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5 Day Total Otago Rail Trail Luxury Independent Bike Tour

Total Minimum Cycling Distance 155 kms

Days
5

Pricing From
$1380

Difficulty

Book Now

Overview

Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand, starting from Queenstown, and finishing in Dunedin. This independent self-guided cycle tour takes you back in time to New Zealand's rural past as you follow the old Maniototo rail line from Clyde in central Otago to Middlemarch. Our Otago Central Rail Trail cycling tour ends with one of the world's great train trips as we travel on the spectacular Taieri Gorge railway into Dunedin.

Tour Grading:  Moderate         

This trip is ideal for Recreational Cyclists. If you are not a regular cyclist, we suggest taking 4-6 weeks prior to your trip by cycling regularily, whilst gradually increasing the distance cycled.

This tour is also available in reverse.

Otago Central Hotel, Hyde

Otago Central Hotel, Hyde

Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

Taieri Gorge Railway

Taieri Gorge Railway

Taieri Gorge Railway

Taieri Gorge Railway

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown to Alexandra8-16 km Cycling

Your adventure starts in Queenstown where you will be picked up by bus from your accommodation at 7:45am to travel to our depot. Upon arrival you will be fitted with your bikes, briefed on your tour then start your cycling adventure.

From Clyde you can cycle past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge on the ride to Alexandra. 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. Alternatively if you want to do more riding, there is a good 20km ride (10km each way) on the Roxburgh Gorge Trail following the Clutha River to Doctors Point and back.

Alexandra Heights Motel

Our motel has very spacious units - studios (some with spa baths) and 2 bedrooms. Full kitchen and ensuite bathrooms, Breakfasts. Secure bike storage. BBQ, cot, highchair. Fantastic views from balcony. Includes Continental Breakfast.

Day 2Alexandra to Omakau (B)Approx 28km Cycling

From Alexandra you bike to Chatto Creek where this is a good option to stop for lunch at the Chatto Creek Tavern (winner of the best country pub 2015). 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 Omakau. This afternoon we suggest you head over to Ophir where there are many historic buildings and the Daniel O’Connell Suspension Bridge (cycle the loop a total distance of 6-7km).

Tiger Hill Lodge

Absolutely on the Rail Trail, this purpose-built schist rock lodge, comprising 4 super-king/twin ensuites, spacious living areas and spa, commands stunning mountain views conducive to total relaxation in the heart of Central Otago's unique country side. Includes provisions to prepare your own breakfast.

Day 3Omakau to Wedderburn (B)Approx 42km Cycling

From Omakau cycle onto Lauder where you begin one of the most spectacular sections of the trail, the Poolburn Gorge. This is home to the rare New Zealand Falcon.

You will travel through two tunnels and cross the 37m high Poolburn Viaduct, through the Ida Valley and onto Oturehua where lunch options are available. You will cycle from Oturehua onto your accommodation at Wedderburn where you will be picked up that afternoon for your curling experience and tour of Naseby. We suggest your evening meal at Wedderburn Tavern which is just a short walk from your accommodation.

The Lodge & Cottages, Wedderburn

Wedderburn Cottages is situated right on the Rail Trail. You will check in at The Red Barn which is part of the complex and is great to have a look at. The Rail Trail passes through our farm. Staying at the Wedderburn Cottages you will experience our wonderful lifestyle. See amazing scenery, wide open valleys that are matched with peace and solitude. For convenience the Wedderburn Tavern is located 200m from your accommodation. Rate includes continental breakfast.

Day 4Wedderburn to Hyde (B)Approx 46 km Cycling

From Wedderburn the trail is mostly downhill to Ranfurly, the Art Deco Capital of Otago. We suggest you stop here for morning tea. From here you cross the Maniototo Plains onto Waipiata where you could have your lunch at the local Tavern. After lunch the days highlight must be the lovely trail section between Daisybank and Hyde alongside the Taieri River which crosses the Capburn Bridge, Price’s Creek Viaduct and the last tunnel which is 152m long before you arrive at your accommodation this night in Hyde. 

Otago Central Hotel, Hyde

Hyde Hotel situated strategically on the Railtrail and is a restored hotel to the highest standard. Meals are available at purpose built dining room either at the Hotel or at the Old School House. Continental breakfast included.

Day 5Hyde to Dunedin (B)Approx 27km Cycling

Travel from Hyde passing 3 former train stations and also the site of theHyde Rail disaster where 21 lives were lost in 1943. Continue along to the end of the trail at Middlemarch. There are no opportunities to purchase food until you get to Middlemarch where there are a couple of cafes available for lunch.

As the Rail Trail finishes at Middlemarch you need to drop your bikes off at our depot. You will be able to access showers here (charges applies). From here, we will transfer you to Pukerangi to connect directly to the Taieri Gorge Tourist Train for a 2 hour rail experiencethrough the rugged and unforgiving Taieri Gorge onto Dunedin.

Transport back to Queenstown by bus can also be arranged if required instead of the train. 

Cost per person twin share

September 2020 - May 2021

  • Luxury: NZ$1,380
  • Single supplement: NZ$625
  • Standard: NZ$1,065
  • Single supplement: NZ$295

September 2020 - May 2021

  • Luxury: NZ$1,450
  • Single supplement: NZ$665
  • Standard: NZ$1,120
  • Single supplement: NZ$340

Optional Extra

  • 3-hr Alexandra Wine Tour: NZ$95 per person
  • Electric e-bike: NZ$45 per person/day

* 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 1Queenstown to Alexandra8-16 km Cycling

Your adventure starts in Queenstown where you will be picked up by bus from your accommodation at 7:45am to travel to our depot. Upon arrival you will be fitted with your bikes, briefed on your tour then start your cycling adventure.

From Clyde you can cycle past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge on the ride to Alexandra. 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. Alternatively if you want to do more riding, there is a good 20km ride (10km each way) on the Roxburgh Gorge Trail following the Clutha River to Doctors Point and back.

Alexandra Heights Motel

Our motel has very spacious units - studios (some with spa baths) and 2 bedrooms. Full kitchen and ensuite bathrooms, Breakfasts. Secure bike storage. BBQ, cot, highchair. Fantastic views from balcony. Includes Continental Breakfast.

Day 2Alexandra to Omakau (B)Approx 28km Cycling

From Alexandra you bike to Chatto Creek where this is a good option to stop for lunch at the Chatto Creek Tavern (winner of the best country pub 2015). 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 Omakau. This afternoon we suggest you head over to Ophir where there are many historic buildings and the Daniel O’Connell Suspension Bridge (cycle the loop a total distance of 6-7km).

Tiger Hill Lodge

Absolutely on the Rail Trail, this purpose-built schist rock lodge, comprising 4 super-king/twin ensuites, spacious living areas and spa, commands stunning mountain views conducive to total relaxation in the heart of Central Otago's unique country side. Includes provisions to prepare your own breakfast.

Day 3Omakau to Wedderburn (B)Approx 42km Cycling

From Omakau cycle onto Lauder where you begin one of the most spectacular sections of the trail, the Poolburn Gorge. This is home to the rare New Zealand Falcon.

You will travel through two tunnels and cross the 37m high Poolburn Viaduct, through the Ida Valley and onto Oturehua where lunch options are available. You will cycle from Oturehua onto your accommodation at Wedderburn where you will be picked up that afternoon for your curling experience and tour of Naseby. We suggest your evening meal at Wedderburn Tavern which is just a short walk from your accommodation.

The Lodge & Cottages, Wedderburn

Wedderburn Cottages is situated right on the Rail Trail. You will check in at The Red Barn which is part of the complex and is great to have a look at. The Rail Trail passes through our farm. Staying at the Wedderburn Cottages you will experience our wonderful lifestyle. See amazing scenery, wide open valleys that are matched with peace and solitude. For convenience the Wedderburn Tavern is located 200m from your accommodation. Rate includes continental breakfast.

Day 4Wedderburn to Hyde (B)Approx 46 km Cycling

From Wedderburn the trail is mostly downhill to Ranfurly, the Art Deco Capital of Otago. We suggest you stop here for morning tea. From here you cross the Maniototo Plains onto Waipiata where you could have your lunch at the local Tavern. After lunch the days highlight must be the lovely trail section between Daisybank and Hyde alongside the Taieri River which crosses the Capburn Bridge, Price’s Creek Viaduct and the last tunnel which is 152m long before you arrive at your accommodation this night in Hyde. 

Otago Central Hotel, Hyde

Hyde Hotel situated strategically on the Railtrail and is a restored hotel to the highest standard. Meals are available at purpose built dining room either at the Hotel or at the Old School House. Continental breakfast included.

Day 5Hyde to Dunedin (B)Approx 27km Cycling

Travel from Hyde passing 3 former train stations and also the site of theHyde Rail disaster where 21 lives were lost in 1943. Continue along to the end of the trail at Middlemarch. There are no opportunities to purchase food until you get to Middlemarch where there are a couple of cafes available for lunch.

As the Rail Trail finishes at Middlemarch you need to drop your bikes off at our depot. You will be able to access showers here (charges applies). From here, we will transfer you to Pukerangi to connect directly to the Taieri Gorge Tourist Train for a 2 hour rail experiencethrough the rugged and unforgiving Taieri Gorge onto Dunedin.

Transport back to Queenstown by bus can also be arranged if required instead of the train. 

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