This grade 1 ride is one of the easiest New Zealand Cycle Trails, with a smooth, wide surface and almost entirely flat gradient. It is well signposted and frequently passes small settlements and farms dotted along country roads.
Riders should nevertheless be self-sufficient, carrying a map, sufficient water and food, and a basic tool kit. There are toilets dotted at convenient points.
The trail can be ridden at any time of year, with luscious fruit a summer highlight, along with vibrant green scenes in springtime and rich golds in autumn. Central Otago’s temperatures are extreme – hot and dry in summer, icy in winter. Regardless of season, it is vital to check the forecast and take appropriate clothing.
Transport & tours
Bike It Now and Trail Journeys offer bike hire, transport and luggage transfers for rides throughout the region. Not a Rail Trail(opens in new window) offers similar services along with guided rides. All three can tailor an itinerary combining the best of Central Otago’s trails, including transport from Christchurch and Queenstown, so visitors can make the most of their time in the saddle.
Roxburgh and Lawrence are the main bases for the trail, although there are many more options in the surrounding countryside and in Alexandra, a handy location for all the Central Otago cycle trails. Accommodation providers partnered with the trail are listed on the New Zealand Cycle Trail website. Other popular bases within two hours’ drive include Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Clyde.
Clutha Gold Trail(opens in new window) - the official trail website
New Zealand Cycle Trail - Clutha River Trail(opens in new window)
Central Otago Tourism(opens in new window)