CROMWELL TO BANNOCKBURN - LAKESIDE Starting from Melmore Terrace at Old Cromwell Town to the Bannockburn Bridge
This easy ride takes you along the shoreline up on to the terrace of the Kawarau Arm overlooking Lake Dunstan from Old Cromwell Town to near the Bannockburn Bridge at Pearson Road. Generally this Central Otago cycle trail is flat, smooth surfaced with gentle undulations, with one or two soft sandy sections – a ride for the whole family.
Starting from the Melmore Marina car park adjacent to Old Cromwell Town, enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the trail adjacent to the lakeside with a couple of gentle climbs and descents up on to the terrace and along to Bannockburn Bridge and return. If you have the time, why not go a little further around the lake to the other end of Pearson Road, only another 7km and close to a number of well-known vineyards.
Pack a picnic and take in the wonderful 360º views of the surrounding mountains and the picturesque lakeside scene. Look out for the reminders of this area’s rich gold mining past, particularly the tailings. This stretch of the Kawarau River was once host to many dredges and a thriving mining force in the early 1900’s. Fortunes were made and lost here until the gold ran out and then the land became quiet again. Nowadays this is home to the best of Central Otago’s fruit and award winning wines.
Take some time to relax over a coffee in Old Cromwell Town, once the centre of town before Clyde dam was built and the lake filled in the 1990’s. Here you will find some original buildings and others recreated to capture its gold mining past.
Expect it to be very cold in winter, very hot in summer and wonderful scenery all year around. Check out the conditions before you start, the trail can be quite exposed in places.
Distance: 11 km return
Fitness: Beginner to Intermediate