Experience five superb days on the former Otago Central Branch railway line from Middlemarch to Clyde.
The rail originally provided a vital link between Dunedin, in 1889 New Zealand’s largest city, and the major goldfields of Central Otago. After 83 years this stretch of line was closed. The Department of Conservation acquired the disused railway in 1993 and spent six years preparing and upgrading the route for use as a walking and cycling trail. Highlights of biking the Rail Trail include the tunnels at Price’s Creek and Poolburn Gorge, viaducts and wooden trestle bridges – and of course, the absence of motor traffic.
For a truly authentic experience, we finish with the Taieri Gorge Vintage Train to Dunedin.
DAY 1 CLYDE.
Meet in Clyde, or drive over from Queenstown with us. Overnight in an historic B&B.
DAY 2 LAUDER.
Ride over a wooden trestle bridge and through typical Central Otago schist rock and wild thyme landscape. In the afternoon we visit the spectacular blue lake and Vulcan Hotel of St Bathans, by minibus.
DAY 3 WEDDERBURN.
Cross the Pool Burn on the spectacular Poolburn Viaduct.. Enjoy the impressive gorge scenery as you pass from one valley to the next.
DAY 4 HYDE.
This is one of the most spectacular sections of the Rail Trail. We have the option of visiting the old goldmining town of Naseby by minibus.
DAY 5 DUNEDIN.
From the narrow confines of the upper Taieri Gorge cross the wide open spaces of the Strath Taieri plain as you head for Middlemarch. Catch the Taieri Gorge steam train to Dunedin, where the tour ends.
Accommodation: Character hotel and comfortable B&Bs.