On Your Bike NZ, Monday August 29, 2016
Established as a hub for a holiday on a bike
Central Otago C
ENTRAL OTAGO was the first region in New Zealand to embrace cycling as an experience for visitors to enjoy. It stands out from the crowd in what it has to offer with experienced cycling operators ready to make your holiday effortless. Central Otago is definitely established as a hub for a holiday on a bike. There are three of New Zealand’s great rides in Central Otago — the Otago Central Rail Trail, Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails. You can choose to cycle just one or connect them together for almost 250km of off road cycling. Best of all, these trails are mostly graded easy to moderate so are suitable for the widest range of friends or family that might want to join you on a holiday with a difference. Here you are never too far from civilisation or the next refreshment stop as the trails make their way through Central Otago’s villages and townships between Middlemarch, Ranfurly, Alexandra, Clyde, Roxburgh and Lawrence. A quirky fact about the Otago Central Rail Trail is that you can enjoy local hospitality at a country pub approximately every 15km. Perhaps plan your trip to participate in or enjoy one of the local events that celebrate cycling here in Central Otago. Get pumping those pedals in a Cromwell Summer Series event and the Otago Central
Roxburgh Gorge is one of New Zealand’s great rides, as is the Clutha Gold Trail (left). Below, a rider tackles the Naseby Forest Single Tracks.
surroundings, water sports on the lakes and rivers, exploring the arts trail and stunning heritage sites, or simply relaxing and taking in the scenery — there is so much to choose from. You won’t be disappointed.
SIX OF THE BEST
THERE ARE THREE OF NEW ZEALAND’S GREAT RIDES IN CENTRAL OTAGO.
Rail Trail duathlon, or relax the pace to take in Art on the Rail Trail. Once your day’s cycling is finished be sure to enjoy the
many other great experiences found close by. Whatever your passion — be it sampling Central Otago’s world-class wines in stunning
■ Be inspired by the grand scale of the Poolburn viaduct on the Otago Central Rail Trail — a 10km section of the rail trail that takes you through the Poolburn Gorge over the trail’s largest viaduct and through two spectacular rail tunnels. ■ Enjoy the visual spectacle of the powerful Clutha-Mataau River as you cycle the 73km Clutha Gold Trail. Allow time to stop and
MORE INFO Visit cyclecentralotago.com and centralotagonz.com purchase locally grown fruit from an orchard stall, take a swim at Pinders Pond, visit the Lonely Graves or try a Jimmy’s Pie made in Roxburgh — a southern favourite. ■ The powerful canyon-like landscape within the Roxburgh Gorge is not to be missed. The Roxburgh Gorge trail provides many short trip options from either end. From Alexandra — cycle to Doctor’s Point and return 10km each way — or enjoy a leisurely boat trip one way and cycle the other. ■ Road cyclists are often seen enjoying the 96km circuit around Lake Dunstan from Cromwell — travelling north via State Highway 8 to Tarras, then across to Luggate to rejoin SH6 back to Cromwell. ■ Continued on page 29