The riders spread out far and wide on the Rail Trail.

The 4 Day Central Otago Rail Trail Experience

This is a ‘Road Less Travelled’ experience.

  • The Rail Trail is an ‘easy’ ride, however it is on a gravel surface so some training on this type of surface is advantageous.
  • Rides maybe up to 4 hrs in the saddle not including rest and interest stops.
  • The key to Rail Trail enjoyment is to become saddle fit and gel seats and bike pants certainly help. Riding regularly over a couple of months prior to departure will hold you in good stead in the bike fitness arena. Make sure you do some hill work and familiarise yourself with your bikes gearing system.
  • This is a fun ride and there is no pressure to race.
  • Completing the Central Otago Rail Trail from whoa to go is an incredible achievement for all types of people and you leave the trail with a buzz knowing you ’JUST DID IT’

Sample Rail Trail Journey with The Road Less Travelled

A Bit of History

Emerging from a tunnel on the Central Otago Rail TrailOpened in 2000, the Otago Rail Trail was built on the Otago Railway foundations. 150 km of gravel surface with moderate inclines have made this dream an incredible reality for kiwis and tourists alike.

Construction of the original railway took 16 yrs from 1891-1907. This engineering feat along with the people and families who worked on and alongside this rail line, in harsh winters and scorching summers, is a testament to the pioneering spirit which prevailed often against all odds. Taking 16yrs to complete the rail line from Middlemarch to Clyde, today it is generally ridden in four days, on trails, over bridges, viaducts and through tunnels, where an appreciation of engineermanship at its most skilled, is garnered.

From the old to the young, this experience is a journey through history where many stories are told far and wide of this Central Otago land, its landscape, peoples and the big skies of the Maniototo. Maori, Pioneers, and Goldminers all wove their paths through this land leaving their marks both visible and invisible.

1861 saw gold discovered in Central Otago and so began the boom, boom and bust days of the gold mining era. In todays terms the ‘boom’ has returned and the lifeblood of much of the region is now associated with the Otago Rail Trail experience.

It is a legacy from the past to the future and one which has enarmoured all who pass this way. And it is with thanks to the ordinary people of this land who saw a vision and chose to make this trail a reality.

Central Otago Rail Trail, Ranfurly Art Deco Ball, Taieri Gorge Train 6 days::

Nighttime bonfire and boiling the billyGirls in front of waterfall at HaweaThis annual trip is limited to 8 women and there is much interest in this. So book now by confirming yr place with the required deposit.

I have planned this trip before to coincide with the Ranfurly Art Deco weekend in Feb 2011. So Cabaret here we come with our gel seats and bike shorts on :)

I have been very fortunate enough to have booked some of the best accommodation on the Trail.

It is important that you are bike fit for this outdoor experience. Also your bike is fully maintained and has had a recent service check. Please let me know if you need to hire a bike so I can prebook well ahead. The gradients are fairly gentle however some days are long rides in the saddle. I suggest you buy a gel seat if you do not have one.

Art Deco BallThe fitter you are, the more enjoyable the ride. So get training girls. The Maniatoto is going to be humming and there also is a Duathalon on as well that weekend. So its going to be a fab one.I have incorporated a rest day to allow those ride weary limbs a breather, so in total the trip ex Timaru, will be 6 days and 5 nights.

Really looking forward to sharing this Trail with you all, Anah :))))


" ... wonderful fellowship with a new group of ladies in my life - i am left with happy memories and reflections which i will carry with me forever - the biking was brilliant to"



  • COST: Customised according to your group
  • A deposit will be required to confirm your groups booking

Sample ITINERARY in short:

Day One:

  • Depart Timaru (or your starting point) approx 1230pm via minibus for Alexandra over the Lindia Pass. Approx 3-4hrs travel
  • Stay night in Alex with evening meal provided.
  • Organise hire bikes for those needing same.

Day Two:

Tiger Hill Lodge, Omakau - click to learn more.

  • Yahoo begin the historic Rail trail. Limber up.
  • Ride from Clyde to Omakau= 37ks past vineyards, bridges onto Chatto Creek for an optional lunch and then to Omakau for our night stop.
  • Beautiful evening meal provided at The Commercial Hotel, Omakau.


Day Three:

  • Wedderburn Cottages - click to visit website.Omakau to Wedderburn Lodges = 45ks
  • Little cute cottages await us and our bikes.
  • A gradual uphill day where we cross the 45th parallel.
  • Out for evening meal at own cost.
  • Saturday night at the Art Deco cabaret in Ranfurly via minivan.

Day Four:

  • Rest day with a Tiki tour around and about in our van with our fab driver.
  • The famous Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans, Central Otago.St Bathans and Naseby.
  • The Vulcan Hotel and ghosts at St Bathans for lunch at own cost and a wee explore.
  • Curling and Glenshee vintage fashion at Naseby.
  • Dinner at the Wedderburn Hotel at own cost.
  • Goodnight at the Wedderburn Lodge.

Day Five:

Hyde Hotel - click to visit website.

  • Back on the bikes, Wedderburn to Hyde= 43 ks, this time slightly downhill.
  • Historic Hyde Hotel will treat us for dinner and a fabulous nights accommodation and breakfast.


Day Six:

  • Taieri Gorge Excursion TrainHyde to Middlemarch = 29ks.
  • Historic two hr Taieri Railway journey will take us through the old trails to Dunedin leaving Pukerangi about 4pm.
  • Takeaways at own cost in Dunedin homeward bound with driver to Timaru.
  • ETA in Timaru approx 9.30pm.

A more detailed itinerary will be available nearer the time of your trip. Get those bike legs on and start training as it will be an awesome outdoor experience with The Road Less Travelled. Don't hesitate, Contact me now

The sample trip price includes:

  • Fully Escorted tour experience 'The Road Less Travelled Way'.
  • Minibus and driver ex Timaru return
  • Transportation of personal mountain bikes.
  • 2x fab support crew with radio contact.
  • 5 x fab accommodation places with all linen provided.
  • All breakfasts, teas, coffees,fruit juices
  • Cut lunches on the four trail days...
  • Dinner on first two nights....... and a beautiful evening meal on our final night at Hyde.
  • Rail Trail Passport
  • Cabaret Ticket
  • Tiki tour on Day four in minivan.
  • Curling in Naseby .. go Mainland Cheese :)
  • Glenshee eceltic fashions
  • And the Taieri Railway experience from Middlemarch to Dunedin.

Does not include;

  • Hire of bikes and equipment if you do not take your own. ( Will confirm costs for this once in )
  • Evening meal on Day Three, and lunch plus evening meal on Day Four.
  • All food and drinks not included in inclusions.
  • Personal spending of any nature.