Cycle the Otago Rail Trail in style & comfort with our boutique luxury self guided tour itinerary:
This itinerary is a guideline only and can be tailor-made to suit your group. Additional days and activities are easily added. The itinerary can also be reversed if you would like to start from Dunedin.
Your Otago Central Rail Trail holiday starts today with one of the Bike It Now! team collecting you from your Queenstown accommodation or the airport at 2pm. Enjoy an informative 1.5 hour drive via the historic Kawarau and Cromwell Gorges to the historic township of Clyde. On arrival we will fit your bikes and go through a trail briefing. This allows for a more leisurely start on the trail the following morning and also allows for some practice on your new Avanti or Scott 29er or 27.5 rental bike.
We recommend that you take the time to explore Clyde, whether on foot or on your bike. It is one of the most intact towns from the early NZ Otago Gold Rush of the 1860s. The historic village has many original stone dwellings, businesses, and public buildings. The lookout point has wonderful views of the Clutha River and the impressive Clyde Dam (New Zealand’s third largest hydro-electric dam).
Olivers of Central Otago – Deluxe Superior Room with ensuite including a continental breakfast
The historic Olivers Lodge complex has opened a new chapter in its fascinating history, undergoing an authentic restoration, reflecting its significant place in the chronicles of the Central Otago region. 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.
Today you have the option to start on the Otago Rail Trail (8km from the Rail Head to Alexandra) or cycle along the very scenic millennium trail from Clyde to Alexandra instead (13km). This trail takes you along the banks of the Clutha (Mata-au) River passing the Earnscleugh tailings historic reserve en route to the Alexandra Bridge. You will then cycle through Alexandra and re-join the Otago Rail Trail.
From Alexandra you cycle through irrigated farmlands and the typical schist rock and thyme landscapes of Central Otago. At Omakau you leave the trail for a road cycle to historic Ophir where Pitches Store awaits. When you complete the 5km loop you will see New Zealand’s oldest operating Post Office and cross the stunning Daniel O’Donnell suspension bridge.
Pitches Store – Deluxe Superior room with ensuite, including a continental breakfast
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. With 6 rooms and a restaurant on-site, it’s easy to enjoy passing the time with some great food, wine and good company or simply unwind in the thoughtfully designed rooms. 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.
Today you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Ida Valley, Hawkdun and Ida Ranges. You will cycle along the 110 meter Manuherikia Bridge, through the spectacular Poolburn Gorge with its two long tunnels and 37m high viaduct pass. In Oturehua, the historic Hayes Engineering Works is worth a visit as is Gilchrest’s store – NZ’s oldest continuously operating general store. You will then be collected and taken to Naseby from the iconic Red Barn at Wedderburn.
Old Doctors Residence – Deluxe Superior Suite including a continental breakfast
The Award Winning Old Doctor’s Residence located in the historic precinct of Naseby, Central Otago, has been sensitively restored by husband and wife team Grant and Jan Bean into gracious, luxury bed and breakfast accommodation
After breakfast you will be returned to the Red Barn at Wedderburn to rejoin the trail.
Today you will experience the wide open plains of the Maniototo and cycle past the Wedderburn Goods Shed made famous by Grahame Sydney’s “July “. You will also pass through Ranfurly, the Art Deco centre of Otago. The original train station is now a busy visitors information centre.
Kokonga Lodge -– Deluxe Superior Room with ensuite, including a continental breakfast
+ Enjoy pre-dinner nibbles followed by a 2 course gourmet meal at Kokonga Lodge
This luxury lodge has panoramic views over the heart of the Maniototo. It has six beautifully furnished and supremely comfortable ensuite rooms, along with a stylish guest area. There is an additional self-contained cottage on the property. Dinner is included and is a gourmet 3-course meal using fresh local produce.
The highlights on your final day of cycling include the 40 metre long Cap Burn Bridge, Prices Creek Viaduct and Prices Creek Tunnel. 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.
You will finish the trail about 400m north of the Middlemarch Station. The you will return your cycles, collect your bags and catch the connecting shuttle to the Taieri Gorge train to Dunedin ( to arrive in Dunedin at 6.30pm). Alternatively return to Clyde by shuttle where we will transfer you back to your Queenstown accommodation (arriving 6.30pm).
A further option is to treat yourself to an extra night of luxury in Clyde and then we will transfer you to Queenstown the following morning.
Taieri Gorge Railway – Pukerangi to Dunedin
The Taieri Gorge Train is Dunedin’s prestige tourist train operating from the historic Railway Station. It takes you on a journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago.
DATES: Early booking is recommend as getting the accommodation in a nightly sequence can be a challenge due to the limited amount of rooms
COST: FROM NZ $1360.00 per person. Accommodation is based on 2 people sharing. A single supplement will apply for single travelers.
Contact us with your group details by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 245366 +64 (3) 4492228
HERITAGE RIVER CRUISE 3.5 HRS
Cruise through the stunning Roxburgh Gorge and spot the 1860s gold miners huts tucked away in the spectacular schist rock formations. View the unique Central Otago scenery, whilst your guide explains the history of the area.Then visit the well preserved mining town of Doctors Point and enjoy refreshments on the river bank.
CURLING AT NASEBY 1.5 HRS
Curling is affectionately known as “The Roaring Game” is akin to the game of bowls but played on ice.The art of curling requires no significant strength, and is easy to master. Every curler first sits down in the warm viewing lounge to watch a brief DVD about curling and the safety aspects involved. After that, you can head down to the ice rink for some curling fun!
ST BATHANS AND CAMBRIAN TOUR
Your guide will immerse you in history of the Irish & Welsh gold miners who flocked to this region in its gold fever heyday of the 1800sYou can still enjoy a beer at St Bathan’s haunted Vulcan Hotel (Est 1869). Cambrian is home to New Zealand artist Grahame Sydney who has captured many of Central Otago’s iconic landscapes in his painting and photography.