For bikers, hikers and horse riders, the Otago Central Rail Trail is a unique journey through an unforgettable landscape.
For 150 scenic kilometres, the Otago Central Rail Trail crosses sub-alpine countryside between Clyde and Middlemarch. The rails, sleepers and loose bedding gravel from the abandoned railway have been removed, leaving a wide and well-formed path.
Free from concerns about passing road traffic, trail users can focus fully on the big-sky rolling landscapes that subtly change at every turn. Another benefit of this trail is that railways use bridges and tunnels to avoid steep inclines. To reflect the current purpose of the trail, all the bridges have been redecked and handrails have been added.
As each section of the original railway was constructed, small towns were built to house the workers. The settlements grew as some families stayed on to work the land or sell their metal, wood and stone working skills to local farmers. Highly talented stonemasons from the railway gangs constructed many attractive, sturdy buildings that proudly remain today. After a day on the trail, these towns offer comfortable accommodation and the chance to plan your next day over a relaxing drink and a hearty meal.