Cycling & Mountain Bike Trails in Central Otago

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 throughout the stunning landscapes of the region.

From peddling around the towns and along bike paths adjacent to waterways, to easier and challenging downhill trails, as well as some of the `bigger’ high-country alpine downhill rides in the country beckon.

The thrills of fast, downhill freeride mountain biking are unrivalled in Central Otago’s open, sparse landscape. Go wild in this unique and unpopulated playground, where the tracks of old miners, and the horse and cart, as well as old coach roads and `pure downhill’ long runs from high mountain tops, offer it all. Ride up, or fly up and experience heli-biking in Central Otago.

And of course you can’t forget the gentle gradient of the Otago Central Rail Trail! Discover its treasures on any of its short sections, or pace yourself over the full 150km and see it all.

The Clutha Gold Trail is full of variety – from undulating to flat to meandering; there is a journey of discovery around every corner.

The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is another world, offering a wilderness experience through the remote and stunning Roxburgh Gorge between Alexandra and the Lake Roxburgh Dam.

Now a recognised place to experience pure downhill adrenalin without the distraction of walking groups or four-wheel drivers, Central Otago’s mountain bike trails are favourites for national and international riders. Visitors are `wowed’ by the empty landscape and lack of traffic.

Experience a Central Otago Cycle Tour

Local companies offer an unforgettable experience each year on guided mountain bike tours. Their knowledge of local off-road routes, four-wheel drive tracks, single trails, technical cross-country rides, and fast downhill free rides in mountain ranges is unsurpassed.

Trail Grades & Routes

All routes described in this section are labelled with a symbol to describe the expected conditions. All routes should be checked for current conditions and weather expectations before starting out. Some of these routes will be impassable in winter months.
  Suitable for all ages and reasonable fitness levels; generally easy track.

  Intermediate level rider; some steeper sections with ruts and bumps expected.

      Suited to an experienced and fit rider; expect technical areas and extreme terrain.

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

Alexandra/Clyde - Cycling Trails
Nestled in the expansive Manuherikia Valley surrounded by majestic block-mountains is the commercial hub of Alexandra. Experience the drama of its contrasting seasons – blossoms in spring, the fragrance of wild thyme in summer, the golden glows of autumn and the mystical beauty of winter. Read More

Cromwell/Bannockburn - Cycling Trails
Surrounded by treeless mountain ranges and the powerful Clutha and Kawarau Rivers that converge to form Lake Dunstan, is Cromwell; the place to experience its abundance of sun-ripened fruits, award winning wines and rich mining past. Read More

Ranfurly/Naseby - Cycling Trails
This land of vast open space with tor-studded mountain ranges is timeless. Discover remnants of its gold mining past, the heartland of the high country drover, empty roads and sleepy little townships, and Ranfurly – New Zealand’s rural art deco oasis. Read More

Roxburgh - Cycling Trails
Set in the Teviot Valley amongst farmland and a patchwork of orchards, roadside stalls laden with the best of summer fruits is Roxburgh – home to the ‘world famous’ Jimmy’s Pies, stunning vistas and the mighty Clutha River at its best. 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 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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