Otago Rail Trail Facts & Info

First Sod Turned 1879 - Dunedin

Completed 1906 - Clyde

Central Otago Rail Trail Officially Opened: February 2000

Total Distance:

Clyde - Middlemarch 151km 

Clyde – Alexandra 8km
Alexandra - Chatto Creek 17km
Chatto Creek – Omakau 10km
Omakau – Lauder 9km
Lauder – Oturehua 23km
Oturehua – Wedderburn 11km
Wedderburn – Ranfurly 14km
Ranfurly – Waipiata 6km
Waipiata – Hyde 26km
Hyde – Middlemarch 27kmEnd of Rail Trail

Middlemarch – Pukerangi Station 19km

Maximum Gradient: 1:50m or 2% - generally gentle up and down slopes - Rated Easy

Temperature Range:
Summer 15C to 40C+
Winter -21C to 10C

Average Time Taken: Most people take 3 Nights 4 Days while many opt for  4 Nights 5 Days to enjoy the unique environment and hospitality that is Central Otago

Train goes to Middlemarch ex Dunedin 2 Days a week (Sun/Fri 9.30am/Returns ex Middlemarch 1.00pm) over Summer months: Otherwise twice daily to Pukerangi 9.30am/2.30pm departures Returns ex Pukerangi 11.30am/4.30pm (excepting Christmas Day)
Train goes Daily to Pukerangi only Winter months: 12.30pm departure

Accommodation To Suit All Budgets:
Camping Grounds/Backpackers/Hotel/Motel/B&B/Boutique Lodges - the range is varied and the hospitality exceptional

Rail Trail Highlights and Points of Interest:

  • Tunnels and Viaducts
  • Hayes Engineering (off main route)
  • Golden Progress mine
  • Ranfurly’s Art Deco Buildings
  • Wineries
  • St Bathans and Blue Lake
  • Vulcan Haunted Hotel
  • Wedderburn Goods Shed
  • Naseby – Mountain Biking Mecca & Curling
  • Clutha/Manuherikia Rivers -Trout Fishing
  • Ophir Post Office and Bridge

Secret Tip:

Start or finish your Otago Rail Trail experience with the Taieri Gorge Railway Excursion Train ("one of the world's great train trips"). It incurs NO extra cost for taking a bike with you - it is FREE with your ticket.

One benefit of this is that you can say that you really have completed the full Otago Rail Trail, start to finish - all the way from the Clyde hinterland, through the awe inspiring Maniototo plains, down to the Dunedin coastline - just magnificent!

Don't forget to let us book your Taieri Gorge Railway train trip for you, when you book your bike with us!


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