trip
NEW
Book with confidence – $0 depositSee Terms & Conditions
1
introductory

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 5 day cycle trail
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel/motel
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 1 Lunch
  • 4 Breakfasts

5 Days$1699USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: ORQ

Trip highlights


  • Ride the stunning new Lake Dunstan trail through the magnificent Cromwell Gorge
  • Enjoy easy riding in epic landscapes with big skies
  • Go deep into history through tunnels, over bridges, along railways & riverside paths
  • Try your hand at curling in Naseby
  • Admire architectural gems in Clyde, Ophir, Ranfurly, Dunedin, Oamaru & beyond
  • Savour delicious local wine & food, and stay in great accommodation
  • Explore Oamaru’s atmospheric Victorian precinct and the Pacific Coast

Why Book With Us

  • Pioneers in group cycle tours since 1992
  • Stay at the historic Dunstan House in Clyde and quaint Lauder School
  • Our support vehicle is always nearby if you are feeling tired
  • Flexibility to change the itinerary on tour if effected by weather or trail closures

Ride through an array of spectacular southern landscapes on our fully guided and supported trip taking in both the Lake Dunstan Trail and Otago Central Rail Trail.

The adventure begins with a warm up ride alongside the shimmering waters of Lake Dunstan before we have the option to ride through the dramatic Cromwell Gorge on the new Lake Dunstan Trail.

Then you’re off on New Zealand’s first and most famous Great Ride. Following the old Otago Central railway line from Clyde to Middlemarch, this iconic, multi-day ride takes in grand landscapes, charming towns, country hospitality and rich history.

Our expert guides will show you the best trailside highlights such as heritage sites, architectural gems, and vineyards.

You’ll also enjoy delicious local food and drink, and friendly welcomes in accommodation full of character.


We’ll meet in downtown Queenstown at 8:00am and drive through the picturesque Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell. We unload the bikes at Smith’s Way and start our journey with an easy ride following the glistening shores of Lake Dunstan. We pass through Cromwell’s Old Town, a small historic precinct dating back to the gold rush days of the 1800s, where galleries, coffee shops and boutiques give us a short break from the bike. The trail continues along the Kawarau arm of Lake Dunstan to the Bannockburn Bridge offering stunning views across the lake while passing by wineries and olive groves. This is the perfect stop for lunch and a wine tasting at a nearby boutique vineyard. From Cornish Point some riders will continue on along the new Lake Dunstan Trail into the dramatic Cromwell Gorge, where the track winds around sheer rockfaces and over lake inlets on impressively engineered platforms and bridges rising above the lake to Clyde. For those riders who wish to avoid the more demanding section through the gorge, there will be an option drive to Clyde and ride all or part of the easier river trail to Alexandra, or explore the small historic town. We will all meet again in Clyde, settle into our comfortable accommodation and enjoy our first group dinner in the early evening. Cycling Distances: Smith’s Way to Cornish Point – 30km/18miles Cornish Point to Clyde via Lake Dunstan (Moderate) – 25km/15miles Clyde to Alexandra River Trail (Introductory) – 12km/7miles each way

Meals:  L,D

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/27miles

Meals:  B,D

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

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 lunch, we’ll board the support vehicle for the drive to Dunedin where we‘ll celebrate our trip with a final group dinner. Cycling distance: 59km/37 miles

Meals:  B,D

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: 24km/15 miles

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • Tasty breakfasts (x4), lunch (x1), dinners (x4) catered to all dietary requirements
  • 4 nights comfortable motel/hotel accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Curling at Naseby
  • Experienced guides who handle all the hard bits and share epic stories (2 guides on groups of 8 or more)
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • Full vehicle support along the trail including trailer for luggage
  • Transport from Queenstown to Christchurch
  • Pre departure information kit to help you plan and prepare
  • Otago Rail Trail passport
  • Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. Once the trip reaches 8 people, we provide you with two of our expert guides to maximise your enjoyment and overall experience. You’ll know you’re in safe hands as all of our guides are certified in first aid and CPR and many of them are trained bike mechanics. They come from all walks of life but our guides have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Accommodation


Bike information


Trail Surface


Departure dates


Notes

HS
Holiday Season
P
Easter Holiday Supplement
IT1
This is an e-Bike only tour
NB:
See more dates on our other Otago Central Rail Trail departures. E-bikes welcome, although there may be cyclists on regular bikes.

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$1699USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Easter Holiday SupplementUSD$80
  • Bike RentalUSD$130
  • Single Supplement - Limited to 2 per departureUSD$340
  • e-Bike Rental (subject to availability)USD$380
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Lake Dunstan and Otago Central Rail Trail trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Videos

Otago Central Rail Trail Tours NZ

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Suggested extensions

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips