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Package Overview

Trip Highlights Cycle the dedicated cycle trails of NZ's original great ride Take in the dramatic landscapes, valleys and gorges Admire the hand-built viaducts and tunnels along the trail Take a journey on the famous Taieri Gorge Railway Explore the old gold mining township of Clyde Experience the local 'southern hospitality' of Central Otago Try your hand at 'curling' in Naseby (optional) Trip Summary Voted #2 'Must Do Adventure' in the the Lonely Planet's New Zealand guide book, this adventure will have you cycling back in time to New Zealand's rural past along a trail that has been specifically converted for walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders - with no motor vehicles allowed! The trail follows the old Central Otago branch railway line from Clyde to Middlemarch, passing through many towns along the way. This trip is not just about the cycling but rather exploring the many small towns and abandoned gold diggings as well as meeting the locals. Along the way you can even try your hand at the ancient art of curling (bowls on ice). You can choose to start the trip in either Christchurch or Clyde and finish either back in Christchurch or Dunedin. The adventure culminates with us enjoying one of the world's great train trips on the spectacular Taieri Gorge Railway into Dunedin. This adventure is fully supported leaving you with no concerns about accommodation or luggage. Trip Grading To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude, the number of pass crossings and the length of the trip. The Otago Rail Trail Classic is graded introductory. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and we suggest 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for the three months leading up to your trip. The main factor for the rail trail is that the cycling is on hard packed gravel - if you can get in some cycling on gravel before your tour it will make the experience a lot more fun.International or domestic flights and taxes Arrival and departure transfers Meals not mentioned in the itinerary All beverages, other than breakfast Bike hire (including helmet) Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle) Optional activities (eg. Curling) Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc) Travel insurance Visa (if required) Tips

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Day wise Itinerary

  • Day 1 : Christchurch to Clyde

    Early this morning you will be collected from a central Christchurch location around 08:00am and taken to our depot for a bike fitting and tour briefing. We will load the bike trailer and aim to depart soon after. We’ll pick up lunch along the way in Geraldine before we start our cycle programme with a quiet ride alongside the Tekapo canal system with spectacular views of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. Crossing over the Lindis Pass we descend down to Cromwell and travel alongside the scenic river gorge before arriving at the railhead at Clyde. The rest of the afternoon will be free to explore this old gold mining town or meander along some alternative cycle trails. In the evening we have our first group dinner. Cycling Distance: 22km / 14miles

  • Day 2 : Clyde to Lauder

    Today we commence the official Otago Central Rail Trail ride, leaving town across the flat rural countryside. From Chatto Creek the trail starts to rise before leveling off to Omakau where we stop for lunch. We then take a drive around the quaint township of Ophir and to the top of the Raggedy Range to get a bird’s eye view of the trail and the surrounding regions. After lunch the remaining 9kms flow under the wheels until we arrive at Lauder. Late afternoon we will take a drive to the historic gold mining village, St. Bathans, for a walk around the beautiful Blue Lake. This evening it is time for a relaxing beer and a game of pool at the local pub before dinner. Rail Trail Ride: 44km / 27miles

  • Day 3 : Lauder to Ranfurly

    Our cycle ride today takes us through the first two tunnels and two rail bridges on the trip. With the willow tree-edged gorge below the trail and welcoming pools beckoning we finally emerge into the scenic Idaburn valley. Here we stop for a visit to the Hayes Engineering works, where some of New Zealand's first industrial farm equipment was invented. The stop is also perfectly located to fuel up with a hearty lunch at their cafe before our afternoon ride. One last short easy climb takes us to the highest point of the trail and the beginning of the downhill descent that take us to the art deco township of Ranfurly. We’ll have some free time in the afternoon to relax, stroll around Ranfurly or catch up on some washing. Around 4:30pm we drive out to Naseby, a small foresting township, just off the trail. Here we have the option of trying our skills at curling: bowls on ice. This is a lot of fun and is the only dedicated curling rink in the Southern Hemisphere. If curling doesn't appeal, a relaxing pint at the iconic Royal Hotel, or a walk around the village or in the forest plantation are alternatives. After these activities we head back to Ranfurly for dinner and overnight. Rail Trail Ride: 47km / 29miles

  • Day 4 : Ranfurly to Dunedin

    It’s out of bed and back onto the bikes for our longest ride today, but it is some of the best riding on the trip. From Waipiata the trail follows the edge of the old lake before entering the Taieri Gorge. The trail crosses through further tunnels and bridges before a fast downhill to the old hotel at Hyde. From here a final 27kms takes us past the scene of the famous Hyde rail disaster of 1943 and then out onto the rolling plains slowly descending into Middlemarch. This is the end of the trail and time for a celebratory drink at a local cafe. However the day is not yet finished and we board the famous Taieri Express for a spectacular train ride through the gorge to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of New Zealand. Our dinner tonight is a group celebration to acknowledge the 150kms of Rail Trail riding. Rail Trail Ride: 59km / 37miles

  • Day 5 : Dunedin to Christchurch

    This morning after breakfast we say good bye to any passengers leaving us in Dunedin, and we visit Baldwin Street, reputedly the “steepest street in the world”, for a short but challenging early morning stroll. Then we set off on our drive northwards, stopping enroute to visit the Moeraki Boulders. Shortly afterwards we unload the bikes and enjoy a final quiet coastal ride, past farms that takes us into Oamaru. We can wander around the old Victorian Precinct where the historic buildings have been restored creating a fascinating opportunity to explore the past and relax at local cafes. After lunch we continue northwards and across the Canterbury Plains back to Christchurch, where we will drop you in the central city. The trip concludes on arrival at approx 6:00 pm. Coastal Ride: 24-40km / 15-24miles

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Inclusions

  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Sightseeing
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • 4 nights hotel/motel accommodation on twin share basis, mostly ensuite bathroom facilities
  • Professional qualified driver/guide
  • 2 professional guides/drivers on trips with 8 or more people
  • Private vehicle transport (except for Taieri Gorge train)
  • Taieri Gorge Train trip to Dunedin
  • Otago Rail Trail passport
  • Water and snacks while cycling
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

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Exclusions

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Bike hire (including helmet)
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own bike drink bottle)
  • Optional activities (eg. Curling)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

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Terms & Conditions

Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.

Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.

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This Tour is Offered by

Adventure South Ltd View Profile

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About Adventure South Ltd

Adventure South has been operating active holidays throughout New Zealand since 1992 and we are able to say with the utmost confidence that we can offer the best cycling, trekking and adventure itineraries available in New Zealand. Read More...

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