Home > Destination > Otago > Otago Central Rail Trail 1-5 days 152kms

Otago Central Rail Trail 1-5 days 152kms - 2 Days

central otago rail trail NZ FIRST GREAT RIDE
Otago Central Rail Trail 1-5 days 152kms
993

Otago Central Rail Trail 1-5 days 152kms $993

Home to beautiful landscapes and amazing wineries, Central Otago is also the home of New Zealand original Great Ride -the Otago Central Rail Trail.

New Zealand first ever rail trail :

Steeped in history, this pioneering cycle trail offers a 152km scenic journey into the Central Otago heartland.

Named after the old railway line, built between 1891 and 1907, the Otago Central Rail Trail is New Zealand’s original ‘Great Ride’.

It travels through big-sky country where cyclists traverse ever-changing dry and rocky landscapes, high-country sheep stations, spectacular river gorges, tunnels and viaducts.

There are over 20 townships located on and off the trail. Take the opportunity to meet the locals with their still-present pioneering spirit and take detours and side trips to places such as old abandoned gold diggings left over from the gold rush and the country’s only international curling rink.

The Central Otago climate is characterised by hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall. The autumn landscape is renowned in these parts for the kaleidoscope of browns, golds and reds.

You should allow at least four full days to bike the trail – more if you want to do some exploring off the trail. If you’re after a shorter ride, there are numerous townships located along the trail where you can start or end your ride. As a well-established cycle trail, there are plenty of places to stop for refreshments and accommodation.

Self Guided Tours including jet boat excursions, sightseeing, wine tours and more on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Roxburgh  Gorge Trail. and Clutha Gold Trail. Daily transport to and from Queenstown Bike hire including eBikes Luggage Transfer Free Itinerary planning.

2 Day meet Central  Otago NZ$993pp ex Queenstown

Enjoy a little Cycling through amazing landscape and a guided sightseeing tour through historic places, Try your hand at Curling or take in a Farm visit. End your trip on the spectacular Taieri George Railway to Dunedin

Also “NZ BIKE TRAILS” TAB at the top

RIDING THE TRAIL

If you’re planning to ride the entire Otago Central Rail Trail you can start your ride in either Middlemarch or Clyde.

The trail is 100% gravel (a bit rough in places) is well-signposted and free maps are readily available. For $10 you can buy a special Rail Trail Passport and have it stamped at towns along the way, to prove you rode the entire trail.

You should allow at least four full days to bike the trail – more if you want to do some exploring off the trail.

If you’re after a shorter ride, there are numerous townships located along the trail to start or end your ride.

Access to the Otago Central Rail Trail is free.

CLYDE TO ALEXANDRA, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 8KM

Make sure you visit the historic Clyde township before you start at the railhead for the trail. This section is flat and a good way to get settled in the saddle. The main feature is the wooden Muttontown Viaduct.

The trail is a couple of kilometres from the retail and service part of Alexandra so if you need to shop there do allow time. Alexandra is the largest town on the trail and is fully serviced.

ALEXANDRA TO CHATTO CREEK, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 17KM

Heading north, this section follows the Manuherikia River which flows south to join the mighty Clutha.

The trail traverses the farming area of Galloway and is completed at New Zealand’s best small hotel (2013) at Chatto Creek, which also has New Zealand’s smallest operating post office.

CHATTO CREEK TO OMAKAU, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 12KM

Ride up Tiger Hill on a sweeping rise crossing the state highway twice. Enjoy the views and the ganger shed information boards along the way. Then you have a straight descent into Omakau, a town with most services.

A side trip to historic Ophir and the 1880 suspension bridge is worth the additional few kilometres.

OMAKAU TO LAUDER, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 7KM

Past newly established dairy farms and more intense irrigation, Lauder has accommodation, a hotel and a café. It also has a NIWA weather base.

LAUDER TO OTUREHUA, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 21KM

There is a gentle rise north into the Poolburn Gorge with its two tunnels. Then it is a straight ride up the Ida Valley past historic Hayes Engineering. This is a popular day trip section of the trail.

Oturehua boasts Gilchrists general store, which is still set out as it was 100 years ago, and a hotel.

OTUREHUA TO WEDDERBURN, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 12KM

Immediately you are offered a diversion to Golden Progress Mine where there are gold-mining remains and a stamper battery.

Then it is a slow climb out of the Ida Valley to the highest point of the trail before you start swinging east into the Maniototo. Wedderburn has pub food and accommodation. A popular diversion is to St Bathans.

WEDDERBURN TO RANFURLY, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 14KM

Easy riding east across the open Maniototo Plain to the second biggest service town on the trail. Consider a diversion to Naseby to try indoor curling or mountain bike tracks.

RANFURLY TO WAIPIATA, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 8KM

Easy downhill ride to small rural township with hotel and some accommodation. Great fly fishing available in the Taieri River.

WAIPIATA TO KOKONGA TO TIROITI TO HYDE, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 24KM

The trail now leaves the Maniototo through the upper Taieri Gorge, following the river. Kokonga and Tiroiti have accommodation available and some nice picnic sites.

Flat, easy riding with a viaduct and tunnel makes this section a perfect one-day taste-tester. Hyde has accommodation and fuel.

HYDE TO MIDDLEMARCH, (GRADE 1 EASIEST) 28KM

An easy downhill ride south, unless a southerly is blowing, into the Strath Taieri valley. The Rock and Pillar Range is on your right.

The end of the trail is also the terminus for the Taieri Gorge Railway. A walk around New Zealand’s only inland salt lake to the south of the valley is a nice time-filler.

Otago Central Rail Trail 1-5 days 152kms

Home to beautiful landscapes and amazing wineries, Central Otago is also the home of New Zealand original Great Ride -the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Self Guided Tours including jet boat excursions, sightseeing, wine tours and more on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Roxburgh  Gorge Trail. and Clutha Gold Trail. Daily transport to and from Queenstown Bike hire including eBikes Luggage Transfer Free Itinerary planning.

2 Day meet Central  Otago NZ$993pp ex Queenstown

Enjoy a little Cycling through amazing landscape and a guided sightseeing tour through historic places, Try your hand at Curling or take in a Farm visit. End your trip on the spectacular Taieri George Railway to Dunedin

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

%d bloggers like this: