Moderate +
59 – 92 km/day
Avg Distance
October to April
Best season
5 Days/ 6 nights

Otago Rail Trail

Experience true solitude and get close to nature on our six-day cycle tour of the inspiring and timeless region of Central Otago. Discover vivid seasons and rocky, mountainous landscapes; friendly townships; a well-preserved gold heritage and award-winning wineries. See the grandeur of breathtaking vistas and be moved by their surging natural power. Central is a part of the world that ignites all your senses.

Cycle through the awe-inspiring beauty and diverse rural landscapes of Central Otago on a road-based version of the historic Rail Trail. Experience the charm of Central Otago’s rural communities, steeped in gold mining history.  Stay in quaint accommodations in small kiwi villages and enjoy a sense of connectedness to the real people of New Zealand. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s stunning scenery will take your breath away.

“Quite possibly the most spectacular area I have ever had the pleasure of cycling. The scenery was amazing, the people were incredibly friendly and we loved every minute of the riding”
– Jane Lakes United Kingdom.


Day 1: Clyde to Omakau

Distance: 39 km Altitude gain: +312/-175 m
Clyde to Omakau – Your cycling tour will start in Clyde it is a short 17km to Chatto Creek where we will stop for lunch (on your own). Between Clyde and Alexandra you will pass through a semi rural landscape of orchards, vineyards and lifestyle blocks. You will cycle over the wooden Trestle Muttontown Viaduct – 109m long and 9 metres high.

Day 2: Omakau to Oturehua

Distance: 29.6 km Altitude gain: + 244/-253 m
Omakau to Oturehua – We head back to the Rail Trail at Omakau and head Eastward to the settlement of Lauder 11km. Here we will enter one of the most scenic sections of the Rail Trail. Along the way you will pass through two tunnels then over the Poolburn viaduct and on into the Ida Valley where you will you arrive in Oturehua.

Day 3: Oturehua to Kakonga

Distance: 43 km Altitude gain: +315/- 445 m
Oturehua to Kakonga – Between Wedderburn and Ranfurly you will cycle through the heart of the Maniotot, surrounded by farmland and mountain ranges – Mt. Ida, Rough Ridge, Hawkdun Range, Rock and Pillar Range and the Kakanui. From Ranfurly the rail trail runs through the Southern Maniototo Plain to the villages of Waipiata. The trail crosses the Taieri River Rail Bridge (97m long and 6m high) and then passes the site of the former Talieri Lake.

Day 4: Kokonga to Middlemarch

Distance: 45.6 km Altitude gain: +404/- 404 m
Kokonga to Middlemarch – On the last day of the tour we cycle from Kokonga to Middlemarch for the last stamp in your passport and the end of the trail. Along the ride the wide-open plain of Straith Taieri opens up as we leave Hyde and descend into Middlemarch. The Rock and Pillar Range follows us to the West and high above us.

Oliver’s Central Otega

Inspired by the past, owners Andrea and David Ritchie have sensitively restored the buildings including an elegant homestead, the old store, coach sheds, stables and barns. Landscaping highlights the original central courtyard and gardens.

Eleven rooms, divided into Stables and Lodge accommodation, superbly blend the old with the new creating a contemporary ambience integrally linked with bygone days.

Pitches Store
Hidden from the world in the small historic gold-mining town of Ophir in New Zealand’s Central Otago, Pitches Store provides boutique accommodation with all the charm and special comforts you desire – perfect as Otago Rail Trail accommodation, for corporate travellers and romantic getaways alike.

Nasby Trail Lodge
Located on the grounds of the old Naseby School, soaked in history and breath-taking surroundings, we invite you to join our exquisitely peaceful retreat to relax and unwind.

Our one and two bedroom apartments offer all the comforts of home, whilst our conference and function centre offers hospitality for few or for many – the choice is all yours.

Kokonga Lodge

This slice of paradise is set amidst 5 hectares of established gardens and offers a high value and true New Zealand experience. As well as the Lodge, the property is also home to the original Kokonga School, built in 1897. Its building remains on its original site. The Lodge is built on the site of the old school teachers residence.

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