Thomsons Gorge Road | Cycling & Mountain Bike Trails  

Thomsons Gorge takes you from the Manuherikia Valley to Bendigo in the Upper Clutha Valley

Distance: 30 km
Fitness:  Intermediate level, steep climbs, variable terrain

This Central Otago cycle trail is a mountain bike adventure over the Dunstan Mountains from the Manuherikia Valley to the gold mines of Bendigo in the Upper Clutha Valley.

Stop in Omakau and stock up on refreshments and food (Muddy Creek Café pies are awesomely flavoursome and popular) to take with you on your day’s adventure!

Starting at Glassford Road near the old gold mining town of Matakanui, this trail winds its way up through the gorge and over the 900m saddle into the Bendigo area. Take a moment to capture magical views of the often photographed Hawkdun Range as you look back to the east side – they are unforgettable.

As you follow Thomsons Creek all the way to the top of the saddle, you’ll find reminders of its gold mining past. Just off the main track, you will discover a simple stone hut. Built in 1908, this simple dwelling was a shelter for drovers and travellers on their arduous journey to and from the goldfields and makes a pleasant place to stop for a bite to eat.

At the saddle crossing, there is just a short traverse over the Dunstan Range crest before a vast open space to the west. You will be rewarded with stunning views over the Upper Clutha Valley towards Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, and the Southern Alps.

From this high point, wind down through the Rise and Shine Valley until you join up with State Highway 8 at the Lindis River bridge. Again, you travel through an area rich in history, the gold mining area of Bendigo which was once home to many. Few reminders remain to evoke the spirit of the past but the Come In Time gold stamper, signposted from the trail is well worth a visit. If you have a torch even better, and take a short walk down past the tunnel entrance to the restored stamper battery and be amazed. This magnificent structure remains as a reminder of the scale of the works carried out here.

The bike track is approx. 30km and is a 140km round trip from Alexandra. This is a good surface 4WD track, can be greasy if wet, and yes there are a few small streams to cross and two steep climbs and two fast descents, but it’s well worth it. Please leave all gates open or shut as you find them on this intermediate grade route.

Tarras Country Village is the ideal location to meet your ride back to Alexandra. Explore the museum dedicated to Shrek the sheep, leisurely wander through the Tarras Country Store or refuel at the café after your exhilarating day out in Central Otago.

Planning
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
email this pageprint this pagesite maplegal information | login
evoSuite Tourism Marketing Software | Web Design by ReserveGroup