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Otago Central Rail Trail | What to Take

It is essential to be well prepared for your Otago Central Rail Trail experience.

The trail travels across remote land and the Central Otago climate is very dry with extreme and fluctuating temperatures. It can be extremely hot (35+ degrees Celsius) and very cold, all in one day.

Take with you:
  • Clothing for all seasons – cool cotton shirts and trousers to protect you from the relentless Otago sunshine, windproof jacket, rainwear, socks, gloves, warm clothes (thermal layers and polar fleece are ideal) and appropriate footwear.
  • Sunscreen and sun hats.
  • Plenty of commercially bottled water – drinking water is not readily available, but more can be purchased at the communities along the trail. (At least 1.5 litres per person, per day, is recommended.)
  • Energy snacks – to keep up your stamina.
  • First aid kit – it can be several kilometres to the nearest community.
  • Bike pump, puncture repair kit and associated tools – essential for all cyclists as the Rail Trail is a gravel (stony) track.
  • Toilet paper – for use in trailside toilets.
  • Central Otago Rail Trail map – showing amenities. 
  • Railtrail Official Passport! – the perfect souvenir and record of achievement. Stamp it at each station site. Available for purchase at information centres and service providers. Proceeds go to the upkeep of the trail.

Tip: Groups intending to enjoy refreshments at cafés and pubs along the trail should phone ahead, so they can be assured of receiving the legendary southern hospitality.

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