Over 15 years Experience

Totally professional, brilliant organisation and communication, logistics taken care of.

Local Expertise

We take you to gems off the beaten track and we know all the best coffee stops.

Family operated

Our team are empathetic and caring we look after our guests like family.

Small Group Sizes

Come in a group or come alone and make new friends nobody gets left behind.

Quality e-bikes

Modern and well maintained ebikes (and muscle bikes!) vehicles and cycle trailers.

Cycle 150km on the Otago Rail Trail through beautiful ‘big sky’ country, Central Otago’s ‘timeless land’, on the iconic and original NZ cycle trail.

The Otago Rail Trail passes through many small communities, some dating back to the 1860s, allowing you to experience a huge amount of history of one of NZ’s special places, and one that will exceed your expectations time and again. Many of the 4th/5th generation farming families still live locally and enjoy conversing with those cycling the Otago bike trail. Enjoy exploring the original stone pubs and meet the locals famous for their ‘Southern hospitality’.

The Otago Rail Trail rates as among the easiest of all the cycle trails in New Zealand, and is a good trail to start with if you are new to cycling. The 150km cycle trail is a disused railway corridor originally built for steam trains so the gradient is a very gentle incline and as such the Otago bike trail is rated easy to negotiate with no steep hills or obstacles.

Our support vehicle is available at all times throughout the cycle tour. Refer to our Level of Difficulty gradings for more information.

Otago Rail Trail Tour Highlights

  • Cycle the 150km Otago Rail Trail
  • Enjoy the scenery and meeting the people of Central Otago
  • Feel the warmth of the famous ‘southern hospitality’
  • Explore the historic gold mining town of St Bathans
  • Visit Hayes Engineering Works

Day 1 Christchurch/Queenstown/Dunedin – Clyde

The Otago Rail Trail cycle tour gets underway as we depart Christchurch for the scenic drive south through the Mackenzie Country to Central Otago via the inland route that passes by Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, and finally over the Lindis Pass to Clyde. Alternatively there is the option of meeting the tour in Clyde in the afternoon from Queenstown or Dunedin, which we can organise for you. In the late afternoon get used to your bike and the terrain with a short cycle ride along the lovely Clutha River. Settle into our accommodation in the charming historic precinct of Clyde.
Cycle Distance: 5km
Meals (D)

Day 2 Clyde – Wedderburn (Lauder)

Begin cycling the Otago Rail Trail, biking from Clyde to Lauder (47km). Highlights of today’s Otago bike trail cycle ride include the wooden trestle Muttontown Viaduct, the Old Tucker Hill gold diggings, lunch at the historic Chatto Creek Tavern, views of the Dunstan Mountains and Raggedy Range and spotting brown trout in the Manuherikia River. After the ride we make a side trip in our support vehicle to the historic gold-mining town of St Bathan’s, with a mandatory stop at the Vulcan Hotel! From here we head to the top of the trail and check into our beautiful accommodation at the Wedderburn Cottages for the next two nights.
Cycle Distance: 47km
Meals (B/L/D)

Day 3 Wedderburn (Lauder to Wedderburn)

Cycle from Lauder to Wedderburn on the Otago bike trail (35km). Highlights of today’s bike ride on the rail trail include the engineering marvel that is the Poolburn Gorge Viaduct and tunnels, the vast wide open Ida Valley (made famous by the painter Grahame Sydney), the Idaburn dam (famous for its winter curling) and also a visit to Hayes Engineering Works. Explore Gilchrists Store in Oturehua and a meal in the tavern. In the afternoon relax and enjoy the views from the porch of our lovely cottages nestled under the Hawkdun Range at our accommodation at Wedderburn Cottages. Take a side trip to explore the quaint former gold mining towns of Naseby and Dansey’s Pass. Eat out at the Wedderburn Tavern.
Cycle Distance: 35km
Meals (B/L/D)

Day 4 Wedderburn – Waipiata

Bike from Wedderburn to Hyde (46km) on the cycleway. Highlights of today’s bike ride include crossing the Maniototo Plains, visiting the rural art deco town of Ranfurly, following the Taieri River as it snakes around the Rock and Pillar Range, and crossing the unaltered stone bridge over Cap Burn, the 32m high Price’s Creek Viaduct and 152m long tunnel, to Hyde. We stay the night in Waipiata township at Tussock Lodge & the Waipiata Country Hotel and enjoy a celebratory meal in the Waipiata Country Hotel.
Cycle Distance: 46km
Meals (B/L/D)

Day 5 Waipiata – Christchurch/Dunedin/Queenstown

Bike from Hyde to the end of the Otago Rail Trail at Middlemarch (27km). Highlights of the final days cycle ride on the Otago bike trail include views of the Rock and Pillar and Taieri Ranges, the Hyde Railway Disaster memorial, and dropping down into the Strath Taieri Plain, an area used in the filming of the Hobbit Trilogies. In the afternoon we make our way back to Christchurch arriving at around 6pm. Alternatively opt catch a shuttle back Clyde, Dunedin or Queenstown (arriving at 6:15pm).
Cycle Distance: 27km
Meals (B)

16 Aug 2022-
20 Aug 2022
Guaranteed Departure
27 Sep 2022-
1 Oct 2022
Fully Booked
Guaranteed Departure
10 Oct 2022-
14 Oct 2022
Guaranteed Departure
14 Feb 2023-
18 Feb 2023
25 Apr 2023-
29 Apr 2023

What’s included in the Otago Rail Trail tour package?

  • 4 nights twinshare en-suite accommodation
  • 4 evening meals; 3 lunches; 4 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
  • side trip to St Bathans
  • side trip to Naseby
  • all transport from/to Christchurch
  • Goods & Services Tax of 15%

Not included in the Otago Rail Trail tour package:

  • lunch on Days 1/5
  • wine; beer; espresso coffees
  • single accommodation supplement ($350)
  • bike hire ($200) or e-bike hire ($500)
  • transfers to Queenstown/Dunedin to Clyde on Day 1 (from $60 approx)
  • transfers from Middlemarch to Clyde/Dunedin/Queenstown on Day 5 (from $60/$120)

Otago Central Rail Trail – Official Partner

PureTrails New Zealand’s is proud to be an Official Partner of the Otago Central Rail Trail. Membership fees contribute to the marketing and promotion of the trail and allows for development of the trail.

Independant customer reviews

Wow. What a fantastic trip with PureTrails NZ. Well organized with great accommodation and meals. From start to finish our host Sue was fun and professional at the same time. Bikes were well maintained without fault. I would thoroughly recommend PureTrails if you are thinking about this ride or any other. We are doing the A2O ride next year and will definitely be booking with PureTrails again. Hillary makes sure everything is in place well in advance of your ride. Superb experience. Thanks PureTrails! Craig McKay (Bowentown)

Craig McKay | Bowentown

10/10, could not fault a thing. Great organization, fantastic group of people Awesome accommodation and food, fantastic weather and scenery. What more could you want, honestly could not find a fault with any part of the trip. Definitely would recommend Pure trails and use them again.

Ken and Janet Wright | Rolleston

We recently completed the Otago Rail Trail with Pure Trails.
Our group has been on a number of supported cycle tours, both here and overseas.
Hilary is to be complimented on her organisation and planning, and the quality of her bikes, the whole trip went like clockwork.
The daily additions to the cycling were especially well suited for our group, and we would recommend Pure Trails to anyone.
Garry and Hilary Hood

Garry Hood | Auckland


Why Travel With Us?

We're kiwi outdoor enthusiasts and we know what makes a great holiday. Our NZ cycle tours are well planned, thoughtfully paced, and full of fun and adventure as well as excellent value. Eat well, sleep well, challenge yourself, discover and explore. Join us today.

Travelling with us

How fit do I need to be?

Check out our Level of Difficulty grading to see which trip is right for you. All of our tours come with full vehicle backup so you are welcome to pick and choose which sections you ride.

More about fitness

Ohau Conservation Trust

PureTrails New Zealand pledges financial support to the The Ohau Conservation Trust to tackle wilding trees, other weeds, and possums at Lake Ohau, Mackenzie Country, with a donation of $10 for every person who joins our cycle tours.

We support conservation