The ‘Central Otago Trail’ features a collection of cycle trails alongside the rivers and lakes of the stunning Central Otago district including Arrowtown, Cromwell, Wanaka, Clyde and Roxburgh. Incredible scenery and excellent cycle trails.
This tour is a visual feast with mountains and pristine lakes everywhere you look, fantastic Autumn colours (during April), fun and challenging cycle trails, as well as great local food and wine.
The Central Otago Trail cycling is all on purpose built cycle trails. Days 4 & 5 are on the stunning Dunstan Cycle Trail and the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail, which, due to the nature of being narrow gorges, features some well benched zig-zag climbs/descents. The riding is rated Grade 2.
Our support vehicle is available throughout the tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.
Central Otago Trail Tour Highlights
- Cycle 187km of purpose built cycle trails around Central Otago’s stunning lakes & rivers
- Ride the Gibbston River Trail; Lake Hawea Trail; Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail; Roxburgh Gorge & Clutha Gold Trails
- Indulge in fresh Central Otago produce and local wines
- Explore the local arts, crafts, and cottage industries in Arrowtown, Cromwell & Clyde
- Experience the colours of the seasons
- Enjoy an exhilarating and informative jet boat ride in the Roxburgh Gorge
- Dial out and enjoy a week away in this stunning part of NZ
Day 1 Christchurch/Queenstown – Arrowtown
Our Central Otago Trail tour gets underway as we head south across the plains and through the Mackenzie Basin. The scenic drive continues as we head over the Lindis Pass and into Central Otago. We continue through the Kawarau Gorge to our accommodation, a stone’s throw from the quaint village of Arrowtown. In the afternoon enjoy a walk around the village and historic Chinese gold mining village relics. Alternatively there is the option to join the tour in Arrowtown from Queenstown. In the evening get acquainted with your companions over a meal at the local pub.
Cycle Distance: 0km
Day 2 Arrowtown – Cromwell
Arrow River Bridges Trail | Gibbston River Trail | Lake Dunstan Trail
Our ride commences in Arrowtown on the Arrow River Bridges Trail which follows the serene Arrow River amongst willow and poplar trees. Cross over two very impressive suspension bridges and over the historic Kawarau Bridge to the AJ Hackett bungy centre. Enjoy a coffee here while watching those brave enough to take a leap at this iconic bridge. We continue riding further into the Gibbston Valley on the Gibbston River Trail. From here we transfer through the scenic gorge to Bannockburn and enjoy a leisurely lunch and the opportunity to taste the world renown wines. A further ride after lunch is an easy jaunt alongside the stunning Lake Dunstan, through the Pisa Moorings township to Cromwell, finishing up at our accommodation for the next two nights.
Cycle Distance: 38km
Day 3 Cromwell
Hawea River Trail | Wanaka Outlet Track
Today we travel to Lake Hawea. Enjoy morning tea with another view of the mountains before our cycle for the day, alongside Lake Hawea and then following the Hawea River terraces (17km) to Albert Town. Here we cross the river and follow the Lake Wanaka outlet around Point Eely and into the township of Wanaka (18km), stopping for a picnic lunch at one of the beachside reserves beside the lake. This is the best of Central Otago with the raw brown plains coupled with sparkling cool blue waters and a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. Take some time to explore the Wanaka township before we travel a short distance back to Cromwell
Cycle Distance: 35km
Day 4 Cromwell – Clyde
Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail
Today we ride the stunning new Lake Dunstan Trail. Starting from our accommodation, enjoy riding alongside Lake Dunstan to the historic precinct of Cromwell. From Cromwell the trail follows the Kawarau River to Bannockburn and around through the vineyards and olive groves to Cornish Point. From here the trail enters the Cromwell Gorge, through a bare landscape of spectacular schist rock, above the deep blue waters of Lake Dunstan. Take your time through this spectacular landscape and enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. Finally, head past the Clyde Dam and power station to Clyde. Check into our accommodation for the next two nights. In the afternoon explore the galleries and boutiques in the delightful village of Clyde, or have a walk around the historic precinct to appreciate the gold mining history of the township.
Cycle Distance: 44km
Day 5 Clyde
Roxburgh Gorge Trail | Clutha Gold Trail
This morning we travel a short distance to where the Roxburgh Gorge Cycle Trail begins. The trail through the Roxburgh Gorge is just stunning and will take your breath away. A 10km cycle is followed by a scenic jet boat transfer from Doctors Point to Shingle Creek, followed by another 13km cycle to the Roxburgh Dam. Here we enjoy lunch before continuing on the Clutha Gold cycle trail to Millers Flat (30km). This section features orchards as well as gold mining relics which makes for a very pleasant ride. At Millers Flat we load up our bikes, enjoy a cold drink at the local store, then travel back to our accommodation in Clyde. Enjoy a celebratory meal together.
Cycle Distance: 53km
Day 6 Clyde – Christchurch/Queenstown
Alexandra River Trail
This morning we finish the final piece of the Central Otago Trail puzzle, a lovely cycle is a 13km ride beneath the willow trees following the Clutha River from Clyde to Alexandra. Enjoy a final morning tea beside the mighty Clutha River. This is the end of the tour and from here you have the option of getting a shuttle bus back to Queenstown (arriving 2pm approx), or travelling in the PureTrails bus to Christchurch (arriving 5:30pm approx). Or you may wish to stay on in Central Otago and ride the 150km Otago Central Rail Trail.
Cycle Distance: 13km
31 Jan 2022
28 Feb 2022
4 Apr 2022
23 May 2022
3 Oct 2022
7 Nov 2022
5 Dec 2022
30 Jan 2023
27 Feb 2023
20 Mar 2023
17 Apr 2023
8 May 2023
What’s included in the Central Otago Trail tour package?
- 5 nights twinshare ensuite accommodation
- 5 evening meals; 4 lunches; 5 continental breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- fruit, snacks & morning teas on the trail
- the services of a tour leader who provides vehicle support & information
- cycle repair support
- Jet boat ride in Roxburgh Gorge
- all transport from/to Christchurch
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%