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Lake Dunstan Trail

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Lake Dunstan Trail

The Trail

The Lake Dunstan Walking and Cycling Trail links the townships of Clyde and Cromwell. 

The trail offers cyclists and walkers an a 40.km ride (Grade 2-3) through unique and fascinating landscapes so characteristic of Central Otago as it journeys along Lake Dunstan, the Kawarau River and the mighty Clutha River Mata-au.

The trail follows the true right of The Kawarau River from Old Cromwell Town  to Bannockburn, and then through the gorge to the Dunstan Arm Rowing Club, near Clyde. Work started in June. 2019…  The trail forms part of 536km of new trails connecting Cromwell to other Central Otago, Queenstown and Wanaka trails.

The 40.2km trail is part of the $26million New Zealand Cycle Trail Project, funded by the Government, the Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust.

The trail was officially opened on the 8th of May with a ONE way ride from Clyde to Cromwell.  After the official opening, the lead group  departed Clyde at 10am.

From the 9th May onwards the trail has been able to be ridden in both directions.

Check out the LATEST information on the new Tourism Central Website, Lake Dunstan Trail

Check out the latest Facebook information from the Trail Experts themselves.

Two contractors (Wilson and Keen and M3) have done the bulk of the trail construction. A third contractor, Cliff Care, has also been involved in trail construction, along with rock scaling and clip-on bridge work.

PICTURE STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Setting up an adventure . . . Contractors plank a cycle trail “clip on” at Hartley Bluff, near the Cromwell end of the Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out a brief precise of the ride

TOTAL CYCLING DISTANCE FROM OLD CROMWELL TOWN TO HISTORIC CLYDE 40.2KMS

 

 
CYCLING DISTANCE FROM OLD CROMWELL TOWN BANNOCKBURN INLET 7KMS  GRADE 2
Following the Kawarau arm of Lake Dunstan to the Bannockburn bridge, you will have amazing vistas across the lake to Bannockburn vineyards and the next section of trail which loops back round on the opposite side.  Along the way there are sections where the land has been reshaped in the search for gold and then again when the lake was formed. 
After crossing the Bannockburn bridge loop around to Bannockburn Inlet where there is a toilet, and parking available. It is possible to return to Cromwell on a trail alongside Bannockburn Road – making for a wonderful short and family friendly day ride.     

 

CYCLING DISTANCE FROM BANNOCKBURN INLET TO CAIRNMUIR GULLEY 11.3KMS  Grade 2-3
Girls on the LDT 

The trail loops around the Bannockburn Inlet which is a popular picnic area with a designated swimming area. As it continues toward Cornish Point it passes by vineyards and olive groves – with views back across to Cromwell and the Heritage Precinct. 
This section includes the first of the bluff bridges, and you will cycle at the base of the stonework faces of the Cairnmuir slide, a unique feature high on the slopes above the lake. It was designed to protect the river from a major land slide, which could overwhelm the Clyde Dam, a short distance downstream.
As you go, look out for the drainage tunnels dotted along the length of the gorge. There are 13 tunnels (total 18.5km of tunnels) drilled into the hillsides of the gorge in the mid 1990’s. These tunnels are also used to mitigate against landslips into the Clutha River. This section of trail takes you into the Cromwell Gorge. You will be amazed at the skills of trail builders with sections built out around sheer rock faces. A coffee awaits at Coffee Afloat.

CYCLING DISTANCE FROM CAIRNMUIR GULLEY TO HISTORIC CLYDE 22.6KMS  Grade 2-3

This section requires the most attention and skills as there are narrow sections and more gradient.The aptly named Cairnmuir Ladder, may look daunting but the switchbacks have been designed to a maximum of 6 degree gradient with a 3m minimum radius. This is section contains the highest point of the trail, rewarded with magnificent views which also means exposure to the weather.
The Hugo suspension bridge is in the middle of this section with a walkable steep land option for those uncomfortable on the bridge.
Toilets are at either end of this section at Cairnmuir Gully & Halfway Hut Close to Halfway Hut you will find a short switch back section with tight corners and a good climb / descent.  There are plenty of picnic spots to stop at and enjoy the lakeside.

A dominant feature at the Clyde end of the trail is New Zealand’s third largest hydro-dam, the Clyde Dam. This was one of the ‘’Think Big” projects driven by the Muldoon led Government to diversify the economy and drive growth. Started construction 1977.  The first power was generated in 1992.
This section then follows the sealed road in places, and shares the Clyde road bridge before climbing up towards the Clyde Heritage Precinct.

 

 

Lake Dunstan Trail

Bike it Now!

Lake Dunstan Trail