Explore and Discover


Our Region

Central Otago has the most distinctive climate in New Zealand. Mountain ranges surround the Region on all sides, sheltering it from rain in every direction; this has…

Hayes Engineering

Things to Do in Central Otago

The Otago Central Rail Trail is a gateway to Communities past and present along the Trail and off the Trail. There is so many fun activities and things to do in Cen…

Ranfurly Trail Towns credit Geoff Marks

Trail Places

Central Otago has one of the most distinctive climates in New Zealand. Summer temperatures are among the hottest, while winters are definitely the coldest.

Image Bryes

NZ's Original Great Ride

New Zealand’s first Rail Trail and Original Great Ride opened in 2000. The Otago Central Rail Trail is a 152-kilometre, recreational trail that follows the former O…

Hyde Station Workday

Trail Trust

The Otago Central Rail Trail Trust was originally established in 1994 by the Department of Conservation to help it raise funds to convert a disused railway line into…

Photo Jane Bryes

Stakeholders and Friends

The unique Rail Trail experience is created by the blend of physical and social components. Each Stakeholder, every Trail Community, all Service Providers and each T…

Can I use a Drone on/along the Trail?

The Otago Central Rail Trail is not open to the use of drones due to the potential risk to users which is consistent with restrictions on most public conservation land.  There is an ability for a permit to be granted for promotional /commercial purposes – Contact DOC - 03 440 2040

All commercial use of unmanned aircraft including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or drones over conservation lands and waters requires a concession from DOC. Recreational use requires either a concession or authorisation from DOC. You can check with the local DOC office to see which applies to you, Alexandra 03 4402040

The concession/authorisation process enables DOC to monitor and manage the effects of activities on public conservation lands and waters. It is important you follow the rules and guidelines set by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for operating aircraft safely – see the CAA website for more information.

If I only have a day what section should I ride?

We suggest a section that would include viaducts and tunnels.  So a section that would include Prices Creek or the Poolburn Gorge.  But do check out the popular itineraries section of our website for more information on one day trips.