The The Otago Central Rail Trail is an ever unfolding passage of discover through the region's heartland.
Its wide gravel (stony) path extends 150 kilometres along the former railway route between Middlemarch and Clyde. Typically, it takes cyclists 3 - 5 days to ride the whole trail, but there are a number of entry and exit locations for those who prefer a shorter excursion.
The Rail Trail is best experienced from Spring to Autumn (October - May). You can cycle it in winter as long as you are prepared for the cold and shorter daylight hours.
Its gentle gradient (no big hills) makes it ideal for recreational cyclists, and for mountain bikers keen to test their fitness and explore off-track. It is also suitable for walkers and horse riding is permitted on some sections.
This trail takes you to places not readily accessible by other means; places shaped and seasoned by eons of harsh, continental, climatic extremes, unique to Central Otago.
You will see vast mountainous, dry, rocky landscapes, ever-changing skies, productive farmland, spectacular river gorges, tunnels, viaducts, thriving townships, old stone and mud-brick dwellings, and preserved gold mining settlements.
Along the way there are opportunities to meet pioneer-spirited locals, take side trips, stay in various types of accommodation, seek solitude, and to immerse yourself in the history and romance of Central Otago rail and gold.
It is an incredible ride.
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