Tour Aotearoa - Section 5
Blackball to Wanaka
It’s all about the West Coast. Well almost all! As we ride down the wonderfully wild west coast of New Zealand we encounter a fabulous combination of wild coastlines, rain forest, glaciers as well as cows, cowboys and possibly cow seals.
We have divided the 3000km Kennett Bros Tour Aotearoa into six 7-12 day sections so that you you can enjoy riding and exploring that section in detail - without the hassle of carrying your gear or finding food and accommodation. Our sections loosely follow this classic route and also include plenty of quirky extras, stop-overs and special places in the true Escape Adventures' style.
Section 5: Blackball to Wanaka
It’s all about the West Coast. Well almost all! As we ride down the wonderfully wild west coast of New Zealand we encounter a fabulous combination of wild coastlines, rain forest, glaciers as well as cows, cowboys and possibly cow seals. We stop and take a rest day in New Zealand’s most relaxed town offering us options to explore the Okarito Lagoon by kayak or Heron tour or simply take a walk on the beach.
Start: Blackball (transfers can be organised from Hokitika)
Finish: Wanaka (transfers can be organised to Queenstown)
- A total distance of 560km spread over 8 days of biking.
- 36-122km riding per day on wonderfully scenic gravelled and sealed roads and cycle trails.
- Expect to be plenty of up, downs, rolling and flat terrain. The West Coast has it all!
- A hard tail mountain bike or a touring bike with off road tyres is the ideal bike.
- The route is designed for pedal bikers with a good level of biking fitness / or E-Bikes.
- Hire Bikes are available locally. Contact us if you plan on hiring a bike.
- Dirt/gravel road biking experience will add to the enjoyment of your tour.
- Our ‘Sag Wagon’ support is available (most of the time) should you need a break from the saddle.
- One rest day in Okarito - Rest day options: kayaking or Heron tour on the okarito lagoon, beach walk, read a book!
We will organise the logistics, book accommodation and organise all included meals. Two of our awesome Escape Adventures tour leaders will ride with you, and provide daily briefings, first aid and mechanical support. Our trusty ’Sag Wagon’ support vehicle will carry your luggage, has lunch, snacks and water, and is there if you need a break from the saddle. There are times when the vehicle will need to take a different route and will meet up with you where it can. We will supply you with daily route notes and maps so that you can ride at your own pace throughout the day.
- Included in the tour: All breakfasts and riding snacks, four lunches and two evening meals.
- The other meals (as per the daily itinerary below) are in places where there are dinning and wining options available - therefore at your own cost and choosing. (This gives you more control over the cost of your tour AND spreads the love supporting local businesses!)
- We are most definitely able to cater for vegetarians and special diets and if this includes you, it is essential to advise us of this before your tour begins, so that the support vehicle can be stocked with the necessary supplies.
Typical Included Meals:
Breakfasts - Fresh fruit, muesli, toast and spreads, hot drinks. Cooked breakfast on occasions.
Lunches - Picnic style lunches, fresh salads, cold meats, cheese & bread.
Snacks - Fresh fruit, salty snacks, home baking.
Evening Meal - Prepared by your tour leaders or local accommodation.
All accommodation for the eleven nights of the tour is included. We have explored and chosen the most fitting accommodation we could find to work in with the riding route. For this section we will be using cabins, motels, hotels, lodges and a homestay.
Accommodation is on a share twin basis. If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker. If you do not wish to share a single supplement will apply. Single room options may be limited in some locations.
This cycle tour includes rides of 36-122km per day. Please do read about the daily riding distances taking note of the riding terrain in the itinerary below and prepare accordingly. The more prepared you are the more you will enjoy your adventure! Preparing for your cycle tour should involve:
- riding on gravel, unpaved terrain with some hills.
- 2-3 times a week with rides of 30-50km in length.
Itinerary: Blackball to Wanaka
Day 1: Arrive in Blackball. Transfers available from Hokitika if required. Meet with your tour leaders & fellow bikers at 5pm for your pre-departure meeting and first meal together.
Day 2: WWe warm up with a tootle down the valley to the port town of Greymouth. From here we don our plaid and join the West Coast Wilderness Trail and gently climb to what can only be described as a West Coast icon.
Day 3: What goes up must come down and today we do… We enjoy a stunning ride from Cowboy Paradise down to Hokitika via the Lake Kaniere trails.
Day 4: We absorb the West Coast pace of life on the last and most recent part of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Riding on coastal cycle trail, secondary roads and finally highway we enjoy a smorgasbord of farmland, stunning bush and lakes.
Day 5: Nevermind the Tour Aotearoa. We are going to Okarito - the Jewel in the West Coast crown!
Day 6: No trip to the West Coast is complete without visiting Okarito. There are various options to enjoy Okarito and it’s unique lagoon - by kayak, Heron Tour, Baz’s coffee, Gemma’s cake or simply take a walk on the beach.
Day 7: Get your hill legs out… its back on our bikes we ride into glacier country. We set out early to allow time for optional glacial viewing activities.
Day 8: Today is the biggest ride of the tour! We continue riding south on sealed roads to enjoy this rugged wild west coast coastal section of the beautiful West Coast.
Day 9: Click into your low gears or crank up your battery we’re going over… Up we go - up and over the Southern Alps. Take it slowly - because there is some great scenery to see!
Day 10: We ride from Lake Wanaka to Lake Hawea and back to Lake Wanaka. It sounds like a circle… but it’s not. It’s quite hilly and can be windy but if we’re in luck the resident nor’wester will blow us to Wanaka with the last part on a fun riverside cycle trail.
Day 11: Our final breakfast together on section 5. For those finishing here - a transfer to Queenstown can be arranged. For those continuing on - a well earned rest day and time to explore Wanaka.
*Actual night stops and daily distances may vary depending on accommodation availability.
+Bike Hire if required $400
- Any two consecutive sections - 5% off the tour prices.
- Full South Island. 24 days | NZD $9,300 | Bike Hire if required $750
- Full Tour Aotearoa. 49 days | NZD $18,200 | Bike Hire if required $1,200
Singles: You DON'T have to pay a single supplement!
- If you’re traveling alone, we’ll pair you to twin-share with another biker.
- If you do not wish to share that is fine too, but a single supplement will apply.
Included in your tour:
- 10 nights accommodation
- Meals as per tour itinerary.
- Two Escape Adventures tour leaders
- Local support driver
- Support vehicle & bike trailer
- Rest day in Okarito
Tour Price does NOT include: getting to and from Blackball/Wanaka, optional activities, personal equipment & some meals as per the detailed itinerary.