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Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for over 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

Trail Jouneys

Explore > New Zealand > Queenstown > Trail Jouneys

Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Cycle Ride Tour

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Otago Central Rail Trail Guided Cycle Ride Tour - Trail Jouneys.

Daily Trip Descriptions

Day 1 Clyde to Alexandra 8km
Your adventure starts in Queenstown where you will be picked up by our shuttle at 9.00am to travel to Clyde and be taken to the Trail Journeys base at the start of the Rail Trail.If you are traveling by vehicle, you will need to be in Clyde by 10.30am to get fitted with your cycle and get briefed by your tour guide. You will have the day to yourselves, so time to check out the shopping in Clyde and Alexandra or visit the many attractions in the area. From Clyde you can cycle past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge on the ride to Alexandra. For the more adventurous, there is the option of riding on the Clutha River Centennial Track to Alexandra which adds another 8km to your cycle ride. You will stay in Alexandra for the night. You are responsible for your own meal arrangements on this day. Trail Journeys staff can make recommendations for you.

Day 2 Alexandra to Omakau 28km
From Alexanda you bike to Galloway Station where we boil the billy for morning tea with good old home baking.You then bike to Chatto Creek, twice crossing over bridges on the Manuherikia River. You will reach the Chatto Creek Tavern, an historic stone building which is where you will stop for lunch. After lunch you cycle up Tiger Hill, an easy gradient of 1 in 50. From the top of Tiger Hill it is all down hill to your over night accommodation in Omakau. Sites of significant interest are the Daniel O'Connor Suspension Bridge and the Ophir Post Office which will be worth checking out in this old gold mining town. You will then travel a short distance by bus to the historic gold mining town of St Bathan's and a visit to the old Vulcan Hotel returning to Omakau where you will dine in the evening at the Omakau Commercial Hotel.B/L/D

Day 3 Omakau to Wedderburn 45km
Highlights of today's cycle ride is the beautiful Poolburn gorge section of the trail featuring two tunnels and two viaducts all set in a secluded gorge. You then cycle through the vast open expanse of the Ida Valley farm lands past the Idaburn dam, one of New Zealands few out door winter curling sites. A site visit to Hayes Historic Engineering Works, then there is a short ride to Oturehua for lunch at Oturehua Hotel. After lunch you'll cycle on to the Golden Progress mine just north of Oturehua, then on to Wedderburn just past the highest point on the rail trail before stopping the night at Wedderburn Lodge and Cottages B&B. When you arrive at Wedderburn your guide will take you on a short side trip to Naseby to try your hand at curling and look through the old gold mining town. The evening meal is a traditional farm style meal, at the Wedderburn Hotel.B/L/D

Day 4 Wedderburn to Hyde 43km
From Wedderburn the trail is mostly down hill to Ranfurly, the Art Deco Capital of Otago for morning tea by the old railway station, then crossing the Maniototo Plains on to the Waipiata Tavern for lunch. After lunch the days highlight must be the lovely trail section between Daisybank and Hyde alongside the Taieri river which snakes around the Rock and Pillar Range, crossing the stone Cap Burn bridge, the Price's Creek Viaduct which is 32m high and the last tunnel which 152m long arriving at the recently restored Otago Central Hyde Hotel, your over night stop, dinner, bed and breakfast. Depending on the time you arrive at Hyde, your guide may take you on a short side trip up to the goldmining town of Macraes, the site of New Zealand's largest working gold mine. B/L/D

Day 5 Hyde to Middlemarch 29km
Just a short ride today and slightly downhill with views of the Rock and Pillar, Taieri Ranges, and the Hyde Railway Disaster Memorial. We provide a morning snack along the way. For those traveling on the Taieri Gorge Train trip to Dunedin we will arrive at the Middlemarch Railway Station in time for you to depart by train at 1 p.m. The rest of the group will then return to Clyde by bus. If required we will arrange to get you onto Queenstown.Breakfast provided.


Trail Journeys has been built up around the very popular NZ Cycle Trail, The Otago Central Rail Trail offering bike hire, complete guided packages, personal railtrail itineraries and transport associated with the railtrail. We can book your accommodation for no extra cost to you, have your bags moved each day by our Railtrail Transport Service and finally bring you back on one of our buses to your starting point once you've finished your adventure! We are lucky to be working on one of the best New Zealand Cycle Trails.