This 5 day guided bicycle tour departs Christchurch and offers the unique experience of biking an historic rail trail in the South Island of New Zealand. Includes the famous Taieri Gorge Railway trip.
free phone: 0800 424 534
Christchurch area only


Outside Christchurch:
Phone: +64-3-3775952
Fax: +64-3-3775953
E-mail:
info@cyclehire-tours.co.nz

Otago Rail Trail Cycle Tour

Come and enjoy the unique experience of riding a historic rail trail of the Central Otago region of the South Island.

Exclusive small group tours (2-8 persons), where you, your family or friends can enjoy the tour at your own pace and privacy.

This 5 day cycle tour departs Christchurch and offers the unique experience of biking a historic rail trail in the South Island of New Zealand. Includes the famous Taieri Gorge Railway trip.

Enjoy the hospitality of a slice of country New Zealand in a variety of high quality selected bed & breakfasts and lodges, while experiencing the best of the local cuisine.

Our support vehicle driver/host will carry your belongings to the next accommodation house. Some cycling before commencement is advisable but if you are fit and active you should accomplish this 150km cycle ride comfortably.

Tour Price Includes:
  • All transport from Christchurch and return to Christchurch
  • Support vehicle with Kiwi Driver/host
  • Ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway
  • 4 nights accommodation (based on Twin Share)
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • Visit to local winery
  • Bike Hire

Itinerary
  • Day 1 - Travel Christchurch to Dunedin. Ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Day 2 - Middlemarch to Ranfurly (59km)
  • Day 3 - Ranfurly to Omakau (56km)
  • Day 4 - Omakau to Clyde (35km)
  • Day 5 - Clyde returning to Christchurch via Tekapo.

Prices 2010/2011

Price $1595pp ($NZ)
Includes GST at 12.5%

2012/2013

6 September - 10 September 2010

20 September - 24 September 2010

4 October - 8 October 2010

18 October - 22 October 2010

1 November - 5 November 2010

15 November - 19 November 2010

29 November - 3 December 2010

13 December - 17 December 20108 January 2011

7 February - 11 February 2011

22 February - 26 February 2011

7 March - 11 March 2011

21 March - 25 March 2011

4 April - 8 April 2011

11 April - 15 April 2011

18 April - 22 April 2011

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Christchurch to Middlemarch
An early start from Christchurch for the 366km drive south, travelling along the long straight roads of the Canterbury Plains into the rolling hills and rugged coastline of Otago to the city of Dunedin 'The Edinburgh of the South'. We depart Dunedin's stately Edwardian station at 2:30pm for a 58km excursion on the Taieri Gorge Railway, one of the worlds great railways which boasts ten tunnels, more than 12 viaducts, spectacular scenery and a wealth of history. A 20km ride or drive option follows from Pukerangi down to the wide open spaces of the Strath Taieri Plain and the town of Middlemarch.
Cycle: optional
Meal: Lunch, dinner

Day 2 - Middlemarch to Ranfurly
The first day on the Rail Trail starts across a flat landscape bordered on one side by the 700m high Taieri Ridge and on the other the 1400m high Rock and Pillar Range. The trail crosses numerous bridges and culverts, made from local stone, and passes through the 152m long Prices Creek Tunnel. The trail also passes the site of the Hyde Rail Accident, where 21 people lost their lives in June 1943. Then its into the upper Taieri Gorge closely following the Taieri River until you descend into the vast vistas of the southern Maniototo Plain to the art deco town of Ranfurly.
Cycle: 59km
Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 - Ranfurly to Omakau
After crossing the expansive Maniototo Plain you gradually climb the aptly named Rough Ridge, to the highest point of the rail trail - 618 metres. Then down to the most spectacular and contrasting scenery on the trail as you ride through the wide open spaces of Ida Valley into the Poolburn Gorge with its narrow cuttings, 2 tunnels, the high Poolburn Viaduct and the longest bridge on the trail, 110.6m, across the Manuherikia River.
Cycle: 56km
Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 - Omakau to Clyde
As you ride down the Manuherikia River Valley, you are dwarfed by the 1650m high Dunstan Mountains, the typical harsh Central Otago landscape of schist rock and the aromatic perfume of wild thyme. At the junction of the Mauherikia and the mighty Clutha Rivers lies Alexandra, the hub of New Zealand's stonefruit and merino fine wool industries. Between here and the end of the Rail Trail at the historic gold mining town of Clyde, you pass through a flat semi rural landscape of orchards and lifestyle blocks. We finish the day with a visit to one of the local vineyards. The wines, like the landscape and the people who produce them, are rich in character.
Cycle: 35km
Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 - Clyde to Christchurch
After 4 days of cycling, relax as we drive you through the tussock covered hills of Lindis Pass (934m) where wild lupins turn the roadside into a jumble of colours. Experience the grandeur and space of the Mackenzie Basin stopping at Lake Pukaki for amazing views of Mount Cook (weather permitting) and then over the rolling green hills of Geraldine back to Christchurch. Option to end tour here and continue travel through to Queenstown.
Cycle: none
Meal: Breakfast, lunch

 

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