Southern lakes of New Zealand & Fiordland national Park

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Queenstown, Glenorchy and Milford Sound - Flexible dates for private groups

New Zealand's Southern region is without doubt spectacular. There will be many highlights starting with the ride to Glenorchy on day 2 which is world class. The following day we catch the Earnslaw over to Walter Peak where we've hired Mountain bikes. (or e-bikes if you prefer) It's then 90km of unmatched beauty on the "Around the Mountains" cycle trail past the stunning Mavora Lakes. The climax of your adventure is the opportunity to ride from Milford Sound to Te Anau through Fiordland National Park.

Overview of the Tour

This Flexi trip is designed around you and 10 (minimum) friends travelling when you want to travel. Because this is a flexi tour we are more than happy to customise the itinerary to match what you want to do.

Normal Ride Holidays conditions apply. This holiday will run seamlessly with all arrangements made for you. Your bike rides will be fully supported. Safety is our primary concern. Choice of 3 rides most days - cappuccino 50km, latte 70-80km and espresso - 100km plus. Team Mac (non-riders) are welcome and a plan will be put in place to accommodate them once we know numbers.

More importantly - we eat and drink at the best restaurants, wineries and cafes.

New Zealand's Southern Lakes | Tour Details

Tour Inclusions & Highlights

  • 3 nights in 4 star accommodation in Queenstown and Te Anau (although you could upgrade to Fiordland Lodge or the Milford Sound Lodge)
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown) and ride from Walter Peak Station
  • Airport transfers and meals as per the itinerary. Cycling snacks on the road
  • Hand-picked cafes and restaurants
  • This trip is designed around 10 clients and 2 staff. Our ratio is 1/5 so we would add staff to accommodate your final numbers
  • 2 vehicles to allow for flexibility. Bike trailer
  • Bike hire is included for day 3. (Mountain or e-bikes)
  • Multiple ride options for varying abilities
  • Official traffic management vehicle on the Milford Sound day
  • RIDE Holidays cycle jersey and souvenir tour booklet
  • GPS routes available for upload to personal devices
  • Team Macchiato will have a separate itinerary to the cyclists. (This is open to discussion)

    The Tour Price Excludes

    • Airfares and extra accommodation
    • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Travel insurance
    • Sports bars, gels etc. We will supply bananas, muesli bars, electrolyte powder etc

      The Tour Cost

      • 7 days / 6 nights Approximately NZD$3850.00 per person (based on 10 people) This would be cheaper with larger groups.
      • NZD $770.00 extra for your own room

      Optional Extras

      Doubtful Sound - $220.00 per person including lunch. Kepler excursion $240.00 per person.

      There are a wide range of optional extras including upgrades in accommodation, helicopters etc etc etc.

      Payment terms…

      There is no deposit until 120 days prior to departure. We will monitor the COVID situation and keep you posted if things change. We are happy for you to book flights. Balance is due 60 days prior to departure.

        Tour Itinerary

        Day 1

        Arrive Queenstown

        We suggest you arrive mid to late morning if you can. We'll meet you at the airport and transfer you to our central Queenstown hotel. (because this is a flexi tour, we can discuss hotel choice)

        Early this afternoon we put the bikes together and head out for a short (about 3pm) spin. We'll have a support vehicle close by to catch up with those first day mechanicals. Today's ride is only 30km. We'll build things up slowly as the tour goes on. If there's time we'll pop into a local craft brewery for a beer on the way back into town. Rude not to.

        Team Macchiato head off to Arrowtown for a coffee or wine where you'll have the chance to meet your guide for the week.

        Tonight, we've picked one of Queenstown best restaurants - it's important we start appropriately. We introduce the team and answer any questions you may have.

        Welcome to Queenstown.

        / Accommodation - Peppers Beacon
        / Meals - Welcome Dinner at BlueKanu

        Day 2

        Ride to Glenorchy

        There's a reason why this road features on the TV1 news every night. It's absolutely stunning and a great way of starting our trip.

        We always like our first ride to be an out and back. It takes the pressure off you as we realise that not all of you will want to ride the whole distance. We leave our hotel and ride to the northern end of the lake and the small town of Glenorchy. It's 45km each way and you can decide to ride either 1 or both ways. Yes - there are hills. At the very least there's a cracking view from the top of each climb.

        It would be hard to get lost today although we will be around you at all times with water, bananas etc. Keep the blue stuff to your left on the way to Glenorchy and then when you return keep the blue stuff to the right. We're going to encourage the stronger riders to join us for an extra 9km through to Rees River as it would be nice to finish the trip off with a ton. (and 1800VM)

        Team Mac - we thought it would be nice if you started your day with a coffee. And a gondola. Or, you could even choose a jet boat road on the Shotover if you prefer? Anyway - plenty to do before jumping in the van and catching up with the cyclists for lunch. On the way home we suggest you pop into the art gallery, garden at little Paradise.

        / Accommodation - Peppers Beacon
        / Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (St Moritz)

        Day 3


        This morning we send our road bikes, luggage to Te Anau while we jump on the Earnslaw and head for Walter Peak Station on the other side of Lake Wakatipu. Yes - Ride Holidays is predominantly a road cycling tour company however this cycle trail in our humble opinion is the best off road experience in NZ. Quite simply - it's not to be missed.

        Waiting for you at Walter Peak will be Garth and the team from Wild Rides Fiordland. They'll have your perfectly (size) matched mountain or e-bike waiting for you. It's then 90km of share bliss and the prevailing wind is generally behind you. The actual road is well maintained gravel as we cycle alongside the Oreti and Mataura rivers and through the native tussock lands of Walter Peak and Mt Nicholas stations - both authentic high-country farms.

        Lunch (and champagne) is at no other than Mavora Lakes - one of the awe-inspiring locations featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. We then cycle the remaining 25km to where we'll call it quits for today. Te Anau is our home for the next 3 nights and is about an hours drive away. Nestled on the edge of the South Island's largest lake, Te Anau is the spectacular stepping off point for those exploring the wilderness of Fiordland.

        Tonight, we dine at the Fat Duck. You will be treated well as we are regulars. I suggest the Blue cod.

        / Accommodation - Te Anau Distinction (superior rooms)
        / Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

        Day 4

        UNESCO Rest day

        Tomorrow is D-day. Our queen stage. Today is designed around rest and relaxation. Yes - it's a holiday. (kind of)

        Here is what we suggest.

        1, a gentle coffee ride after breakfast down Lake Manapouri. Maximum mileage is 50km. You then have the rest of the day to rest up. We could arrange massage for those who are keen.

        2, we expect the majority of you to book the day trip to Doubtful Sound. Cruise across beautiful Lake Manapouri and over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where you will board our catamaran for a three-hour cruise taking in the dramatic scenery of Doubtful Sound. This would be my suggestion if you have not visited Doubtful Sound before.

        3, there are a huge number of walks which we can recommend - including the challenging Kepler track. This afternoon we could arrange a guided 5 hour jet boat, 6km walk on the Kepler. It's the perfect opportunity to answer emails, do washing in the morning and then tick off something constructive in the afternoon.

        This evening we all eat together as there are logistics to talk through for tomorrow. Some of you will be nervous. Others excited. We will answer all your questions and try and dampen down those hills for you.

        / Accommodation - Te Anau Distinction
        / Meals - Breakfast and Dinner (Lunch included for those on the Doubtful Sounds trip)

        Day 5

        Milford Sound to Te Anau (Queen stage)

        Milford Sound is located within Fiordland National Park, an area that has held UNESCO World Heritage status since 1986. The pristine environment provides a perfect habitat for birdlife and a safe haven for dolphins, fur seals and endangered penguins.

        With an average yearly rainfall of 7000mm (7 metres), Milford Sound is one of the wettest inhabited places on earth and one of the best places to experience the power of nature. Exceptional rainfall produces Milford's famous waterfalls as well as its unique underwater ecosystem where sea and freshwater meet.

        You can choose between the 122km Milford to Te Anau, 100km Homer to Te Anau or 65km Knobs Flat to Te Anau.

        Let's talk you through the day. After breakfast we all (including Team Mac) pile in the vans and drive to Milford Sound. We then have lunch before starting what could possibly be the most scenic bike ride of your life. This particular road can get busy so we'll have an official traffic management vehicle with us today. (as well as the RH vehicles)

        The 122km ride starts at sea level and for the first 5km it is not much more than a false flat (climb about 100m) and before the road rises sharply. Over the next 14km you climb constantly to about 900m. It's here where we will be waiting to help you through the Homer tunnel. It's then about 12km decent to the foot of the Divide. The Divide is a 130m climb over 1.5kms. The remaining 85-90km is mainly flat or a gentle decent. But like a good Ride Holiday's guide I can't discount the occasional slight uphill bit.

        All in all - a fantastic day. Oh, did we mention coffee. Yes, we've arranged a coffee cart for Mirror Lake. That's about halfway. Espresso please!!

        / Accommodation - Te Anau Distinction
        / Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

        Day 6

        Back to Queenstown

        Today is the flexi part of the flexi holiday. We're open to what you want to do. Here are a couple of suggestions.

        Our recommendation after breakfast is to head back to Queenstown. But wait - let's stop just short of town itself. Yes - our advice is to take advantage of the closed road that is the Remarkables Ski field. It's simply remarkable. (sorry but it is) It's also quite challenging but that's the beauty of a closed one-way road - you can turn around when you've had enough. You'll be super fit by now so you may even find it easy.

        Or, for a slightly more relaxed final ride we head straight back to our Queenstown hotel and ride to Arrowtown for a coffee. Let's call this option the fluffy choice. You could turn that into an espresso option though by riding up to Coronet Peak on the way back.

        Lot's of options….

        Something that's set-in stone though - a really nice meal with good friends to finish our week-long adventure. We dine tonight at a winery.

        / Accommodation - Peppers Beacon
        / Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

        Day 7

        Home James

        Let's recap - Starting Queenstown we rode to Glenorchy and back which in our opinion has to be some of the nicest paved road in the country. We then swapped over to mountain bikes for what is arguably the best cycle trail the country has to offer. Our Queen stage was through no other than Fiordland National Park. Throw in Doubtful Sound and a ride up the Remarkables and it certainly reads well.

        Seriously - could this have been any better!!! We doubt it.

        After breakfast we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Thank you for travelling with Ride Holidays.

        We look forward to travelling with you again in the near future.


        Karl and RH team


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