Otago Youth Adventure Trust
Milton Rotary Tramping Club

The Roxburgh Gorge /Clutha Gold Cycle Tri

25-28 January 2021

Ride this spectacular trail over three nights to experience a bike trip that is only going to grow in popularity as more cyclists become aware of what an enjoyable ride it is.  Combine this with stunning scenery in an area full of history of the lure of gold, fruit orchards, the mighty Clutha river and charming towns and it is a trip not to be missed.

The trip leaves Dunedin at 8.30am from the Leviathan Hotel, Dunedin and travels via Pamerston/Middlemarch to Auripo where we hop on our bikes on the Central Otago Rail Trail and head to Alexandra (46km). All accommodation is in motels/hotel with some participants sharing rooms. At Alexandra we stay the night at a local motel. Later in the afternoon on the first day, or early the next morning there is an opportunity to cycle to the Rail Head at Clyde, then return to Alexandra via the River Track (highly recommended if you have time to fit it in).  From Alexandra the trail passes under the Alexandra Bridge, shortly passing the confluence of the Manuherikia River.  The trail then enters the Roxburgh Gorge gaining height and giving views of past gold mining and dramatic 300 metre cliffs.  The transition from an urban setting to remote gorge is dramatic.  At Doctors Point (10km) we will board a boat and cruise Lake Roxburgh (13km) to Shingle Creek with an excellent commentary from the driver.  From Shingle Creek the trail continues to the Roxburgh Dam (11km).  Here we join the Clutha Gold Trail and cycle to Roxburgh (10km) where we will stay the night at a local motel. The next day follows the Clutha River to Millers Flat and then to Beaumont (44 km).   There are beautiful river views, rock formations, orchards and historical sites.  A highlight of this day will be a (26km) detour ride to the Tuapeka punt, operating since 1896 and the only punt of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.  We will punt across the Clutha river and visit the Tuapeka Heritage Hub before biking or catching the van back to Beaumont.  We stay at the Beaumont Hotel above the Clutha river.  From Beaumont to Lawrence (20km) the trail climbs to the highest point at Big Hill Tunnel and continues through lush farmland to Lawrence where we take a short ride to the site of the first gold discovered in NZ by Gabriel Read.  There will be a chance to look around this historic town, before taking our transport back to Dunedin, arriving late afternoon.  The whole trip completes a loop through Maniototo, Central Otago, South Otago and Dunedin.

The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is mostly grade two but does have some grade three sections with steeper climbs and drops. The Clutha Gold trail is grade two. 

We will have a back- up team to assist and carry luggage plus two cycling leaders to give low key assistance. Please note that the Roxburgh Gorge section is remote and has no road access. You will need a good quality mountain bike. You can hire good bikes with a helmet for $270 mtb or an ebike $465. We are able to organise this and will contact you after your booking regarding bike hire and payment. (We recommend Mountain Bikes on this Trail as the trail can be rough in parts, but E-Bikes are most welcome).

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.

 Trip co-ordinator Emma Lister 03 417 7571 or 021 055 7582 or email:  admin@ortt.org.nz