Weather & Trail Conditions

What to expect out there

Central Otago is a landlocked region, sheltered from coastal weather with very distinct seasons. Winters are often dry and fine, but frosts are common at night. Roads can get icy, especially in early morning, so be careful when driving. Rainfall is infrequent, (although the Strath Taieri valley which is closer to the coast can get more rain) - but the Trail itself is flood-free. Spring weather is the most changeable. Summers, also autumns, are generally warm and dry - but weather can still be variable (this is New Zealand, an island nation), so it is a good idea to be prepared, with some emergency clothing. Warm air rising from the sun-heated plains, to be replaced by dense cooler mountain air, can result in strong winds - but they can come from all over the place. The weather forecast displayed here should give you an idea....


Check out our local weather forecast...







Capburn Bridge Works

Posted By: Clare Toia-Bailey, 15/10/2017 11:11am

Capburn Bridge Works

Work will start in the next couple of weeks on the repainting of the Capburn Bridge on the Otago Central Rail Trail.  As part of this work the bridge will be scaffolded and wrapped to contain waste paint as it is removed from the structure.  Due to the scale of containment required the bridge will be closed for the duration of the works with an alternative route being provided for trail users during this time.  This route is the current horse bypass for the bridge, however we will provide additional marking and signed as required.

Work is expected to start this week of 16th October 17 and be completed by 22nd December 17, however weather and other maintenance issues may extend this time frame.

Any question please contact me directly.

Mark Symons 
Senior Works Officer - Āpiha Matua

Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai

Southern and Eastern South Island Regions

Alexandra Office

43 Dunstan Road

PO Box 176, Alexandra 9340

DDI: 03 440 2044 / Fax 03 440 2041 / Mob 027 688 7537


Temporary Fix at Kokonga & Trail Conditions Update

Posted By: Otago Central Rail Trail Trust, 26/07/2017 9:07am

Temporary Fix at Kokonga & Trail Conditions Update


The Department of Conservation (DOC) have put a temporary route around the washout at Kokonga. It is possible to ride around the washout as temporary track has been cleared around it ie there is no need to divert along the road. This will remain in place until a permanent solution is determined.  Staff expect to complete graveling the temporary track around the Kokonga washout today.  The timing for the permanent fix is unknown as yet.


Over the last couple of days, following the heavy rain across the lower South Island last week, DOC has inspected the trail from Lauder to Middlemarch.  Their report is as follows:

Lauder to Kokonga.  There is a large amount of small rockfall and localized ponding.

Kokonga to Middlemarch: As with the remainder of the Trail there are small areas of rockfall and localized flooding.  A large slip covers half the Trail near the Hyde Memorial but is passable.

Ida Valley:  There is frozen snow around the Ida Valley - care needs to be taken when cycling/walking in this area.

Trail Washout at Kokonga

Posted By: Otago Central Rail Trail Trust, 24/07/2017 11:10am

Trail Washout at Kokonga

Following the heavy flooding across the lower South Island over the weekend the trail has been washed out at Kokonga near the 107 km mile marker.  Trustee, Sam Inder inspected this section of the trail yesterday.  It is a significant slip, impassable and dangerous. Red cones have been placed either side of the slip about 20 meters back from each side with Fulton Hogan Red “Washout” notice attached to steel waratah standards.  Fulton Hogan are also including  this in their “Road Closure”reports for the next few days.  Additional signage will be needed until repairs can be addressed.

Recommendations for any rail trailers travelling this section of the trail:

When travelling South, leave the trail at Carey’s road crossing approximately 400m South of the 108 Kilometer peg and then take the Waipiata – Kokonga Road for approximately 900m, joining the Trail again at the road crossing by Kokonga Lodge.

Travelling  North, is the reverse, leave the trail immediately after passing Kokonga Lodge, which is approx 500 m North of the 106 kilometer peg, travel approx 900 meters along the Kokonga – Waipiata road joining the Trail again at Carey’s road crossing.   

We will update the website as the information comes to hand about this slip. Should you have any urgent queries please contact Sam Inder on 027 474 6337.