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Discover the joys of cycling in Central Otago

Photography: Tourism Central Otago: Miles Holden

Discover the joys of cycling in Central Otago

Taking to your bike in Central Otago is a great way to enjoy a healthy break and explore some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery at the same time.

Discover the joys of cycling in Central Otago

If you want more out of your next vacation than just relaxing poolside with a cocktail, why not think about a cycling holiday? Taking to Central Otago’s range of bike trails offers the chance to improve your fitness, bond with friends and family over shared adventures, and experience the region’s rural splendour and history.

Located towards the south of New Zealand’s South Island, Central Otago is known for its wild, untamed landscapes and historic gold mining towns. As well, it boasts more than 300km of off-road cycle and walking tracks.

Lake Dunstan Trail

The region’s networks of trails offers such a variety of off-road exploring with something for everyone at every ability, and reinforce Central Otago as the powerhouse of cycle trail tourism in NZ.

The new Central Otago Touring route complements the trails, adding a self-drive journey to explore the lower South by both trails and road, with an option to fly in and out of Dunedin and Queenstown airports.

When planning your cycle holiday, be sure you add in non-cycling days to explore more of the regional offerings including wine tours, mountain walks, helicopter rides, golf, and speeding on a river or racetrack.

Along with stunning wineries and cellar doors, there are spectacular heritage sites, art galleries, boutique accommodation, great restaurants, and more than a few pubs for handy refreshment stops. Local bike operators can assist with trip planning, advice, packages and bike hire.

Otago Central Rail Trail

Central Otago is a fantastic year-round cycling destination, with juicy fruit a summer highlight, alongside spring lambs, autumnal trees, and winter snow-dust. But remember to dress for the season – layers are a must.

Time to get on your bike!

Otago trails

The Central Otago community celebrated the opening of the Lake Dunstan Trail on 8 May, adding another 55km to the already impressive three Great Rides of the region.

LAKE DUNSTAN TRAIL — 55KM, GRADE 1–2 (1–2 DAYS)

Traversing between Cromwell and Clyde, the trail winds along Lake Dunstan, Kawarau River and Clutha River Mata-A, taking you through Māori and pioneer heritage sights, beautiful vineyards, and over breathtaking bridges.

OTAGO CENTRAL RAIL TRAIL — 152KM, GRADE 1 (1–5 DAYS)

New Zealand’s Original Great Ride offers some of the country’s best cycling. Open all year round: ride without traffic, under Central Otago’s big skies surrounded by amazing landscapes and steeped in ‘Southern Hospitality’.

CLUTHA GOLD TRAIL —73KM, GRADE 1–2 (1–3 DAYS)

Winding along the Clutha Mata-Au River between Roxburghand Lawrence, this easy trail is perfect for exploring the stunning rural and riverside scenes of the Teviot Valley.

ROXBURGH GORGE TRAIL — 21 KM RIDE + 13KM BOATRIDE, GRADE 2–3 (1 DAY)

The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is one of Aotearoa’s prettiest day rides. Stretching between Alexandra and Lake Roxburgh Hydro Dam, the trail includes old gold workings set amidst willows, native shrubs and fragrant thyme.

For more information visit Tourism Central Otago at centralotagonz.com/tracks-and-trail

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