BOUTIQUE RAIL TRAIL – 5 DAYS
Queenstown to Dunedin/Queenstown, 5 days / 4 nights
- Door to Door collection from Queenstown
- Cycle the Rail Trail over 4 days ( 4 -5 hours cycling a day)
- Bike Hire including pannier & helmet
- Bike fitting and briefing over a complimentary drink
- Accommodation with daily breakfast
- Daily luggage transfers with a generous 15kg per bag allowance
- Taieri Gorge Train to Dunedin or return to Queenstown by bus
This itinerary is a guideline only and can be tailor-made to suit your group. Additional days and activities are easily added and it can be reversed so that you start from Dunedin. Please contact us to quote.
DAY 1 – QUEENSTOWN TO CLYDE
Your Otago Central Rail Trail Holiday starts today will one of the Bike It Now! team collecting your from your accommodation or the airport at 2pm.
Enjoy an informative 1.5 hour drive via the historic Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges to historic Clyde. On arrival we will fit your bikes and go through a trail briefing. Settle into your accommodation for the night and the rest of the day is free to explore. Take the historic walking tour of Clyde’s historic sites or walk up to the lookout for stunning views of the township and Clyde hydro dam.
Olivers Central Otago – Deluxe Standard Room
The original stone complex, located in Clyde’s historic precinct, was built by Benjamin Naylor in 1869 as a general store, servicing the prospectors who sought their fortunes during the Otago gold rush. Today, in recognition of its outstanding heritage value, Olivers is protected by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust with a priority category one classification. Eleven rooms, divided into Stables and Lodge accommodation, superbly blend the old with the new creating a contemporary ambience integrally linked with bygone days.
Hartley Homestead is a grand 1900s mud brick homestead framed by vibrant mature gardens, fruit trees, spacious lawns and wide-open Central Otago landscapes; a charming romantic setting which lets you enjoy life at a slower pace. The smell of freshly made bread entices guests to the table for breakfast each morning, accompanied by a selection of newly picked fruit and homemade jams from 80-year-old fruit trees onsite. You can relax on the verandah with a local glass or wine or enjoy a hot tub overlooking the homestead’s wine producing Pinot Noir Vines. Host Melanie Eade is an accomplished artist, works from her home studio which features on the Central Otago Arts Trail.
DAY 2 –CYCLE TO OMAKAU/OPHIR (B)
Today you have the option to start on the Rail Trail (8km from the Rail Head to Alexandra) or cycle the river route to Alexandra (12km from Clyde Township to Alexandra) , re-joining the Rail Trail there.
On the Rail Trail cross the wood trestle Mutton Town Viaduct and maybe stop and taste some local wine. Cycle through irrigated farmland and the typical schist rock and thyme landscape of Central Otago. At Omakau you can leave the trail for a 5km loop road cycle to historic Ophir crossing the Daniel O’Donnell suspension bridge. There are extensive views of Alexandra, The Old Man Range and the Dunstan Range.
Hidden from the world in the small historic town of Ophir in Central Otago, Pitches Store provides all the charm and special comforts you desire. Recently opened after 6 years of restoration, every detail of this Central Otago accommodation reflects contemporary luxury, tastefully combined with hints of its unique 130 year history. With 6 rooms and a restaurant onsite, it’s easy to enjoy passing the time with some great food, wine and good company or simply unwind in the thoughtfully designed rooms.
Clyde to Ophir 37km and 2km by road
DAY 3 – CYCLE TO WEDDERBURN (B)
The curved Manuherikia Bridge, the trails longest, the spectacular Poolburn Gorge with its two long tunnels and 37m high viaduct Pass the Ida Burn Dam, famous for curling. In Oturehua, historic Hayes Engineering Works is worth a visit and stop in at Gilchrists store, NZ’s oldest continuously operating general store. Just out of Oturehua, visit the Golden Progress Mine where Otago’s last remaining poppet head still straddles a deep mine shaft.
There are breathtaking views of the Ida Valley, Hawkdun and Ida Ranges on this day.
On arrival in Wedderburn you will be met and transferred 15 minutes to Naseby. One of New Zealand’s “cutest” towns, Naseby is steeped in history and was the main service town for the Maniototo until the railway arrived in Ranfurly. Naseby is home to New Zealand’s indoor International Curling Rink and “Have a Go” games are $28.00pp for 1.5 hours of ice time including all equipment and instruction.
The Old Doctors Residence – Dansey’s Room
The historic and award winning Old Doctor’s Residence located in the historic precinct of Naseby, Central Otago, has been sensitively restored by the husband and wife team of Grant and Jan Bean into gracious, luxury bed and breakfast accommodation. Accommodating up to 4 people in two rooms, guests are invited to join their hosts in the main lounge to share a complementary tasting of local produce and wonderful Central Otago wines.
We do recommend a two night stay in Naseby if time allows…you can then add a rest day of excursions into the surrounding area such as a 4WD high country tour experience or a tour to historic St Bathans and Cambrians; a Maniototo Garden Tour or a visit to an artist’s open studio. You’ll also have time to enjoy a fun game of curling at the Maniototo International Curling Rink.
Ophir to Wedderburn 43.5km (transfer to Naseby included)
DAY 4 – CYCLE TO KOKONGA (B, D)
The Wedderburn Goods Shed, made famous Grahame Sydney’s painting ‘July on the Maniototo’. Rural Art Deco Ranfurly is worth a stop and visit the interactive display at the Information Centre located in the old station building. The views of the Kakanui Mountains and Ida Range are especially spectacular. From Kokonga Lodge you can also enjoy some short walks along the Taieri River or to through the very small historical village of Kokonga.
Surrounded by gardens, Kokonga Lodge sits on a commanding site with panoramic views over the Maniototo – a landscape that initially inspired writers and artists has now been discovered by film-makers. Drive 20 minutes and view the stunning backdrop to one of the major action scenes in “The Hobbit”, and enjoy the ambience of the lodge where Sir Peter Jackson stayed during the filming. The lodge offers six stylish, en suite rooms and supremely comfortable guest areas. One of the greatest pleasures of your stay will be the warm hospitality and superb meals provided by your hosts Dorothy and Malcolm. Don’t be disappointed, stay two nights and indulge in the many activities available in the area including garden tours, 4WD and farm tours, fly-fishing, horse riding, curling or just relax on the deck with a glass of wine and a book from the lodge’s extensive library.
(transfer to Wedderburn included) Wedderburn to Kokonga 31.5km
DAY 5 – CYCLE TO MIDDLEMARCH (B)
The historic Cap Burn Bridge, 32 m high Prices Creek Viaduct and Prices Creek Tunnel are highlights of this picturesque section. Pass the Hyde Rail Disaster Memorial where 21 people lost their lives in a derailment in 1943. Hyde’s Station built in 1894 still stands. Enjoy views of the farmland of the Strath Taieri valley with the Strath Taieri ridge on your left and the Rock and Pillar range on your right. Finish the trail about 400m north of the Middlemarch Station.
Return your cycles, collect your bags and catch the connecting shuttle to the Taieri Gorge train to Dunedin ( you will arrive in Dunedin at 6.30pm) or return to Clyde by shuttle where we will then provide a private transfer back to your Queenstown accommodation (arriving 8.00pm). Alternatively stay an extra night in Clyde and we will transfer you to Queenstown the following morning.
Kokonga to Middlemarch 42km
|LOCATION||Central Otago, New Zealand|
|Depart on a day to suit.
The Autumn months on the trail are the busiest. Early booking i.e. 6
months in advance is recommended.
|5 days, 4 nights|
From NZ$1075.00 per person
Room upgrades available at Olivers:
Deluxe Superior Room add $37.50 per person
Room upgrade available at the Old Doctors Residence
Add an additional night at the Old Doctors Residence
Accommodation is based on twin share and single supplements will apply for single travellers wanting their own room.
|DEPARTURE TIME||2pm or other times by arrangement|
|DEPARTURE POINT||Collection from your Queenstown Accommodation/Airport|
|INCLUDED||> Collection from your Queenstown accommodation by Bike It Now! Team (if required) personal bike fitting and pre-trail briefing over complimentary drink
> Accommodation and daily breakfast (B)
> A tasting of local produce and wonderful Central Otago wines at The Old Doctors Residence.
> Three Course dinner and pre-dinner nibbles at Kokonga Lodge. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages are not included but are available for purchase.
> 4 days cycle and helmet hire + 1/2 day free hire* (this cost is excluded if bringing your own cycle – see above. Our bikes include the Avanti Montari (for men) and Forte (for women) and the Discovery 2 Low (step-thru). Bikes are available in a range of sizes. For features of each bike visit https://www.bikeitnow.co.nz/our-bikes . All adult bikes come with:
> 4 days bag transfers based on 1 bag per person weighing no more than 15kg per bag.
> Taieri Gorge Train to Dunedin and transfers required on the day the train departs from Pukerangi. Additional charges apply if you want to return to Queenstown.
> Full trip preparation information & travel documents including maps
> Otago Central Rail Trail Passport – full of historical information (funds raised support the work of the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust)
|ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES||> Clutha River Cruise
from $95.00 per person (min 2 departing Alex/Clyde)
> Curling Only
> St Bathans & Cambrians Tour
2 people: $65 per person
> 4WD High Country Tours
> 3 hour Garden Tours
|NOT INCLUDED||> All other meals not specified.
> Additional bag transfers. Extra bags not needed on the trail can be transferred to the end of the trail and stored for $15 per bag.
> Overweight bag charges. It is important to stick to the 15kg limit. This is for the health and safety of the bag services drivers.
|TO BOOK THIS TOUR||> Contact us with your groups details by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 245 366 (+64 3 449 2228):
> We will send you a proposed itinerary for you to consider along with a booking form.
> If you accept we will book your tour and will require a deposit from your group within 7 days ($150.00 per person) of you accepting
> Final tour payments are required 6 weeks prior to departure.
Children’s bikes, tow behinds and child seats are also available; please contact us for more information.