Cycling Tours - South Island, New Zealand
Central Otago Rail Trail
Cycle through the awe-inspiring beauty and diverse rural landscapes of Central Otago on a road-based version of the historic Rail Trail. Experience the charm of Central Otago's rural communities, steeped in gold mining history. Stay in quaint accommodations in small kiwi villages and enjoy a sense of connectedness to the real people of New Zealand. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s stunning scenery will take your breath away.
"Quite possibly the most spectacular area I have ever had the pleasure of cycling. The scenery was amazing, the people were incredibly friendly and we loved every minute of the riding"
- Jane Lakes United Kingdom.
We head back to the Rail Trail at Omakau and head Eastward to the settlement of Lauder 11km. Here we will enter one of the most scenic sections of the Rail Trail. There is a gradual climb over the Poolburn Gorge, and along the way you will pass through two tunnels (you may need a torch). Then over the Poolburn viaduct with its’ Schist Stone piers and on into the Ida Valley, famous for Ice Skating and Curling in the Winter. After you pass the Ice Skating rink you will come upon the windmill at Hayes Engineering workshop on your left. Here we stop for lunch and after lunch we head up the hill to Wedderburn.
We will pick you up at the Queenstown airport and transfer you to Clyde for overnight.
To start the tour, you have the option of starting in Alexandra or Clyde. If you choose to start in Alexandra we will ride along the trail on the West bank of the Clutha River to the bridge at Clyde about 12km. If you choose to start in Clyde it is a short 17km to Chatto Creek where we will stop for lunch. If you choose to continue riding it’s about 10km to Omakau as the trail gradually climbs out of Chatto Creek.
Today we start the day back in the van to Wedderburn, made famous by Graeme Sidney’s watercolor. At Wedderburn we head downhill all the way first to Ranfurly for Tea and a chance to enjoy its’Art Deco architecture. Next we ride across the Maniototo Plain to Waipiata. We pass by the remnant of Taieri Lake before we enter the Upper Taieri Gorge and pass through tunnels and over bridges before we travel down into the valley to the Hyde Hotel our accommodations for the night.
On the last day of the tour we cycle from Hyde to Middlemarch for the last stamp in your passport and the end of the trail. Along the ride the wide open plain of Straith Taieri opens up as we leave Hyde and descend into Middlemarch. The Rock and Pillar Range follows us to the West and high above us