Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail
There are many ways to discover New Zealand, and one of these ways is by bike.
Alps2Ocean opens up a part of the south island running east to west, which takes us through the mountains where its peak overlooks the Pacific ocean.
I grasped the opportunity to give this product a test run so I can let you in on all its secrets.
This morning my bike and my helmet are delivered to Tekapo where I spent the night. I stock up my water, camera and also my picnic in the convenient saddlebag. All set, off I go in the direction of Twizel, first stretch being 54km. The region’s mountains are surrounding me and its plains are boasting magnificent shades of colour. I take my time to check out the salmon farms and the fishermen along the canal. Then, the turquoise-blue lake Pukaki soon prevails over the countryside.
In order to try out the different products, the following day I opt for an electric bike. I’m smiling by the second pedal. Pretty quickly you get into the rhythm that the mechanism sets. Far from the sounds of cars, the feeling of being privileged soon sinks in. With the sun reflecting on Lake Ohau that I’m riding along, I reach the accommodation. A terrace oversees the lake, the view of Mt Cook is extraordinary and the sunset is outstanding.
Today, direction Omarama, the place renowned for gliders. I climb higher and higher up, guiding the handlebar avoiding stones. I feel the thrill of the numerous downhills in a simply idyllic backdrop. A coffee vender appears in the middle of the nature, so I take a break and enjoy the moment talking to the other cyclists who I met the night before over dinner. Pleasant and social moments like this are almost guaranteed.
I follow the tracks that lead me to Kurow. A multitude of landscapes appear very quickly. The blues of the lakes and the greens of the forests intensify the satisfaction you get from the exercise. I savour my picnic without imagining that the meal I’ll be served that evening at Sublime Lodge will be cooked by a former chef who lived in France, what a delight! The house, full of charm, is bordered by grape vines. Organic and local wine perfectly accompanies the meal, yet another marking encounter and a strong point of the trip.
The last two days crossing the fields offers a very different experience, but just as intense. The Pacific Ocean appears, riding into Oamaru gives you a feeling of pride, a personal gratification. It’s the end of an uncommon experience that will leave everlasting memories.
Amateur, novice or cycling enthusiast, Alps20cean gives you the opportunity to combine both sport and discovery in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This experience off the beaten track is very sought-after by the locals. I can only highly recommend this activity which promises a real kiwi immersion were few tourists venture.
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