This ride has stunning views of Mt Cook, Lakes Pukaki, Ohau, McKenzie Basin and Waitaki valley. The ride is 300km with five days riding. The trail is suitable for those with moderate cycling abilities – up to a grade 2 level. It is undulating with some short steep sections that are on and off road. The Otago Central Rail Trail is graded level 1. We will have two vehicles to transport your gear between shared accommodations and as support for you all. There will be cycle leaders riding with the group plus the backup team of two, all of whom will provide low key assistance if needed.
Day one: Leaving Dunedin at 9am (from the Leviathan) to Mt Cook Village. We will travel by minivan via Oamaru arriving at Mt Cook village early enough to allow you to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre and take short walks/cycle about the Village. Accommodation is at the Backpacker Lodge. We share rooms and have a main dinner meal, (dessert is at own cost) at the Chamois Bar & Grill. Breakfast in the Lodge kitchen.
Day Two: (82 km) Mt Cook Village – Twizel. Riders will cycle 6km to Mt Cook airport for a short helicopter flight across the Tasman River to the eastern shore of Lake Pukaki to the start of the trail. Accommodation is at the Twizel Holiday Park (share rooms) with dinner at a local restaurant and breakfast in the camp kitchen.
Day Three: (39 km) Twizel – Lake Ohau Lodge via canal roads and cycle path around the shores of Lake Ohau. Accommodation is backpacker style (share rooms) at Ohau Lodge in the Huxley wing with dinner and breakfast included.
Day Four: (65 km) Lake Ohau Lodge – Otematata (some steeper sections) Accommodation is at the Otematata Hotel with dinner and breakfast included.
Day Five: (60km) Otematata – 16km East of Kurow, the day starts with a short quick downhill ride from Benmore dam to Aviemore dam, then to Kurow township, along the Waitaki river then we branch off the trail to stay the evening at Glenmac Famstay on Gards Road. The accommodation will be in the homestead and old shearing quarters with dinner and breakfast provided by our hosts.
Day Six: (70km) Glenmac Farmstay – Oamaru, the trail is on and off road, on rolling hills and flat, through lush farmland and wonderful limestone formations to the wharf at Oamaru where you can have a coffee and see the Victorian architecture that makes Oamaru famous. Then it is homeward bound to Dunedin arriving there late in the day.
NOTE:You will need to indicate on your booking if you require bike hire. The cost is $275.00 for the trip, payable later. Jocelyn Gilling, firstname.lastname@example.org the trail organiser will contact you regarding bike sizing and payment.