Otago Central Rail Trail, Guided Bike Tours

New Zealand Bike Tours on the Otago Rail Trail

The "Otago Central Rail Trail" is one of New Zealand's great recreational trails used by bikers, walkers and horse riders. It follows part of the route of the old railway line from Clyde to Middlemarch, which originally linked Dunedin with Cromwell. The link from Middlemarch to Clyde took 16 years to complete this 150 km section, crossing numerous bridges, viaducts and culverts through some most spectacular scenery, including the Maniototo Plain, farmland, hills and gorges.

The rail road was originally built to service the booming gold mining industry that developed after the discovery of gold in 1861, linking the gold mines with the city of Dunedin. As the gold boom subsided, the railway line eventually closed.

In February 2000 the Central Otago Rail Trail was re-opened as the first rail trail in New Zealand. Before being opened all the sleepers, rock ballast and railway lines were removed, and the track was replaced by a gravel surface.

The prevailing winds in Otago are Northwesterly. By cycling from the Clyde end of the Otago Rail Trail, you do receive some protection from the nearby hills. The track goes slightly downhill between Clyde and Alexandra, with the Northwesterly behind you, before climbing to Wedderburn, the halfway point on the ride to Middlemarch. From Wedderburn the trail again slowly descends to Middlemarch. However weather in New Zealand is very variable, so the wind direction does frequently change, making prediction extremely difficult!

  • 5 Day Otago Rail Trail Classic - Guided
    Christchurch - Clyde - Lauder - Ranfurly - Dunedin - Christchurch (or Dunedin): Bike Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand. Step back in time to New Zealands rural past and join us on this cycle delight. The route follows the old...
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  • 5 Day Otago Rail Trail Mountains to Sea - Guided
    Queenstown - Alexandra - Omakau - Wedderburn - Hyde - Dunedin (or Queenstown): Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand, starting from Queenstown, and finishing in Dunedin. The perfect hassle-free option for cycling the Otago...
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  • 5 Day Otago Wine and Rail Combo - Guided
    Queenstown - Alexandra - Omakau - Wedderburn - Hyde - Dunedin: Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand, starting from Queenstown, and finishing in Dunedin. This tour is the ultimate way to experience some of the best that...
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  • 5 Day Queenstown Otago Rail Trail - Guided
    Queenstown - Clyde - Lauder - Ranfurly - Dunedin - Christchurch This trip starts in Queenstown and finishes in Christchurch. The Trail follows the old Central Otago branch railway line from Clyde to Middlemarch, passing through many...
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  • 6 Day Otago Rail Trail Explorer - Guided
    Christchurch - Clyde - St Bathans - Naseby - Dunedin - Christchurch: A 6 Day - 5 Night Cycle Otago Rail Trail, New Zealand from Clyde to Middlemarch along the original Otago Central Rail Trail. Steeped in history and with a constant...
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