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Megan Gale talks about her experiences on two of The Great Rides of New Zealand’s Cycle Trail, and plans to discover the others.
Q. Which New Zealand Great Rides did you cycle and who did you meet?
A. I did two multi-day rides including The Timber Trail and the Otago Central Rail Trail. The Timber Trail in the North Island winds through ancient forest, while the historic Otago Central Rail Trail is located in the South Island.
I was guided at different points on the trails by informative locals and talented cyclists including Olympic Gold Medallist Sarah Ulmer and Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist Samuel Gaze who is one of the country’s finest cross-country cyclists. Celebrity cook and writer Annabel Langbein prepared my lunch one day using fresh local produce, which was a highlight!
Q. Where was your favourite place to stay during your cycling journey?
A. I loved the variety of accommodation options on offer in New Zealand. Olivers Central Otago Lodge & Stables in the beautiful town of Clyde was the first place I stayed and I immediately felt at home. Owner Andrea’s home-cooked breakfast was second-to-none.
Q. What other activities did you enjoy whilst in New Zealand?
A. There’s so much to see and do in both islands. I enjoyed an afternoon stop at the historic Chatto Creek Tavern in Central Otago, and managed to squeeze in some gift shopping in Rotorua.
Q. Do you have plans to go back to New Zealand in the near future?
A. Yes absolutely, New Zealand is one of my favourite places to visit.
I would like to explore more of New Zealand’s Cycle Trail with my family – there are around 2700 kilometres of trails to cover, so I might have to make a few trips back. I really want to cycle the Hawke’s Bay Trails and check out the town’s unique art deco architecture. Visiting the world-class vineyards of the South Island is also on the list, via the Great Taste Trail in Nelson. I’d also love to visit Northland with Mum, and see where she grew up.