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4 Day Otago Central Rail Trail Self-Guided Cycle Tour

Cycle the full 152 kms of the Otago Central Rail Trail

Days
5

Pricing From
$1050

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Our 4 day Otago Central Rail Trail is our most popular self-guided cycle tour, covering the full 152km trail from Clyde to Middlemarch. Experience the big skies and iconic landscape of Central Otago in this self-guided cycle adventure on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Ride a vehicle-free trail, enjoying relaxed rides on a trail with an easy gradient, stunning scenery, and New Zealand's Gold Rush-era history. Stay in clean, simple and comfortable twin/double share accommodation, with a mix of B&B, lodges and cottages; most with ensuites. Superior accommodation upgrades are available for a surcharge. 

You'll cycle through the iconic tunnels and viaducts of the Poolburn Gorge and Ida Valley, admire the stunning Maniatoto Plains and enjoy local hospitality as you weave your way along the old railway line. Extra activities such as curling in Naseby, Hayes Engineering Works and a wine tour fit perfectly into this slower paced itinerary.

We'll move your luggage each day, book the best suited accommodation and transport you where you need to be. All you need to do is pedal and unwind from everyday life.

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

5 Day Mountains to the Sea Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Tour

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Clyde to Omakau or Lauder37km to 45km Cycling

A morning briefing and bike fitting at our Clyde Depot will get you set for your first day of cycling. You can meet us in Clyde or you can add on a shuttle from Queenstown. 

From Clyde you can cycle past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge on the ride to Alexandra, a great place to stop for a coffee and a cheese roll. For the more adventurous, there is the option of riding on the Clutha River Centennial Track to Alexandra which adds another 8km to your cycle ride.

From Alexandra you then bike to Chatto Creek Tavern, an historic stone building which is where you will stop for lunch.

After lunch you cycle up Tiger Hill, an easy gradient of 1 in 50. From the top of Tiger Hill it is all downhill to your overnight accommodation in Lauder. The 5km loop to Ophir is highly recommended, with historic wooden and stone buildings from the gold-mining era and the iconic suspension bridge.

Stay the night in Omakau, Ophir or Lauder (depending on availability).

Day 2Lauder to Wedderburn24km to 31km Cycling (B)

The highlight of today's cycle ride is the beautiful Poolburn Gorge section featuring two tunnels and two viaducts. You then cycle through the Ida Valley farm lands past the Idaburn Dam, one of New Zealand’s few out door winter curling sites. A site visit to Hayes Historic Engineering Works, and is a great spot  for lunch, as is the settlement of Oturehua just further down the road. Just past Oturehua, the Golden Progress Mine is an interesting detour with the only surviving intact poppet head in the Otago Goldfields. Then it's onto the highest point of the trail before stopping the night at Wedderburn.

You could take a short side trip to Naseby to try your hand at curling and look through the old gold mining town. 

Day 3Wedderburn to Waipiate, Kokonga or Hyde21km to 46km Cycling (B)

This morning is a great time to go curling at the famous Naseby Indoor Curling Rink Cycle (add to your itinerary) before cycling through Ranfurly, the Art Deco Capital of Otago; and across the Maniototo Plains to Waipiata. 

Stay the night in Waipiata, or continue cycling through to Kokonga or Hyde depending on your preference and accommodation availability.

A highlight of the section between Kokonga and Hyde, which follows the Taieri River, is crossing the Capburn Bridge, the Price’s Creek Viaduct and the last tunnel before arriving at Hyde. For those staying in Wedderburn or Kokonga, this section will be done te following day.

Day 4Waipiate, Kokonga or Hyde to Middlemarch52km to 27km Cycling (B)

Your last day on the trail passes the site of the 1943 Hyde railway disaster and down through the wide-open spaces of the Strath Taieri Valley and the impressive Rock and Pillar Range. The ride is downhill to the end of the trail at our Middlemarch Depot where you return your bike and equipment and catch your transport back to Clyde or to Dunedin.

Cost per person (Twin Share)

June 2023 - May 2024

  • from Clyde: NZ$1050
  • from Queenstown: NZ$1,220
  • Upgrade to e-Bikes: NZ$320
  • Superior accommodation upgrade: On request

* These package prices are subject to the suggested accommodation being available at the time of booking. Alternative accommodation may change the price.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Clyde to Omakau or Lauder37km to 45km Cycling

A morning briefing and bike fitting at our Clyde Depot will get you set for your first day of cycling. You can meet us in Clyde or you can add on a shuttle from Queenstown. 

From Clyde you can cycle past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge on the ride to Alexandra, a great place to stop for a coffee and a cheese roll. For the more adventurous, there is the option of riding on the Clutha River Centennial Track to Alexandra which adds another 8km to your cycle ride.

From Alexandra you then bike to Chatto Creek Tavern, an historic stone building which is where you will stop for lunch.

After lunch you cycle up Tiger Hill, an easy gradient of 1 in 50. From the top of Tiger Hill it is all downhill to your overnight accommodation in Lauder. The 5km loop to Ophir is highly recommended, with historic wooden and stone buildings from the gold-mining era and the iconic suspension bridge.

Stay the night in Omakau, Ophir or Lauder (depending on availability).

Day 2Lauder to Wedderburn24km to 31km Cycling (B)

The highlight of today's cycle ride is the beautiful Poolburn Gorge section featuring two tunnels and two viaducts. You then cycle through the Ida Valley farm lands past the Idaburn Dam, one of New Zealand’s few out door winter curling sites. A site visit to Hayes Historic Engineering Works, and is a great spot  for lunch, as is the settlement of Oturehua just further down the road. Just past Oturehua, the Golden Progress Mine is an interesting detour with the only surviving intact poppet head in the Otago Goldfields. Then it's onto the highest point of the trail before stopping the night at Wedderburn.

You could take a short side trip to Naseby to try your hand at curling and look through the old gold mining town. 

Day 3Wedderburn to Waipiate, Kokonga or Hyde21km to 46km Cycling (B)

This morning is a great time to go curling at the famous Naseby Indoor Curling Rink Cycle (add to your itinerary) before cycling through Ranfurly, the Art Deco Capital of Otago; and across the Maniototo Plains to Waipiata. 

Stay the night in Waipiata, or continue cycling through to Kokonga or Hyde depending on your preference and accommodation availability.

A highlight of the section between Kokonga and Hyde, which follows the Taieri River, is crossing the Capburn Bridge, the Price’s Creek Viaduct and the last tunnel before arriving at Hyde. For those staying in Wedderburn or Kokonga, this section will be done te following day.

Day 4Waipiate, Kokonga or Hyde to Middlemarch52km to 27km Cycling (B)

Your last day on the trail passes the site of the 1943 Hyde railway disaster and down through the wide-open spaces of the Strath Taieri Valley and the impressive Rock and Pillar Range. The ride is downhill to the end of the trail at our Middlemarch Depot where you return your bike and equipment and catch your transport back to Clyde or to Dunedin.

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