Total tour distance: 620 miles
Daily tour distance: 52 miles
Difficulty: 60 / 100
The Southern Alps tour takes one on a breathtaking loop through some of the world's finest scenery. Stay in charming inns and hotels. Walk on a glacier, experience the rainforest on a range of short hikes and meet friendly New Zealanders. Ride to Mt Cook and stay on a sheep farm. Besides great biking you can try jet-boating, rafting, scenic flights and bungy jumping. This is one of our most popular trips, and the Southern Lakes region has just been rated eighth on Lonely Planet's list of the best regions to visit in 2012.
DAY 1 CHRISTCHURCH.
Meet in Christchurch, capital of the South Island, for a shake-down ride .
DAY 2 ARTHUR'S PASS.
Start biking at Porter's Pass through Southern Alps wilderness to Arthur's Pass and a night at the renowned Wilderness Lodge. Enjoy a high country farm tour or a short hike.
DAY 3 HOKITIKA.
After a short walk to the Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall enjoy a fabulous descent of Otira Gorge to the sea and Hokitika.
DAY 4 + 5 FRANZ JOSEF.
Time for a walk up the valley to the terminal ice and perhaps a scenic flight onto the snow. View the snowy peaks of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman reflected in beautiful Lake Matheson.
DAY 6 LAKE MOERAKI.
Ride through lush rainforest to Lake Moeraki. Here we enjoy the comfort of the Wilderness Lodge, take a bush walk or canoe on the lake.
DAY 7 MAKARORA.
Enjoy an optional jet-boat ride up the Wilkin River in Mt Aspiring National Park.
DAY 8 WANAKA.
To picturesque Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, famed for trout fishing. Visit a vineyard or take a hike up Mt Iron.
DAY 9 + 10 QUEENSTOWN.
Pass Arrowtown, a beautifully restored old gold mining town, on the way to Queenstown, surrounded by mountains on spectacular Lake Wakatipu. Try rafting, jet boating, a day trip to Milford Sound or a bungy jump.
DAY 11 OMARAMA.
Ride through the Otago tussock country and across the Lindis Pass to McKenzie Country.
DAY 12 MT COOK.
We ride alongside Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, Australasia's highest mountain. Time to take in the grandeur of the scene with a walk up Hooker Valley.
DAY 13 FARM STAY.
Ride to Lake Tekapo, down Burke's Pass to stay on a sheep farm at Fairlie.
DAY 14+15 CHRISTCHURCH.
After a short ride through the scenic Pareora Gorge we bus to Christchurch for a farewell dinner.