Tour scheduled for Alps 2 Ocean

The new Alps 2 Ocean cycleway is being listed by one South Island company even before the trail is fully built.

Adventure South, which operates a range of guided cycling, hiking and multi-adventure holidays in the South and North Islands, is starting a five-day cycling tour from November 22 along the 314km route from Mt Cook to Oamaru.

Company director Geoff Gabites said the company had an Alps 2 Ocean programme scheduled for the summer and had put it in place as an addition to what it was doing on the Otago rail trail and Molesworth region.

"It's aimed at the same market, but operating as a separate tour."

It was designed as "a natural extension" for people who had already done one of the company's trips and were looking for the next opportunity.

"It's not the full Alps 2 Ocean that will be run in the future, but is tapping into what we think is just stunning cycling," he said.

Already, the company had used some areas of North Otago, such as from Duntroon through the Waiareka Valley to Oamaru and the coast road from Kakanui into Oamaru's historic area.

The Alps 2 Ocean tour was catering to clients who were "looking for more great cycling experiences".

However, it would also give the company a better understanding about such things as weather patterns and where issues may be once the Alps 2 Ocean was fully operational.

The trip at present being offered started from and finished in Christchurch, combining a bus tour with cycling sections taking in Tekapo-Mt Cook-Twizel-Quailburn, Waitaki and Waiareka Valleys to Oamaru.

"What we are getting is a taste of the region until the cycle trail is operational," Mr Gabites said.

Already, there is "some interest", although this season so far was "looking difficult and late" in terms of bookings.

However, the company's clients traditionally booked late.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz

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