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.

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.

​Alexandra / Clyde | Cycling and Mountain Biking

Nestled in the expansive Manuherikia Valley surrounded by majestic block-mountains is the cycling hub of Alexandra. Recreational riders will enjoy the accessibility of the Otago Central Rail Trail, Roxburgh Gorge Trail and Alexandra to Clyde River Track. More experienced and enthusiastic mountainbikers will enjoy various backcountry rides like the Hawksburn Road, Thomsons Gorge, the Old Man Range and Flat Top Hill.

Cromwell & Bannockburn | Cycling & Mountain Bike Trails

Surrounded by treeless mountain ranges and the powerful Clutha and Kawarau Rivers that converge to form Lake Dunstan, is Cromwell; trails follow the lakeshore from Lowburn in the North, to Bannockburn in the South. The Carrick range offers full day exploration trips, or treat yourself to a helo-biking experience by flying to the top of a nearby range before descending back to a local vineyard or pub.

Ranfurly & Naseby | Cycling & Mountain Biking Trails

This land of vast open space with tor-studded mountain ranges is timeless. Visitors to the Otago Central Rail Trail gain a respect for these big sky vistas, and interuppted views to farway mountain ranges. Real exploratory backcountry trails are waiting to be discovered in the Oteake Conservation area where you'll find remnants of its gold mining past. Naseby Forest offers a mix of beginner and intermediate trails following old water-races and past sluicings and abandoned mining equipment, end your ride with a quiet drink at one of the local pubs, and then try your hand at curling in New Zealand's only purpose built indoor rink.

Roxburgh Area | Cycling & Mountain Biking 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. Roxburgh is the largest town for those experiencing the Clutha Gold Trail, and with the Roxburgh Gorge trail just upstream is a great spot to relax for a weekend and have some short exploration under pedal power.

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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