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.

The Otago Central Rail Trail is New Zealand's Original Great Ride and 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, 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
Spring/Summer Cycling Deals
Discover some great special offers and seasonal trips ideas for experiencing the beautiful Central Otago region by bike. Read More

Cycle Hire, Bike Rental & Tours
Central Otago has several specialist cycling operators who offer fully escorted tours or individual itineraries. These businesses can hire cycles and organise luggage transfers, accommodation and transport so you can cycle as much or as little as you choose. Read More

Otago Central Rail Trail
Discover New Zealand's Original Great Ride - The Otago Central Rail Trail is a relaxing 4-5 day ride through big sky landscapes and through historic townships. Read More

Roxburgh Gorge Trail
Explore New Zealand's Grand Canyon - The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is a unique one day experience. Described as 'Another World' this 34km trail includes a unique jet boat transfer. Read More

Clutha Gold Trail
A 73km journey of discovery through a tapestry of diverse landscapes from seductively rugged semi-arid dry lands through to lush green contoured farmlands that follow powerful Clutha Mata Au River. Read More

Cycling & Mountain Biking Trails
Central Otago boasts a diversity of cycling and mountain bike trails that beckon the cyclist to experience the freedom and the joy of getting off the beaten track. Read More

Getting to Central Otago
The Central Otago region is located in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand. A scenic a 1hr drive from Queenstown International Airport and accessible via road from Dunedin & Christchurch airports. Read More

Cycling & Mountain Biking Itinerary Ideas
There's no need to rush to get the most out of Central Otago. Take the time to enjoy everything that there is to offer on this spectacular region. See some of our itinerary ideas for your next holiday. Read More

Download or request a Cycle Brochure
Download or request a 16-page colour brochure on cycling in Central Otago, featuring some of the region's key trails and inspiring imagery. 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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