Otago Central Rail Trail

The Otago Central Rail Trail will take you on a recreational passage of discovery, revealing truly breathtaking treasures not readily accessible by any other means and unlike any other in New Zealand.



This is a journey into the region’s heartland of ever-changing mountainous, dry, rocky landscapes, productive farmland, spectacular river gorges, tunnels, viaducts, thriving townships, old stone and mud-brick dwellings and preserved gold mining settlements – shaped and seasoned by the harsh, continental climatic extremes unique to Central Otago.

Modelled on Rails to Trails projects overseas, the Rail Trail extends 150 kilometres along the former railway route between Middlemarch and Clyde. Its wide gravel (stony) path has a gentle 1 to 50 gradient, making it ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

It offers something for everyone. Mountain bike enthusiasts will find scope to test their fitness and endurance and relish the off-trail opportunities to explore the back country and alpine areas. Recreational cyclists and walkers will achieve their goals with a reasonable level of fitness and without negotiating any steep hills.

Along the way there are many opportunities to meet the pioneer-spirited locals and to take detours and side trips to unique places – dams, gold mining relics, the country’s only international curling rink to try your hand at the ancient ice sport, and so much more.

Travelling the Central Otago Rail Trail also offers you the chance to immerse yourself in the history and romance of the railway and the gold rush. Whatever your interest, the Central Otago Rail Trail will give you the solitude to reflect, amid the transforming light of expansive skies and vast landscapes.

Ride it, walk it, experience it!
Planning
Otago Central Rail Trail
The Otago Central Rail Trail journeys into the region’s heartland. A 150 Kilometre trail between Clyde and Middlemarch ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Explore this recreational passage of discovery, revealing truly breathtaking treasures not readily accessible by any other means and unlike any other in New Zealand. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
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Roxburgh Gorge Trail
A spectacular one-day ride through truly iconic country between Alexandra and Roxburgh Dam along the Clutha Mata-au River is a trail worth exploring. Read More

Bike Hire & Cycle Shops
Hiring bikes when you visit Central Otago is a good option. There is a choice of companies to hire from and between them they cover all possible options for mountain bikers and recreational cyclists. Bikes range from children’s through to adult bikes. Children’s seats, baby seats and trailers are available. Read More

Central Otago Cycling Trails
A diversity of trails and experiences beckon you to experience the freedom and joy of getting off the beaten track with family and friends throughout the stunning landscapes of the region. Our best kept secrets at your pace! Read More

Packages Book Now!
Whether you’re looking to take a holiday with the family, a weekend away with friends or a romantic escape, take the time to enjoy everything that there is on offer in Central Otago. Book a package today and take the opportunity to explore and sample the finer things of life – not just incredible scenery to cycle through but heritage and history, unique accommodation to experience and friendly locals to meet. Read More

Ride with the Locals
Cycling in Central Otago amongst dramatic landscapes with an organised or informal group of riders is the best way to experience the countryside and meet fellow cyclists. Whether it be in a racing event or out with a regular group ride, ‘weekend warriors’ to elite riders are welcome – enjoy the competitive but friendly spirit and make new friends along the way. Read More
Central Otago Food & Wine
Central Otago Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More

Central Otago Towns
Central Otago Towns To travel to Central Otago is to journey into New Zealand’s golden heartland. Its many towns and settlements are founded on the pioneering spirit and back-breaking toil of farming run-holders and adventure-seeking gold miners. These places lie nestled amid the grandeur of towering mountain ranges, stunning rocky tors, sweeping plains, valleys, gorges and meandering and mighty rivers. Read More

Cycle Central Otago
Cycle Central Otago The entire region is criss-crossed with smaller cycling and mountain biking trails for the adventurous or the leisure cyclist and there are lengths to suit any time you might have available. Whether you’re looking to take a holiday with the family, a weekend with friends or a romantic escape, cycling in Central Otago offers something different and memorable. Read More
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