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Otago Rail Trail & Southern Lakes Trails

OVERVIEW
ITINERARY
INCLUSIONS & PAYMENT

USEFUL INFO

It is with good reason that cycling the iconic Otago Rail Trail in Central Otago has renewed many New Zealanders love of cycling.  We have added cycle trails around the lakes of  Central Otago and the MacKenzie country to make a really memorable week of cycling.  Begin your cycling adventure following cycle trails across the McKenzie basin on the Alps2ocean trail, along canal roads and cycle trails. 

We then travel to the Lake District and cycle the Lake Hawea trail to Lake Wanaka, before moving on to Clyde to cycle the Upper Clutha trail and begin the Otago Rail Trail.  NZBT helpful and friendly guides and support vehicles are always ready and available.

NB:  B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1
Christchurch  28th Feb 2022 (D)

We meet you at 2.00 pm at your accommodation, the Orari Bed and Breakfast, for bike fittings followed by a short ride around Hagley Park.

Your accommodation is very close to the shopping and cultural heart of Christchurch, with the Art Gallery literally at your doorstep.  The Christchurch Arts Centre, museum and botanical gardens are all less than 5 minutes walk.

Dinner at one of Christchurch’s finest restaurants.

 

Day 2
Twizel  1st March 2022 (B,L,D)  54 km

Depart Christchurch by minibus and arrive at our destination at Lake Tekapo in the late morning.  We begin our cycling at Lake Tekapo, the start of the Alps2Ocean with a picnic lunch on the trail.  Cycle past the beautiful Lake Pukaki and on to Twizel and our accommodation at Twizel.

Dinner at Poppies Restaurant, Twizel.

 

Day 3  
Lake Ohau  2nd March 2022 (B,L,D)  48 km

Cycle on roads alongside the blue canals from Twizel to Lake Ohau, where we follow the cycle trail and road to Lake Ohau Lodge.   Enjoy hospitality and scenery that is out of this world at one of  New Zealand’s best lodges.

Accommodation and dinner at Lake Ohau Lodge.

 

Day 4
Clyde  3rd March 2022 (B,D)  18 km

Van transfer to Pisa Moorings near Cromwell, to cycle the Lake Dunstan trail, following the Lake edge to Cromwell and lunch in the Old Town overlooking the lake.  Cycle on to Bannock Burn and Cornish Point.  Van transfer to our accommodation at Clyde, ready to cycle the Otago Rail Trail the next morning.

Dinner at The Old Post PO.

 

Day 5
Ophir  4th March 2022 (B,D)  40km

Leave Clyde on the rail trail, stopping at Chatto Creek for coffee and lunch.  Make sure you take a  look at the tiny Post Office.  Other highlights are The 12 km trail to Omakau climbs gradually and if it is a hot afternoon takes longer than you’d expect. We stay at Ophir, a well preserved historic settlement 2km from Omakau.

Dinner will be at our accommodation at Pitches Store.

 

Day 6
Wedderburn  5th March 2022,(B,D) 50 km

Pick up the rail trail at Omakau, and cycle eastward to the settlement before entering one of the most scenic sections of the trail.  Climb gradually above the Poolburn gorge, through two tunnels, and over the Poolburn viaduct with its schist stone piers.  Descend into the Ida Valley, famous for ice skating and curling in the winter.   Look out for the windmill of the Hayes Engineering workshop on your left and enjoy lunch at Hayes Engineering café.  Head off from Otehura to Wedderburn where we load our bikes for our transfer to Naseby for the night.   At 6pm wrap up warmly to learn the art of curling at the local indoor rink, and then have a go yourself at sliding the stones down the ice.

Dining at Royal Hotel.

 

Day 7
Hyde  6th March 2022 (B, D)  46km

Back in the van to  Wedderburn, made famous by Graeme Sidney’s watercolour.  Downhill all the way today, first to Ranfurly with its Art Deco architecture for morning tea and then across the Maniototo Plain to Waipiata for lunch at the local tavern. After passing the remnant of Taieri Lake we enter the Upper Taieri River Gorge and travel down the valley to Kokanga and on to Hyde.   Once again the trail passes through tunnels and over high bridges.  Transfer back to Kokonga for the night.  Accommodation and dinner at Kokonga Lodge.

 

Day 8
Middlemarch  7th March 2022 (B)  27 km (Kokanga to Middlemarch)

The wide-open plain of the Strath Taieri opens up as we leave Hyde with the Rock and Pillar Range high above us out to the west and gradually descend into Middlemarch for lunch and the end of the trail.    Transfer to  Dunedin airport or your Dunedin hotel.  Time permitting, we will visit the historic stone sheep yards and/or the Salt lake, at Middlemarch.

All distances are in km. The quoted cycling distances for each day are based on our day maps and represent the maximum expected riding, but are able to be decreased to suit individual needs and weather conditions on the day.

Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, two lunches and 7 evening meals
  • Guide and transportation
  • Curling at Naseby
  • Accommodation as detailed on a twin share basis with private bathrooms
  • NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 15%

 

Accommodation

The accommodation for this trip has been selected to provide a comfortable nights sleep at the end of a long day. The accommodation is on a twin share or double room basis, with private facilities. If you wish to reserve a room to yourself a single supplement is available at extra cost.

 

Not included

  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks with meals
  • 5 lunches along the trail
  • e-bike rental and helmet. E-bikes are Norco Scene’s or Specialised Rolls with Bafang motors.

 

Payment and Booking Conditions

The price of the eight day/seven night tour is NZ$2850, based on the above inclusions. A limited number of single supplements are available at $950 per person.

E-bike rental for the tour is $350 per person.

 

Deposit

$500

Safety

All adventures, no matter how modest, involve an element of risk - that is their nature. However, throughout your vacation, safety is always the most important consideration. Our experienced and safety-conscious guides are there when you need them.

 

Health and fitness

This is an active holiday so you need to be fit and in good health. If you are taking medication not listed on the registration form please let your guide know. Fitness is difficult to define. However, as a general rule, you should be able to comfortably cycle for up to 3 - 4 hours a day. The fitter you are the more enjoyable your trip will be.

 

Gear List

The weather can be changeable with a trip like this, so will need to have suitable clothing for a wide range of conditions. We recommend you pack your luggage in a soft sports bag for easy stowing in the trailer.

 

  • Tee shirt and shorts
  • Cycle pants and gloves
  • Highly visible/bright cycle clothing for increased safety on our roads
  • Long-sleeved lightweight top or shirt
  • weight woollen jumper or fleece
  • Windproof shell
  • Swimming costume for the spa at Pitches store
  • Rainwear - top and pants
  • Socks and underwear
  • Suitable cycle footwear
  • Lightweight trekking/hiking boots or footwear for walks
  • Personal toilet gear, towel, sunscreen and lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Torch or headlamp for Otago Rail Trail tunnels
  • Casual evening clothing
  • Small day bag to leave in the van for keeping items you want to access during the day

Tour Information

DIFFICULTY
DISTANCE
Grade 1-2
270 km
DURATION
8 Days / 7 Nights
START / END 
Christchurch to Dunedin
DATES
28 Feb - 7 March 2022
PRICE
from $2850
High-specification road, mtb & e-bikes, built for NZ conditions
Enjoy home comforts with best-available accommodation, comfortable seats, gourmet food and happy hours
Enjoyable, balanced itineraries designed by cyclists for cyclists, based on 30+ years’ touring experience
Technical support and transport backup provides a stress-free holiday

Client feedback

  • "Biking in New Zealand was a long time dream that Brian and Carol were able to make happen. We had a short window of time and Brian and Carol showed us the best spots of the Alps to Ocean trial. Brian has beautiful bikes in excellent working condition.Their attention to our interests was evident in the first hour of conversation."
    Lisa 
               

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