• Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

In Autumn, I finally had my first taste of the Otago Central Rail Trail. The Rail Trail is a 150km (93 mile) cycle trail along a disused railway corridor built for steam trains. It starts in the Central Otago town of Clyde and ends in Middlemarch and can be enjoyed over multiple days, or as a day trip taking in a smaller portion of the trail.

I was lucky to experience a day’s cycle taking in one of the most scenic parts of the trail, from Auripo to Clyde.    After reporting to the Trail Journeys office in Clyde and collecting my bike, helmet and learning more about my day ahead, I was then transferred by vehicle to Auripo, in the Ida Valley. From Auripo, my unguided cycle trip took me mostly downhill through spectacular scenery of the Poolburn Gorge.  This easy gradient cycle had me riding through tunnels, over bridges and viaducts while enjoying the most stunning landscape of its vast countryside and surrounding mountains.

There was time to explore the small historical towns positioned alongside the trail, including Lauder and Omakau which were perfectly timed for a coffee break and a bite to eat.   I continued through to Chatto Creek and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the gorgeous garden setting at the Chatto Creek Tavern.

From there, I continued through Galloway to Alexandra and despite the cycle trip being 55km’s already, I couldn’t resist taking the scenic river track from Alexandra through to Clyde. It did add a further 8km’s to this trip, but what a highlight cycling along the river, amongst the fabulous autumn colours.

From there, I continued through Galloway to Alexandra and took the extended scenic river track to Clyde. This extended trail adds a further 8km, to the original 55km trip but what a highlight cycling along the river, amongst the fabulous autumn colours.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day on the trail, with its incredible scenery and the towns dotted alongside made it all part of an amazing cycling experience.   If you are thinking of visiting New Zealand, please get in touch with me, I’d love to share more cycling stories with you.

Cycling around the South

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  • Highlights: Milford Day Trip with Cruise and Scenic Flight, Three Day Otago Central Rail Trail Cycle Ride, Taieri Gorge Train and Dunedin’s Peninsula Experience.
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