Getting to Central Otago | Cycle Central Otago

Travelling to the Central Otago region of New Zealand is easy, whether travelling within New Zealand, from Australia or farther afield. Whether you travel by air, by road or by coach there are number of options available.

Flights & Airports

The nearest airport to the Central Otago cycle trail network is Queenstown. A scenic 1 hour drive or bus through the Kawarau Gorge will see you arrive in the township of Clyde and the start of the famous Otago Central Rail Trail, and also access to the Alexandra River Track, and close to the Roxburgh Gorge Trail.

Dunedin and Christchurch airports also offer regular domestic and international flights for those wanting to self-drive the South Island, or meet up with an organised cycle tour.

International flights

There are a range of international flights available year round from Australia direct to the South Island through Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch Airports.

International flights into Queenstown from:
    Sydney: Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas
    Melbourne: Air New Zealand, Jetstar
    Brisbane: Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia
    Gold Coast: Jetstar

International flights into Dunedin from:
    Brisbane: Virgin Australia

International flights into Christchurch from
    Sydney: Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas, Emirates
    Melbourne: Air New Zealand, Jetstar
    Brisbane: Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia
    Gold Coast: Air New Zealand, Jetstar

Domestic Flights

For domestic flights within New Zealand, both Air New Zealand and Jetstar provide scheduled services to and from Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch airports.

Travelling by rental car or campervan

Rental vehicles and campervans are a popular means of exploring Central Otago – all major rental companies have outlets in the main centres of Queenstown, Christchurch and Dunedin. The main highways provide a choice of scenic journeys into and through Central Otago with distance and drive times never far between towns:

    5 hours Christchurch to Cromwell via Tekapo and the McKenzie basin
    5.45 hours Christchurch to Alexandra via Oamaru and Ranfurly.
    2.30 hours Dunedin to Alexandra via Roxburgh
    2.40 hours Dunedin to Alexandra via Palmerston or Middlemarch.

If you are planning a cycling holiday – BRITZ campers are official partners of the NZ Cycle trail and provide bikes and carriers on their fleet ex Christchurch.

Bus and Shuttle Services 

A number of local and national bus and shuttle companies provide scheduled services throughout the region – contact Central Otago Visitor Centres for timetables and to book.

Cycle tour businesses often provide transfers with some pre-booked packages / or tours – check with your chosen provider when making your bookings.
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

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

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
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference 'A World of Difference' defines what is uniquely Central Otago as a place and a community. Read More

Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes
Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes Meet some unique and passionate Central Otago locals and be introduced to their favourite places and activities. Read More

Food & Wine
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
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