Distance: 54km Fitness: Easy Skill: Easy Traffic: Low Grade: 2
The Alternative Route begins just outside Tekapo township in the Lakeside car park which is accessed via Hamilton Drive off SH8. Following the red Trail markers will take you on the off-road track beside the main road in to the Lake Tekapo Village. You are permitted to use the pedestrian path across the road bridge, but please give way to pedestrians, they have priority.
Follow this track until you reach Aorangi Crescent [2.2km], turn left here and continue along Aorangi Crescent then turn right into Andrew Don Drive [0.5km]. There is a new subdivision being built here so be aware of construction traffic. Eventually Andrew Don Drive becomes a gravel road [0.8km].
Passing Tekapo A Power Station [3km] continue along the Tekapo Canal Road to the gate where vehicles are excluded [9km].
Take care crossing SH8 [15km] then continue on past the Mt Cook Alpine Salmon farm and the toilet [24km], before dropping down to Lake Pukaki [30km]. Turn left onto Hayman Road and ride to the start of the off-road trail on your right [35km], which follows the Lake Pukaki shoreline.
With Aoraki/Mt Cook as a backdrop, the Trail passes over the Pukaki dam, taking you to the car park and toilets. The Mt Cook Alpine Salmon shop [44km] also has Cycle Trail maps on the wall and general tourist information.
You then cross the highway and follow the Trail across Pukaki Flats – an expansive area of dry grasslands that are characteristic of the Mackenzie landscape. This takes you to the town of Twizel [54km].
Take care crossing the State Highway.