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Trail Journeys

Independent Otago Rail Trail Cycling 3 Day Tour

Help code: 2D62-2DFC

  • 3 Day Cycling Tour ex Queenstown
  • 150kms of cycling
  • Cycle past vineyards & over wooden bridge
  • Ride over viaducts and through tunnels
  • Experience wonderful local cuisine
  • Meet colourful local people
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Traverse the iconic Central Otago Rail Trail by bike with this 3-day cycling adventure. An independent tour stretching 150 kilometres in distance, you'll be treated to incredible views of the region as you cycle at your own pace around the region.

Though this tour is an independent one without a guide, you'll still be well looked after from start to finish. Beginning with accommodation transfers from Queenstown (including luggage transfers), you'll then be fitted with all necessary equipment for the journey including a bike, helmet, repair kit, panniers, odometer and information on the trail.

Over the three days, you'll be treated to breakfast at your twin or double share accommodation between cycling journeys. All riders will be given optional transport from Middlemarch back to Queenstown or the train station in Dunedin if you no longer wish to ride.

The three-day journeys are split out as follows; day one travels 45 kilometres from Clyde to Lauder, day two is 49 kilometres from Lauder to Ranfurly and day three is a 59-kilometre journey from Ranfurly to Middlemarch.

All cyclists are given the option to upgrade to electric bikes (at cost and subject to availability) and a tour of St Bathans and the Blue Lake (at cost).

A journey encompassing beautiful scenery, challenging stretches of trails and incredible memories. Read a breakdown of the three days below and reserve your spot on this 3-day cycling adventure online here.


  • Independent Cycling Trail 3 Day Tour ex Queenstown
  • 150kms cycling distance
  • Pick up from your accommodation in Queenstown
  • Breakfast x2
  • Luggage transfers - weight limit 15kgs per bag (If cycling outside 1st October - 30th April luggage transfers aren't included)
  • Cycle equipment - bicycle, helmet, repair kit, panniers, odometer and trail documentation
  • Option for bus transport from Middlemarch back to Queenstown or the train to Dunedin
  • Taieri Gorge Train from Pukerangi to Dunedin (guests are required to make their own way from Train Station to their accommodation)
  • Option of transport if you do not wish to cycle one of the days – pick up and drop off from your accommodation on the trail
  • En-suite or private bathroom accommodation based on twin/double share with breakfast


  • Lunch and dinner


  • $45 extra per person per day to upgrade to Electric Bikes (subject to availability)
  • 2 hour St Bathans and Blue Lake Tour, $111.60NZ per person (pick up and drop off from Lauder accommodation at approximately 4 pm)
  • This guided tour will show some amazing countryside where you will learn about the history of the area from the guide. St Bathans is a lovely old gold mining town and has a lot of history. The Blue Lake is beautiful, remember to bring your camera as you will capture amazing shots. Visit the historic Vulcan Hotel which is rumoured to be haunted and take a walk around the township


Day 1 - Clyde to Lauder (45km cycling)

  • Arrive at the Trail Journeys Clyde Depot where you will be fitted with your bikes and briefed on your tour, then begin the cycling adventure to Lauder
  • Cycle past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge on the ride to Alexandra. You also have the option to cycle on the Clutha River Centennial Track from Clyde to Alexandra which adds another 8km to your cycle ride
  • Cycle to Chatto Creek, twice crossing over bridges on the Manuherikia River
  • Reach the Tavern, a historic stone building where you can stop for your lunch
  • Optional side trip to St Bathans and the Blue Lake (additional cost) at 4 pm in the afternoon, pick up and drop off from your Lauder accommodation (please select optional tour at the time of booking)

Day 2 - Lauder to Ranfurly (49km cycling)

  • Begin one of the most spectacular sections of the trail at the Poolburn Gorge
  • Travel through two tunnels and across the 37m high Poolburn Viaduct
  • Ride through the Ida Valley and onto Oturehua where lunch options are available
  • Cycle from Oturehua to Wedderburn and then onto your accommodation at Ranfurly
  • Arrive at the historic township of Naseby where you can try your hand at curling

Day 3 - Ranfurly to Middlemarch (59km cycling)

  • Make your way to Waipiata where you can have morning tea at the local Tavern
  • Order a lunch pack from Ranfurly or Waipiata Hotel as they will be the last chance for refreshment stops
  • Cycle between the lovely Daisybank and Hyde alongside the Taieri River which snakes around the Rock and Pillar Range
  • Pass through the wide open spaces of the Strath Taieri plain passing the site of the Hyde Rail disaster where 21 lives were lost in 1943
  • You will be transferred to Pukerangi to connect with the Taieri Gorge Tourist Train for a remarkable 2-hour train experience onto Dunedin
  • Transport back to Queenstown by bus can also be arranged if required instead of the train


  • Day 1 - Lauder School B&B
  • Day 2 - Hawkdun Lodge
  • Towels, soap, shampoo and conditioner will be provided at your accommodation
  • All accommodation is en-suite based on twin/double share (subject to availability)
  • If operator is not able to secure above accommodation they will endeavour to book accommodation of similar standard


  • Your adventure starts in Queenstown at 7:45 am where you will be picked up from your accommodation then taken to Clyde
  • The tour will commence at Dunedin Railway Station at 6:30 pm (please note you are required to make your own way to your accommodation from the Train Station)


  • 3 Days

What To Bring

For cycling/riding

  • Waterproof raincoat
  • Comfortable enclosed shoes
  • Woollen or polypropylene thermal underwear top and bottom is essential
  • Light hat
  • Fleece jacket
  • Mid-weight merino top or fleece
  • Lightweight T-shirts for fine weather
  • Short cycle gloves
  • Cycle shorts
  • Gel seat covers
  • Socks
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera

Evening wear

  • Shirt or sweater
  • Trousers or lightweight pants
  • Underwear
  • Sandals or light shoes
  • Sight wear

Additional Information

  • This tour is available all year round
  • Tour requires a minimum of 2 people to operate
  • Fitness level: Medium
  • Its recommended to have done a bit of cycling beforehand as the total distance is 150km
  • If cycling outside season of 1st October - 30th April luggage transfer service will not be provided. Excess luggage will be transferred directly from one end of the trail to the other and you will be required to carry any additional luggage with you each day

Booking Information

  • Confirmation in the form of a tour voucher will be received at time of booking
  • Upon completion of purchase, please print the voucher and present on day of the experience
  • For your information, complete Tour Operator Information including contact details is included on your tour voucher
Ensure to bring a camera along as you will cycle past spectacular vineyards, bridges and tunnels. We recommend pre-booking this experience.
Need help? Contact our friendly customer support service. 1300 935 532 Help Code: 2D62-2DFC
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