Otago Central Rail Trail

Otago Central Rail Trail


27 Rankers Reviews

21 Face-to-Face

2 Alexandra

Online Maps


Cruising up to one of the many tunnels
Amazing landscapes
Still a wee way to go
Bikes in towns


This is an awesome trip which can be done as a whole ride (3 days) or in many shorter sections. The ride is along an old rail trail so its never too steep since back in the day trains used to travel along it. It crosses an amazing part of Central Otago. There is a lot of history surrounding the area and there are information boards dotted along the entire trail.

It is best done in the warmer months as it can be quite exposed to wind and snow during the winter. Suitable for all abilities, a good family trip.

Even though its really popular there can be long stretches where you are on your own, and you don't see how busy it is until you stop at one of the many quaint towns and see about a hundred bikes lined up outside the shops and cafes.

There are lots of accommodation options ranging from free camping to fancy bed and breakfasts. You can be self sufficient, or get a shuttle company to drop your bags off at your abode at night.

You can also hire all your equipment at either end of the trip.

Great scenery and people. Enjoy.


Feature Value Info


Otago Central Rail Trail Trust

Commercial organisation


South IslandCentral OtagoAlexandra


  • Cycling
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 25.

Rob Manson's avatar

Rob Manson

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Awesome easy trail, with beautiful sights especially near Clyde and Arrowtown.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Rebecca Wharton's avatar

Rebecca Wharton


Ranking: 9/10

Started in Ranfurly and cycled 50km - amazing track to see Central Otago! Only had to pay for the bike hire.

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in February 2015

Don Wallis's avatar

Don Wallis

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Apart from some long boring bits it had some really pretty spots like the Ida Valley to Lauder.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Loesje's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

What an experience!
We took our time and did the track in 4 days.
Took some sidetrips and did a total of 220km.
Make sure to get of the track and bike to St.Bathans. Not an easy ride, but man! So worth it! Beautiful 'old' (NZ-old) town, and the blue lake, magic!
The track itself was so surprising! So much variation, so much fun and... Really not that difficult.
One of the best things we've done in our one-year-in-NZ! 10000% recommended!

Reviewed about 9 years ago and experienced in November 2012

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Bill and Noreen's avatar

Bill and Noreen

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

Fantastic four day mountain bike ride. You can hire bikes and do as much or as little of the trail as you can.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Helen and Ogi's avatar

Helen and Ogi

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Multiday bike through Central Otago landscape. Free, but for $10/day they will drop your bags off at each campsite along the way. Do it in April for amazing autumnal colours.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

AnthonyWaygood's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Spectacular scenery and great company within our group. We were lucky to have John as our guide. His patience, help, knowledge and understanding of our needs could not be faulted. The guide at Hayes Engineering made that side-trip worthwhile and the hospitality during the farm trip from Wedderburn was greatly appreciated. We also found previously unknown Curling talents among our group ! Our accommodation hosts at Clyde (Dunstan House) and Lauder (School House) were also quite magnificent. We really needed to double our mileage to justify all the wonderful food too !

Reviewed about 10 years ago

Karl Brachtl's avatar

Karl Brachtl


Ranking: 9/10

Really beautiful walk, can be done alone if you don't mind walking back again.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in February 2012

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AndreF's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

maybe good for family or people with average fitness as there are no steep or technical sections. i expected more "scenic" things but some sections where really boring (flat, straight...) for me. rode from ranfurly to omakau and back. as fit mountain biker i was bored by the trail and decided not to stay at clyde over night as planned.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

cruisysue's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Great family fun, lots of laughs and fantastic memories!

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Extremo's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Wicked! A cruisy trip, lots of bridges to cross (don't go too fast as i blew up my tire), amazing views and some good chats with people along the way. Would recommend to anyone - if you get tired you can just push your bike to the nearest town and easily find somewhere to eat and sleep.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

Margaret & Donald Finlayson's avatar

Margaret & Donald Finlayson

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Omarama Saddle to St Bathins and Thomson Gorge Road - Laude/Omakau to Tarras.

Reviewed about 11 years ago

Friedli Manuela's avatar

Friedli Manuela


Ranking: 10/10

Bike track for the whole family.

Reviewed about 11 years ago