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100 Things to do Before you Die

Experience Oz + NZ, puts together yearly features for all of Australia and New Zealand's major regions for activities, accommodation and restaurants in both countries.

We are also currently preparing to run a major feature in conjunction with Tourism NZ, one part of which is entitled "The Ultimate New Zealand Bucket List - 100 Things to do Before you Die" and have featured the Otago Central Rail Trail on the list of essential experiences. 

#44 Otago Central Rail Trail 

Where is it? Otago, South Island

NZ ranks amongst the best countries in the world when it comes to quality cycling routes, and its original ‘Great Ride’ - the Otago Central Rail Trail - is a key demonstrator as to why. Stretching over 150 kilometres, the trail’s wide, gravel path winds its way through both countryside and alpine areas, during which the scenery transforms from mountainous and rocky landscapes to farmland, vibrant rivers and prosperous towns.

There's also plenty of man-made heritage to soak in along the way, with much of the mining history that lead to the original railway's construction still in existence in some form. Old gold mining villages are mixed in with various landmarks and points of interest including Ophir Bridge, Hamiltons Cemetery and the Styx Hotel and Jail to go along with the inherent natural beauty of the Otago region and make each day of riding its own event.

The trail can be explored at your own pace with accommodation pre-arranged before heading out; alternatively, operator SheBikesHeBikes offer bike hire and a number of suggested itineraries for tackling the trail, ranging from shorter single-day journeys to extended 5 day trips that allow for a full sampling of all the track's highlights.