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5 Day Molesworth Cycle Tour

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Description

The name Molesworth Station evokes New Zealand’s high-country identity – musterers and stockmen and their dogs working livestock in vast tussock landscapes, while for Maori, the area was an easy summer route to the West Coast. Administered by the government for over 50 years, Molesworth Station covers over 180,000 hectares & is the largest farm in New Zealand. Sitting in a valley that endures a continental climate of extreme weather with hot dry summers balanced by harsh cold winters and surrounded by alpine ranges on either side, the landscape is stark and arid with a surreal beauty. The Dept. of Conservation now manages the farm at the same time as protecting the threatened alpine landscapes.

Inclusions

  • Cycle via the scenic Ashley Gorge to Oxford where we visit Jo Seager’s famous café & cooking school Spend a night on a vineyard in the Waipara Valley 
  • Soak in the therapeutic hot springs at Hanmer 
  • Cycle the remote Molesworth Road and visit the historic Molesworth Cob Cottage and Acheron Accommodation House You will dine with a third generation farming family as you overnight in the shearer’s quarters of a high country merino sheep farm 
  • Cycle alongside a spectacular river as it makes its way to the sea via the famous Sauvignon Blanc producing vineyards of the Awatere valley 
  • Picnic in a modern environmentally sustainable vineyard alongside the Pacific Ocean 

Take an optional swim with the dolphins, whalewatch or pelagic bird (albatross) tour in Kaikoura

Rental of our Trek 7500 hybrid bikes is available at NZD $130, these bikes are perfectly suited to the varying road surfaces you will encounter. 

All accommodation provided

Other Information

One of our newest tours, the Molesworth starts out of Christchurch, with five days of cycling in the Northern Canterbury & Marlborough districts. We visit the emerging wine growing district of Waipara Valley and travel via Hanmer Hot Springs onto the isolated road through the Molesworth Station, New Zealand’s largest farm. After a night in the shearer’s quarters of a back country Merino sheep ranch, we follow the river down the beautiful Awatere valley to emerge amongst vineyards alongside the Pacific Ocean. We overnight in Kaikoura with options to view whales, dolphins and albatross before returning to Christchurch via the spectacular Inland Kaikoura road.

Christchurch to Waipara Valley - Waipara to Hanmer Hot Springs - Hanmer to Upcot Station via the Molesworth Valley - Upcot Station to Kaikoura via the Awatere Valley - Kaikoura to Christchurch via the Inland Kaikoura Road

DAY1

Christchurch to Waipara Valley

We meet at our depot at 8.30 a.m. for a bike fitting & test ride before driving out of town. Today’s cycling itinerary is flexible depending on the prevailing wind along the quiet back road from Loburn to Oxford. During the day we will visit the scenic Ashlley River gorge & the Jo Seager’s famous café in the village of Oxford. Late afternoon we drive to our homestay accommodation amongst the vineyards of the Waipara Valley, tonight we enjoy a home cooked meal & sample local wines alongside the pool in the beautifully converted barn at the The Old Glenmark Vicarge Lodge. 

(B,L,D)
Cycling Distance: 
up to 50kms/31 miles 

 
DAY2

Waipara to Hanmer Hot Springs

Waipara to Hanmer Hot Springs – After a relaxed start we cycle the quiet back roads to the historic Hurunui Pub before driving to Hanmer. The rest of the afternoon you have the option to explore the local cycle trails or soak in the thermal hot pools. Tonight you are free to enjoy one of the several excellent local restaurants. 

(B,L)
Cycling Distance:
  up to 50 kms / 31 miles

DAY3

Hanmer to Upcot Station via the Molesworth Valley

Hanmer to Upcot Station via the Molesworth Valley – An early start sees us drive to the top of Jacks Pass before cycling into the Molesworth valley. Flanked by mountain ranges the road follows the Acheron River to the historic Acheron House, built in 1863 it was an overnight stopover in the early stock droving days. We cycle & drive our way along the spectacular valley. just after Ward’s Pass we pass the Molesworth Station settlement before meeting up at the Molesworth Cob Cottage built in 1866. Strong riders will enjoy the beautiful road to Upcot Station, while for the rest we load up and drive to our shearer’s quarters lodging nestled under Mt. Tapuaeouenuku , NZ’s highest mountain outside of the Southern Alps. We dine on local produce tonight with our hosts whose family have farmed this land for three generations. 

(B,L,D) 
Cycling Distance:
up to 86 kms / 53 miles 
Best Cycling: 
Jacks Pass to Acheron House – 27 kms / 17 miles
Guide River to Isolated Flat:
– 30 kms / 19 miles

 
DAY4

Upcot Station to Kaikoura via the Awatere Valley

Upcot Station to Kaikoura via the Awatere Valley – A relaxed start this morning allows us to enjoy this high country Merino sheep farm. After saying farewell to our hosts we set off along the beautiful Awatere river valley, the scenery is spectacular & the road undulating at first before we encounter a long flat section as the valley opens out into the terraced vineyards that produce award winning Sauvignon Blancs. We picnic on Yealand’s Estate, a modern vineyard following sustainable horticultural practices, before driving along the scenic coastline to Kaikoura. If time allows your guides will take you on a dusk walk around the Kaikoura Peninsula. 

(B,L,D)
Cycling Distance:
up to 63 kms / 40 miles 
Best Cycling:
Awatere Valley Vineyard Ride – 32 kms / 20 miles

 
DAY5

Kaikoura to Christchurch via the Inland Kaikoura Road

Kaikoura to Christchurch via the Inland Kaikoura Road – Early morning you have the option of taking a Whalewatch tour, or going on an Encounter with dolphins or albatross. Our guides will deliver those that want to ride to the Inland Kaikoura Road before returning to collect the rest of the group from their marine wildlife experience. We meet up with the cyclists before enjoying an easy downhill run into the village of Waiau for a picnic lunch. There is a final option for one more back country ride before we load up & return to Christchurch where you will be delivered to your local lodging. 

(B,L)
Cycling Distance: 
up to 110 kms 68 miles 
Best Cycling: Mt Lyford to Waiau –
28 kms 
Waiau to SH1 via Leader Road:
31 kms/ 19 miles

Tour Prices 2015/2016

NZ$1,565
Single Supplement ( extra ) NZ$360

 

Departure Dates 2015/2016 

Nov 23rd 2015 Christchurch A
Dec 30th 2015 Christchurch A
Jan 18th 2016 Christchurch A
Feb 15th 2016 Christchurch A
Mar 8th 2016 Christchurch A
Apr 5th 2016 Christchurch A

 

A: Available G: Guaranteed Departure  C: Closed

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