Adventure South NZ - Otago Rail Trail Classic

Deal Details

Travel Dates

24 Jan and 07 Mar Departures

Sale Ends

Mar 6, 2022

Priced From

$1,895 per person

Otago Rail Trail Classic

Otago Rail Trail 4 LachlanGardiner HIGHRES v2

Experience the full breadth and depth of New Zealand’s original Great Ride on our fully guided and supported trip on the Otago Central Rail Trail.

You’ll enjoy easy riding on this trail created especially for cyclists, walkers and horses.

Following the old branch line from Clyde to Middlemarch, it takes in grand landscapes, railway heritage and charming country towns.

Our expert guides will show you the trail’s best sights such as gold rush relics, architectural gems and amazing natural wonders. There’s even a chance to try the ancient art of curling at the Southern Hemisphere’s only indoor rink.

Start the trip in either Christchurch or Clyde, and finish in Christchurch or Dunedin.

Trip highlights

Cycle the dedicated cycle trails of NZ's original great ride
Go deep into history through tunnels, over bridges, along railways & riverside paths
Experience the local 'southern hospitality' of Central Otago
Savour delicious local wine & food, and stay in great accommodation
Admire architectural gems in Clyde, Ophir, Ranfurly & Dunedin
Try your hand at 'curling' in Naseby
Explore Oamaru’s atmospheric Victorian precinct and the Pacific Coast

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What's included
Tasty breakfasts (x4), lunch (x1), dinners (x4) catered to all dietary requirements
4 nights comfortable motel/hotel accommodation on a twin share basis
Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories
Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
Wine tasting at a Central Otago vineyard and curling at Naseby
Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
Transport from Christchurch (return)
Otago Rail Trail passport
Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation


Day 1 Christchurch to Clyde 22km Cycle

Your adventure begins with the drive across the picturesque Canterbury Plains. After pausing for refreshments at the sweet country town of Geraldine, we’ll continue through rolling farmland to reach Fairlie where we’ll stop for lunch. The scenic journey over Burke’s Pass is a fitting introduction to the famous Mackenzie Country, where Lake Tekapo soon appears as a bright, blue jewel. Hopping on our bikes, we’ll warm up with an easy ride along peaceful hydro-canals lined with epic panoramas of the Southern Alps. Driving over the stunning Lindis Pass to reach Central Otago, we’ll arrive in Clyde. Enjoy a relaxing stroll around the old town or get back on the bike for a short ride along the mighty Clutha–Mata-au River before we meet up for our first group dinner. Cycling distance: 22km/14 miles; optional additional riding in the afternoon

Meals:  D

Day 2 Clude to lauder - 44km Cycle

Leaving Clyde via the historic railway line, we’ll track across rural plains encircled by dramatic mountain ranges. Beyond the tiny settlement of Chatto Creek, the trail climbs gently before levelling off to reach our lunch stop, Omakau. We’ll then hop on the bus for the short detour to must-see Ophir township and the Raggedy Range lookout for a bird’s eye view of region. Back on the bikes, it’s another 9km of easy riding to reach Lauder. Late afternoon we’ll drive to St Bathans for a walk around the surreal Blue Lake formed during the 1800s gold days. Enjoy a game of pool or banter at the Lauder pub before we tuck into a well-earned dinner. Cycling distance: 44km/27 miles

Meals:  B,D

Day 3 Lauder to Ranfurly - 47km Cycle

Today’s ride features the trip’s first tunnels and bridges as we trace the pretty Poolburn Gorge and head into the Idaburn Valley. We’ll stop at Hayes Engineering Works, a delightfully rustic heritage site, and Oturehua’s old-fashioned grocery store. After lunch, it’s a gentle climb to the rail trail’s highpoint, then a downhill roll to Ranfurly with its striking art deco architecture. Late afternoon, we’ll take the short drive to Naseby, a cute forestry town famous for its indoor curling rink. Here’s your chance to try ‘bowls on ice’ – it’s very addictive! Naseby is also terrific for a stroll or a sup at the old pub, both nice ways to wind down before we return to Ranfurly for dinner. Cycling distance 47km/29 miles

Meals:  B,D

Day 4 Ranfurley to Dunedin - 59km Cycle

Today combines the trip’s biggest daily distance with some of its most fun riding. The trail tracks towards Waipiata, then follows the edge of an old lake before entering the Taieri Gorge with yet more bridges and tunnels. It’s a flowing downhill run to the historic Hotel Hyde, a picturesque spot for a breather. From here, the final 27km takes in the poignant 1943 Hyde rail disaster memorial, then wends across rolling plains towards the trail’s end at Middlemarch. After a well-earned café lunch, we’ll board the support vehicle for the drive through to Dunedin where we‘ll celebrate our trip with a final group dinner. Cycling distance: 59km/37 miles

Meals:  B,L,D

Day 5 Dunedin to Christchurch - 24 km Cycle

After breakfast, it’s a fond farewell to fellow riders leaving us in Dunedin. For the rest of us, it’s off to Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street. After a short but sharp walk up and down again, we’ll continue driving north to admire the Moeraki Boulders. Further north, we’ll get back in the saddle for a final ride along the coast, through rural countryside to reach Oamaru. There, wander around the portside park and historic Victorian Precinct to enjoy boutique shopping, dining, and photo ops galore. After lunch we continue driving northwards across the Canterbury Plains, and on to Christchurch for a central city drop-off around 6pm. Cycling distance: 24–40km/15–24 miles

Meals:  B




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