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.

Clyde Street Buildings

The perfect start or finish to your cycle trip. Clyde, like many towns in Otago’s gold rush days, popped up almost overnight in the 1860s, and the town centre has re…

cyclists in alexandra

Fondly known as “Alex,” this is the biggest town along the Trail and your chance to do any serious shopping. First-time visitors to Central Otago can see right away …

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One of the best things about exercise is stopping – especially when you can stop at a genuine old country hotel. Chatto Creek Tavern is a favourite stop on the Trail…

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If you have just conquered the sweeping S-bends up Tiger Hill, you can look forward to a well-earned rest at this small country township in the Manuherikia Valley.

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You can get very hot in Ophir, and very, very cold in winter (one of New Zealand’s coldest temperature here was -21°C) – but nobody minds too much, because this tin…


This small country community is innovative and ready to deal with change. The Lauder Hotel was turned around to face the road traffic when the number of rail passeng…

Blue Lake

Only a handful of people live here now, but this former gold mining town was once home to 2000 people.

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Oturehua - (Or-to-ree-who-a)) meaning "Place where the summer stands still" and boasting a great old country pub – lots of communities still do. But no other place i…

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Cross Latitude 45° South (twice), reach the highest point, admire the great views of the Hawkdun and Ida Mountains, then it’s all downhill to the “Big Sky Country” o…


An easy detour off State Highway 85, historic Naseby is known for great ice skating, heritage hotels and hiking around the old goldfields.

Ranfurly Trail Towns credit Geoff Marks

Farming centre of the Maniototo, Ranfurly is known as the Art Deco town. Having immersed yourself in the joys of the countryside, this is a place where you can disco…

Waipiata Man Pic by Brian Miller

A quiet country township with one pub, Waipiata - (why-pee-ahh-ta) meaning "clear water" owes its beginnings to the railway – then rabbits and tuberculosis.

Patearoa v2

A small country village on the south edge of the Maniototo basin, Patearoa is a favourite base for fishermen. Old historic cottages include a corrugated iron buildin…

Prices Creek Jane Bryes

Kokonga - (kow-kow-nah) meaning 'bend' or 'corner'. From volcano to vanished lake, now farmland and a peaceful riverside that is just right for a rest.

Hyde Station

North side of Hyde you have the scenic Upper Taieri Gorge to look forward to, on the other side, it is a gentle downhill ride to Middlemarch.


The historic Macraes Flat goldmining town is well worth the detour.

Middlemarch Gate

The Trail ends (or starts) in Middlemarch beside the roadside gates, north of the railway station.  

Dunedin 2

Dunedin, a Trail Partner of the Otago Central Rail Trail, is a beautiful University town on the east coast and a special place to start or end your Rail Trail advent…

Cromwell TCO

Located deep in the heart of Central Otago in the valley of Upper Clutha and situated on the Shores of Lake Dunstan, Cromwell is a special place not to be missed.

Wanaka 2

Wanaka is a popular ski and summer resort town in the Otago Region of the South Island of New Zealand. At the southern end of Lake Wanaka, it is at the start of the …


The "adventure capital of the world" - Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is also surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.