94 miles
Distance
3,156 ft
Climb
-3,028 ft
Descent
10:13:45
Avg time

Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Rail Trail
  • Bike Type
    XC, Gravel
  • Trail Usage
    Biking Primary
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Green
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • Family Friendly
    Yes
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • TTFs on Trail
    Bridge
  • Global Ranking
    #16140 in Mountain Biking
  • Local Popularity
    35 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
  • Year Opened
    2000

This is an easy 2-3 days ride with a wide variety of accommodation options along the way, and has become New Zealand's most popular cycling holiday destinations due to its accessibility to all. It can also be done in a single day for those wanting something a bit more testing.

Below is the blurb from the NZ Cycle Trails Website:

Named after the original railway line, built between 1891 and 1907, the Otago Central Rail Trail, New Zealand’s original ‘Great Ride’, was first opened to the public in 2000.

Steeped in history, the Rail Trail offers a 150 kilometre scenic and historic journey into the Central Otago heartland. This is big sky country where cyclists will traverse ever-changing mountainous, dry and rocky landscapes, high country sheep stations, spectacular river gorges, tunnels, viaducts and more.

There are over 20 townships located on and off the trail to explore, with opportunities to meet the pioneer-spirited locals and to take detours and side trips to unique places such as old abandoned gold diggings left over from the gold rush and the country’s only international curling rink.

The Otago Central Rail Trail is also a testament to human endeavour. The detailed workmanship of the stone bridges and tunnel facings along the trail have stood the test of time and the mountains still bear scars of the races, built back in the 1860s to bring water to the long gone gold mines.

The Central Otago climate is characterised by hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall. As the seasons change, the landscape is dominated by a stunning kaleidoscope of browns, golds and reds.

The Otago Central Rail Trail was established in 1994 and officially opened in 2000 by the Governor General Sir Michael Hardie Boys. In 2012 it became part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Access Info

The Otago Central Rail Trail begins/ends in Middlemarch and Clyde.

Getting to the Otago Central Rail Trail can be an experience in itself.

- From Dunedin, you can take a two and a half hour train trip travelling the historic Taieri Gorge Railway to start your ride at Middlemarch.
- It is one hour drive from Queenstown through spectacular scenery and vineyard country to Clyde, if you want to start your ride there.

Shuttle transport is also available enabling you to begin or end your cycle journey almost anywhere along the trail.

The most popular starting point is in Clyde or Alexandra.

More Stats for Otago Central Rail Trail bike trail
  • Altitude change
    127 ft
  • Altitude min
    453 ft
  • Altitude max
    2,049 ft
  • Altitude start
    539 ft
  • Altitude end
    666 ft
  • Grade max
    -18.3%
  • Grade min
    23.9%
  • Distance climb
    34 miles
  • Distance down
    39 miles
  • Distance flat
    21 miles
  • Avg time
    10:13:45
  • Avg reverse time
    08:14:20
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Jan 15, 2019
Dry
Avg: 4.5 (2 votes)

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Ridden Direction
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
ContributeDetails
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular

LEGEND
Trail Difficulties
  • Access Road/Trail
  • White
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Double Black Diamond

Trail Report Status
  • Clear / Green
  • Minor Issue / Yellow
  • Significant Issue / Amber
  • Closed

  • Land Owner Overlay
  • Wilderness (typically no bikes in USA)
  • BLM (public)
  • USFS (Wildlife sanctuaries darker than usfs)
  • State land
  • Indigenous
  • Military
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
  • Map Markers
  • trail Trail Head
  • photo Photo
  • place Directory Listing
  • region Riding Area
  • TTF TTF
  • Parking Parking
  • Viewpoint Viewpoint
  • Information Information
  • Warning Warning
  • Directions Directions
  • Sight Sight
  • Restrooms Restrooms
  • eBike Charging Point eBike Charging Point
  • Water Fountain/Source Water Fountain/Source
  • Gate Gate
  • Trail Sign Trail Sign
  • Table or Bench Table or Bench
  • Ladder Ladder
  • Stairs Stairs
  • Bridge Bridge
  • Camping Camping
  • Cabin Cabin
  • Lodge Lodge
  • Bear Cache Bear Cache
  • Dock Dock
  • Ranger Station Ranger Station
  • Summit Summit
  • Other Other
      Directions to otago-central-rail-trail trailhead (-45.194100, 169.335140)
      update trails status or condition

      Otago Central... Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Jan 15, 2019 @ 11:42pm
      Jan 15, 2019
      Quite a lot of areas under repair: small slips, washouts and minor erosion (trail braiding, small ruts developing). First time in 5 rides of whole...
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      •  
      6 Months
      • 0 rides
      •  
      All
      • 4 rides
      •  

      Photos

      more »
      179 |
      Apr 2, 2016 @ 12:05am
      Apr 2, 2016
      182 |
      Apr 2, 2016 @ 12:05am
      Apr 2, 2016
      200 |
      Apr 2, 2016 @ 12:04am
      Apr 2, 2016
      190 |
      Dec 14, 2015 @ 1:46pm
      Dec 14, 2015

      Reviews / Comments

      No reviews yet, be the first to write a review or ask a question.
      Use trail reports to comment on trail conditions.


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