The Otago Rail Trail offers a truly unique experience the
whole family can enjoy. The trail can be accessed all
year round and has been specifically designed for
mountain-bikers, walkers and horseriders. Its level gravelled
surface and lack of steep hills, ensures it's suitable for
people of various fitness levels and ages.
The trail runs 150km, following the old Central Otago branch
railway line from Middlemarch to Alexandra. Along the way
travellers will be treated to some of Central Otago's most
spectacular scenery, often not seen from the highways.
The trail takes travellers on a journey through quaint
townships such as Chatto Creek, Omakau, Lauder, Oturehua,
Wedderburn, Ranfurly, Waipiata, Hyde and Middlemarch. The
heritage of the old railway line has been preserved,with
viaducts, bridges and some of the old railway stations being
Those in the mood for a little 'wine-tasting' on the journey
will enjoy the various vineyards along the trail, which offer
the best in local wines made from varieties such as riesling,
gewurztraminer, chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon
and pinot gris. Some vineyards also offer accommodation, food
and refreshments. Central Wine Tours will take visitors on
comprehensive wine and pub tours.
For those wishing to stay on the trail itself there are many
accommodation options available ranging from simple
backpackers and hostels to refurbished period buildings, bed
and breakfasts and luxury hotels. Poolburn, Ophir, Becks, St
Bathans, Naseby, Macraes and Kyeburn provide alternative
accommodation options for those wanting to explore the rail
trail and areas beyond it.
Guided tours can be booked through numerous tour groups and
include cycle tours, 4WD tours, walk tours, horse-treks and
cruises of the Clutha River.
For more information visit: www.otagorailtrail.co.nz