast in central Christchurch with introductions, and a safety & tour briefing. Our New Zealand support team will provide transfers from Christchurch Airport 8:.00 – 12:00 noon on Feb 10th by prior arrangement ( The ride ends on the morning of Feb 25 in Nelson with free transfers to Nelson airport, Picton or Christchurch.

The tour cost of $4800 per person is based on the New Zealand dollar being valued at US $0.70. The price includes arrival transfers on Day 1 from 8:.00 – 12:00 noon. The tour price also covers departure transfers to Nelson airport, Picton or Christchurch on Day 16, vans to transport us and luggage, cycling snacks, drinks and water, maps and route notes and happy hour expenses featuring NZ wines and craft beers The price does not include airfare to Christchurch or any other flights, entry fees to optional activities, beverages at included dinners or everyday gratuities. Guide gratuities are at participant discretion but a standard range would be $120 to $200 for the tour.

A limited number of solo supplements are available at NZ$ 2200 which at the current exchange rate is approximately US$1450 and payment is due on Aug 15, 2022. It is recommended that a single who wants a roommate try to find their own. After receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until Aug. 15, 2022 to find a roommate. If you are unable to find a roommate, you will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $1450 solo supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Coordinator will assist by attempting to match singles that apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office bu Aug 15,2022. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.  All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit $1800 by credit card. The second payment of $1500 is due on August 15, 2022, and last payment of $1500 is due on November 1, 2022.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

© Copyright Bicycle Adventure Club, 2013, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy