Your guide will collect the group and we will have a tour briefing and then a bike fitting. Then it’s
time to explore the newly established Queenstown trails. We’ll cycle from the historic township of
Arrowtown through to rugged Gibbston Valley, passing the famous Kawarau Gorge bungy bridge.
We will stop for lunch in Cromwell and travel alongside the scenic river gorge before arriving at the railhead at Clyde. The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore this old gold mining town
or meander along some alternative cycle trails. In the evening we will enjoy sampling some local
boutique wines at a vineyard in Clyde before heading to our first group dinner.
Today's cycling is approximately 35km.
Today we commence the official Otago Central Rail Trail ride, as we leave town across flat rural
countryside. From Chatto Creek the trail starts to rise, before leveling off to Omakau where we stop
for lunch. We then take a drive around the quaint township of Ophir and to the top of the Raggedy
Range to get a bird’s eye view of the trail and the surrounding region. After lunch the remaining
9kms flow under the wheels until we arrive at Lauder. Late afternoon we will take a drive to the
historic gold mining village, St. Bathans, for a walk around the beautiful Blue Lake. This evening it is
time for a relaxing beer and a game of pool at the local pub before dinner.
Today's cycling is approximately 44km.
Our cycle ride today takes us through the first two tunnels and two rail bridges on the trip. With the
willow tree-edged gorge below the trail and welcoming pools beckoning we finally emerge into the
scenic Idaburn valley. Here we stop for a visit to the Hayes Engineering works, where some of New
Zealand’s first industrial farm equipment was invented. The stop is also perfectly located to fuel up
with a hearty lunch at their cafe before our afternoon ride.
One last short easy climb takes us to the highest point of the trail and the beginning of the downhill descent that take us to the art deco township of Ranfurly. You’ll have some free time in the afternoon to relax, stroll around Ranfurly or catch up on some washing. Around 4:30pm we drive out to Naseby, a small foresting township, just off the trail. Here we have the option of trying our skills at curling: bowls on ice. This is a lot of fun and is the only dedicated curling rink in the Southern Hemisphere. If curling doesn’t appeal, a relaxing pint at the iconic Royal Hotel, or a walk around he village or in the forest plantation are alternatives. After the afternoons activities we head back to Ranfurly for dinner and overnight.
Today's cycling is approximately 47km.
It’s out of bed and back onto the bikes for our longest ride today, but it is some of the best riding
on the trip. From Waipiata the trail follows the edge of the old lake before entering the Taieri Gorge.
The trail crosses through further tunnels and bridges before a fast downhill to the old hotel at Hyde.
From here a final 27kms takes us past the scene of the famous Hyde rail disaster of 1943 and then
out onto the rolling plains slowly descending into Middlemarch. This is the end of the trail and time
for a celebratory drink at a local cafe. However the day is not yet finished and we board the famous
Taieri Express for a spectacular train ride through the gorge to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of New
Zealand. Our dinner tonight is a group celebration to acknowledge the 150kms of Rail Trail riding.
Today's cycling is approximately 59kms.
This morning after breakfast we say good bye to any passengers leaving us in Dunedin, and we
visit Baldwin Street, reputedly the “steepest street in the world”, for a short but challenging early
morning stroll. Then we set off on our drive northwards, stopping enroute to visit the Moeraki
Boulders. Shortly afterwards we unload the bikes and enjoy a final quiet coastal ride, past farms that
takes us into Oamaru. We can wander around the old Victorian Precinct where the historic buildings
have been restored creating a fascinating opportunity to explore the past and relax at local cafes.
After lunch we continue northwards and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, where we will
deliver you to your chosen accommodation.
Today's cycling is approximately 24km.
After an incredible trip it's time to say goodbye and continue with your homeward travel. Alternatively, you can book on to another of our New Zealand trips to extend your stay.
If you're looking for bucket list rides, epic scenery and the world's playground, then you've found it in New Zealand. The country is littered with old railways converted into cycle trails taking you into the heart of the country. Crystal clear lakes reflect the towering snow capped mountains, suspension bridges snake their way through golden forests and on either side of the island, you can ride along the shore of New Zealand's crisp blue waters
The summer months between December and February are the best times to ride in New Zealand. Temperatures reach the mid 70s with warm breezes. Spring and autumn are also beautiful times to ride as the climate is mild, especially towards the coast, and the scenery becomes ever more spectacular as the seasons change.