Lake Tekapo to Cromwell

Lake Tekapo to Omarama

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On the Canal Road

Lake Tekapo has numerous tourist and sightseeing activities (Church of Good Shepherd). But most of the best is free. Take a walk in the blue evening and see this glacial fed lake in the fading daylight; memorable.

When you leave Lake Tekapo, avoid the main road south and take the canal route to your left (best not into a headwind). This is a quiet, partly sealed route that runs alongside the blue canals south and gives you unbelievably beautiful views of Mt.Cook, New Zealand's largest peak. There is a DOC camp en route with basic facilities. The canal road takes you within twenty or so kilometres of Twizel. Given the road is generally downhill, cyclists who stay at Lake Tekapo generally make their next campsite Omarama.

Omarama is at a main junction. There are tea rooms, bars, restaurants, store and campground. A pleasant spot, Omarama is a place where decisions must be made. There are three ways you can go: Cromwell, Oamaru, or St. Bathans...

Omarama to Cromwell via the Lindis Pass

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Once you get through the Lindis Pass, mostly downhill cycling through a long and lovely curving road that takes you up and through to Otago, you get your first glimpse of that loveliest of barren landscapes, the dry tussock land and brown hills. It's a magical country and has that semi-arid desert feel and clean air that makes you tingle. Get in closer and you will discover small lizards (harmless) and a large number of colourful alpine plants.

Take a side road into any unpeopled valley and you will always find traces of the pioneers and the gold diggers. Stone huts, mines and water races, all empty and abandoned for the most part. Iron pipes, once used to blast the hills apart to look for gold, lie rusting in the fields. But if you are feeling adventurous, try the following third route... over the Ewe Range and down the Hawkdun Runs road toward St Bathans.

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