This ride has stunning views of Mt Cook, Lakes Pukaki and Ohau, McKenzie Basin and Waitaki valley. The ride is 360km 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 accommodation 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 8.30am (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 Mount Cook Lodge in the quad rooms. We have a main dinner meal, (dessert is at own cost) at the Chamois Bar & Grill and make our own breakfast in the Lodge kitchen.
Day Two: (77 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 High Country Lodge, Motel and Backpackers (share rooms) with dinner at a local restaurant and breakfast is self-catered for on site .
Day Three: (39 km) Twizel – Lake Ohau Lodge via canal roads and the cycle path around the shores of Lake Ohau. Accommodation is backpacker style (share rooms) at Ohau Lodge with dinner and breakfast included. The stay here is always a highlight with stunning views and hospitality.
Day Four: (69 km) Lake Ohau Lodge – Otematata. The ride takes you to the highest point on the trail with views back to Mt Cook and over Lake Ohau. 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, please state mtb or ebike. The cost is $280.00 for a mtb and $515 ebike for the trip, payable later. If you hire an ebike and do not regularly ride one, we highly recommend that you hire one locally before the trip to gain experience, as they do differ from a regular mtb.
Jocelyn Gilling, firstname.lastname@example.org the trail organiser will contact you regarding bike sizing and payment.