As the trail enters the sixth season of business, it’s timely to take a moment and consider two of the issues that come up when you are planning to ride this trail.

How long do you have available to ride the trail?

The Alps2Ocean trail has eight sections – with a ninth section offered as an alternative start from Lake Tekapo. These sections range from as little as 24km up to 54km – so clearly you can run a couple of these sectors together if you are pushed for time. At Cycle Journeys we find a six-night/six-cycle-days itinerary the most popular option. For some, cycling is not the major attraction so expanding the time out to a full eight-days cycling isn’t an issue.

Lake Ohau Lodge, an ideal location for lunch and taking in the spectacular views Exploring the historic woolshed at the Quailburn stream

The cycling involved is diverse – from smooth sealed roads, gravel roads, through to occasionally rough shingle trails. Riders expectations of how long they will take, often ignore the trail surface as they compare what they ride in a single Sunday ride to facing day six of the trail. Over-estimating how you may feel on day six sometimes leads to a feeling that this 50km feels much longer than yesterday’s! Currently the trail is 54 per cent off-road (or 62 per cent if you take the Lake Tekapo start option.)

Which is the best place to start from?

To read this and other articles on the NZ Today website please click here to sign up for a membership. Once a member and logged in, you'll be able to read all the articles on the site.