New Zealand Cycle Trail:
Otago Rail Trail
Queenstown to Queenstown
4 days / 3 nights
Thinking ahead? Dates for 2024 2025 summer available now
All available dates, this and next summer, as below:
- Start Date Status
- Tue 27 Feb 2024Last 2 places
- Sat 02 Mar 2024Last 4 places
- Wed 20 Mar 2024Available
- Tue 02 Apr 2024last 6 places
- Tue 16 Apr 2024Available
- Tue 5 Nov 2024
- Wed 20 Nov 2024
- Wed 11 Dec 2024
- Wed 8 Jan 2025
- Wed 15 Jan 2025
- Tue 4 Feb 2025
- Tue 18 Feb 2025
- Tue 4 Mar 2025
- Wed 12 Mar 2025
- Tue 18 Mar 2025
- Wed 26 Mar 2025
- Tue 1 Apr 2025
- Tue 15 Apr 2025
Journey Into The Past
The Otago Rail Trail is an iconic New Zealand cycle trail, one of the first established in the country and a must-do for all keen cyclists.
A great entry level experience for those new to multi day rides, we include plenty of fun side trips to enhance your adventure.
The Otago Central Rail Trail is ideal for cyclists who wish to see some spectacular Central Otago scenery, at an easy pace, on flat gravelled terrain.
Trains typically travel through hills, around hills but (if it can be avoided) not uphill (the maximum gradient is 2%).
The Rail Trail runs for 150kms between Clyde and Middlemarch (close to Dunedin), passing through the towns of Clyde, Alexandra, Chatto Creek, Omakau, Lauder, Oturehua, Wedderburn, Ranfurly, Waipiata and Hyde.
Day 1 Queenstown to Clyde - bike to Lauder
We will collect you from your accommodation in Queenstown and drive through to Clyde. We ride from Clyde to Alexandra, and then ride through the flat rural countryside to Chatto Creek. The trail then starts to rise before levelling off at Omakau, where we briefly leave the trail and take a short ride around the quaint township of Ophir.
The highlights of today are the wooden trestle Muttontown Viaduct; the Old Tucker Hill gold diggings; views of the Dunstan Mountains and Raggedy Range and (hopefully) a sighting of brown trout in the Manuherikia River.
Dinner tonight is at a local cafe where you can experience true Central Otago hospitality.
Day 2 Lauder to Ranfurly
Location: Local hotel/motel
This morning we make a side trip in the bus to the historic gold-mining town of St Bathan’s, and walk around the beautiful Blue Lake.
We return to Lauder where we start todays biking. Today we bike through two tunnels and over two rail bridges and follow along above a willow tree edged gorge and welcoming river pools. We finally emerge into the scenic Idaburn valley, and have a last easy climb up to the summit of the trail. We then enjoy the descent down to the art deco township of Ranfurly.
The highlights of today include the engineering marvel of the Poolburn Gorge Viaduct and tunnels; the vast wide open Ida Valley (made famous by the artist Grahame Sydney); the Idaburn dam (known for its winter curling); and a trip to Hayes Engineering Works (Hayes invented the wire strainer, pulley block and cattle stop at the beginning of the 20th century);and visiting the town of Wedderburn.
Day 3 Ranfurly to Hyde
Location: Local hotel/ motel
This morning we drive to Naseby, which is a small forestry township, and play a game of curling (if you can imagine bowls on ice then you are on the right track….they have the only dedicated curling rink in the Southern Hemisphere).
From Naseby drive to Ranfurly where we start todays ride. We ride the trail to Waipiata and along the edge of an old lake, before entering the Taieri Gorge. The trail then crosses through further tunnels and bridges……… before a fast downhill to the end of todays cycling at Hyde.
The highlights of today’s itinerary include curling at Naseby, crossing the vast Maniototo Plains; following the Taieri River as it snakes around the Rock and Pillar Range; crossing the stone bridge over Cap Burn; and experiencing the 32 metre high Price’s Creek Viaduct, and the 152 metre long tunnel.
Day 4 Hyde to Middlemarch-Queenstown
The highlight of the final day’s ride includes views of the Rock and Pillar and Taieri Ranges; the Hyde Railway Disaster memorial; and dropping down into the Strath Taieri Plain.
We end at Middlemarch – which is a small farming town that is well known for the Easter Singles Ball. Girls travel there to meet eligible rugged young Southern Men who come down to the ball from their hill country stations.
After lunch we drive to historic Kawarau Bridge to the AJ Hackett Bungy Centre where we get on the bikes and ride alongside the Arrow River crossing over two very impressive suspension bridges until we arrive in Arrowtown. From Arrowtown its a short drive to Queenstown where we drop you off at your accommodation.
This is a fantastic trip, particularly for novice cyclists who want to experience the wonderful scenery and pioneering history of Central Otago.
Each night you will stay in comfortable hotel, motel or bed and breakfast accommodation.
Rooms are double (one queen or king bed) or twin (2 separate beds). If you have a preference for a twin room, please let us know when you make your booking. All rooms have their own ensuite bathroom.
If you are a single traveller, you can nominate to share a room with another single of the same gender or pay an additional single supplement to secure a private room for the duration of the tour.
The single room supplement for this tour is $545
An experienced guide
Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.
You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings. If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, but is available for purchase most nights.
Safety and Risk Management
To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.
Luggage & Transfers
Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.
Tour Kit Bag Exclusive to Tuatara Tours
To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a bag of useful goodies.
This will be given to you at the start of your tour.
Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)
This is our first ever biking tour and as novices we were extremely impressed with your staff and everything about the tour
Bronwyn and Jeremy-NZ
Fantastic tour, I would recommend to anyone. The extra trips to do curling and visit historic locations were enjoyed and appreciated. We couldn’t have done so much if travelling independently
Pete and Catherine-NZ
Very enjoyable and sense of achievement. Beautiful scenery/food/company of rest of group. Well run – in safe hands. Enough comfort without being too posh!!