Otago Central Rail Trail - Simply Stunning!

On another day off from skiing (and I realise I've not blogged about this year's skiing yet!) we tackled part of the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Otago Central Rail Trail - Simply Stunning!

Its a 152km gravel track that goes from Clyde to Middlemarch and is used by cyclists mainly, walkers and also horses. There are also a fair number of side trips you can do along the way but the main track normally takes 3 to 4 days taking it easy. As far as bike tracks go its pretty good and classed as grade 1 or easiest with only ever a gradient of 2% being that it was originally built for trains!

rail track cycle route

The busiest time of the year for tourists doing the trail is summer and being that it was the middle of winter we were hopeful to have it all to ourselves and except for one local, commuting somewhere, we did!....all 30km approximately that we did.

We were so lucky with our winter weather as other that being a little nippy the weather was glorious! Mathilda (4 yrs) cycled a fair way before heading for the trailer with her sister. They especially liked shining torches as we passed through tunnels and we enjoyed stunning views over the Poolburn gorge and across the Poolburn viaduct.

time for a break

I would hugely recommend this trail if you like cycling and are visiting New Zealand. There are plenty of places to hire bikes and tag alongs and toddler seats etc, no need to bring your own from Europe!...so I personally don't really think there is anything to stop you whatever the age of your children. Google Otago Central Rail Trail and you'll get all the info you need.

Can anyone recommend any multi day bike trails in their neck of the woods??

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About the Author

Joanne Watterson

Joanne Watterson

About Me & Mine

Me - Joanne, Tim - daddy, Mathilda and Isabel. We love being outdoors, it doesn't have to stop when children appear. Mathilda started skiing at 2 and a half. They have both already done New Zealand's alpine Tongarino crossing.

Favourite place in the world:

On top of a mountain, if the climb was good and the view is magnificent and you're with your favourite people, you could often be anywhere!

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Walking and hiking, skiing, snowboarding and sledging. Biking, jumping in puddles, watching Daddy play football, going to the beach, having picnics.

Comments (2)

  • Kerry Teague

    Kerry Teague

    04 October 2012 at 19:03 | #

    Wow - multi-day off road bike trails - sounds amazing. Bike trails are really starting to take off here in Northern Ireland - there's really good off road trails in some of the National Trust venues (Castleward is our favourite - blog to come)and forest parks. Until quite recently, biking was officially banned in many of our forest parks which was a real shame, but there's a push on now to open them up to bikes and get dedicated trails built which is very exciting. We also have a few stunning multi-day cycle trails but as they take in a lot of country roads with less than gracious drivers, they're not really our kettle of fish. I'm sure your girls are having an absolute ball in NZ - what an experience!


  • Joanne Watterson

    Joanne Watterson

    18 October 2012 at 07:16 | #

    Hi Kerry, yes I agree totally about the dangers of country roads! There are some lovely places that would be lovely to cycle through but with the speed and lack of consideration that some drivers have its just not worth it. Yes there are a few multi day rides over here and also absolutely millions of single day rides. The key is to find the fairly flat ones at the moment and if they are through a forest...not too rooty! Mathilda does amazingly well on her bike and we've taken to making sure we cycle with a bike lock so that if she just gets too tired and we know we can either reach the spot almost by car or are returning the same way then we can lock her bike up and retrieve it later. This has worked well on two occasions. A bit like skiing I also find a lot of patience is needed and a lot of energy in the parents! he he my husband always seems to time it that he's off in front when I am towing the trailer and then I have to try and keep going whilst giving Mathilda a push up a hill at the same time! Now thats multi tasking!!


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