Sandra recently enjoyed a multi-day cycling trip on the Otago Central Rail Trail, keep reading to find out more.

Name: Sandra Etter
Position: Trade Development Manager - Europe

What is your favourite ‘undiscovered activity’ in New Zealand?
The Otago Central Rail Trail.
 
What did you like most about the rail trail?
The Otago Central Rail Trail offers something for everyone. Anyone can do it and there is plenty to see and do. Beautiful landscapes, plenty of interesting local history, boutique accommodation, great food and wine and lots of fantastic photo opportunities. My favourite memory of the trail was the day we were out late cycling towards Ophir and we stopped to admire the beautiful night sky. I don’t think I have ever seen so many stars before.
 
Do you have advice for anyone planning to cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail?
Plan and book ahead. Travelling in Spring or Autumn is recommended if you want to avoid the busy season. The trail is open all year round, but please note that not all services operate during winter.
 
About the Otago Central Rail Trail
Rich in history, the Otago Central Rail Trail is a 150km journey through charming Central Otago country. Explore 20 or more townships located near or on the trail and meet with pioneer spirited locals.
 
Constructed along the former railway route between Middlemarch and Clyde, the trail is wide with a gentle gradient (grade 1) meaning conditions suit walkers and horse riders too.
 
Central Otago is classic big sky country where cyclists can traverse ever-changing mountainous, dry, and rocky landscapes alongside high country sheep stations, spectacular river gorges, tunnels, viaducts and more.
 
Where does the trail start from? 
Cyclists can choose to start the trail in either Middlemarch or Clyde.
 
From Dunedin, your clients can take a two and a half hour scenic train ride on the historic Taieri Gorge Railway to Middlemarch. Or from Queenstown, your clients can self-drive or take shuttle transport through stunning scenery and wine country to Clyde (approximately 1 hour 10 minutes).
 
Cycling on the Otago Central Rail Trail
Riders should allow at least 3-4 full days to bike the trail – more if your clients want to do some exploring off the trail.
 
If your clients would prefer a shorter ride, there are numerous townships located along the trail where they can start or end their journey.
 
Riding the trail
There are a number of operators offering independent and self-guided tours on the Otago Central Rail Trail. Visitors can choose from a range of single and multi-day rides, depending on their time available. All tours include helmet, carrier bag, repair kit and quality bike. Multi-day tours also include accommodation, luggage transfer and shuttle transfers to/from the start and end of the trail. 
  • Adventure South – all inclusive guided tours departing Christchurch or Queenstown.
  • Bike it Now! – single and multi-day, independent and guided tours.
  • Cycle Surgery Rail Trail Ltd – six day tour including bike hire, accommodation, transfers to or from Queenstown or Clyde, one way trip on Taieri Gorge Train, and luggage transfer service.
  • Luxury Rail Trail Tours Ltd – choice of multi-day, small group or private luxury tours for clients who want a cycling holiday with a touch of class.
  • Off the Rails Cycle Tours – single and multi-day tours with the option of adding extras, such as full day wine tour or evening trips to historic gold-mining villages.
  • Trail Journeys – one and five day independent tours. Tours include bike hire, helmet, carrier bag, repair kit and transfers. Plus luggage transfers and accommodation on the five day tour.
     
For more information visit: