The Otago Central Rail Trail was voted NZ’s No. 1 Place to Cycle in both 2016 and 2017 and currently hosts more that 15,000 visitors every year who ride the complete length of the Trail. 

Planning Tools

The Otago Central Rail Trail provides 152 km of relaxation through wide open spaces and spectacular landscapes. Your journey starts here.

192611 Spring Shoot 11

Tour Planner

Take the hassle out of planning your trip. Engage a Tour Planner, tell them what you want, then just ride, relax and enjoy.

Generic Accommodation


A range of accommodation types are available along and close to the Trail. From budget accommodation and holiday parks to luxury lodges and cottages or something in…

539.Tim Hawkins copy

Bike Hire

Bike hire is readily available along the Trail. Trail operators provide a wide range of bikes and e-bikes and can accommodate individuals, families and large groups.

CTB 201213 Wheeler.Morgan Rail Trail 61

Riding Independently

The Otago Central Rail Trail is a Recreation Reserve managed by the Department of Conservation in partnership with the Otago Central Rail Trail Charitable Trust. It …

192611 Spring Shoot 146

Walking the Trail

If you just enjoy walking and are reasonably fit, you may want to consider walking the Trail, or a part of it – you could also organise a walk on the Trail as an int…

20231127 161849

Accessible Ride Guide

Most of the Otago Central Rail Trail Is Accessible to Everyone.

Things You May Need To Know

Having a great experience is all about gathering relevant information...

340.James Jubb copy

Trail Map

The Trail traverses the region’s isolated unique heartland and takes people to places preserved by the dry climate and distinct seasons, not easily accessible by any…

OCRT Passport.imagecentral 7

Rail Trail Passport

The proceeds of the Otago Central Rail Trail Official Passport contributes to the development and enhancement of the Rail Trail experience.

kate wilson 071019

Fitness and Gear

You don’t have to be into extreme sports – but as with any activity, the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the Trail. 

CTB OCRT Summer.image cenral

Popular Itineraries

Plan and organise your trip independently. Which way to go? Where to start/stop/stay? How long will it take you? You can cycle the whole trail – or a part of the Tra…

225. James Jubb copy

Holiday Types

The Trail itself is free – and you can also organise your trip so that it doesn’t cost the Earth but If you want to spoil yourself, or celebrate a special occasion w…

405.James Jubb copy

Frequently Asked Questions

Be Prepared - Check out the questions that we are most often asked...

How much does it cost to ride the Trail?

The Otago Central Rail Trail is a Recreation Reserve managed by the Department of Conservation in partnership with the Otago Central Rail Trail Charitable Trust.  It is free to ride the trail itself. The cost to you will be in accommodation and meals while you are riding the trail. We suggest you plan your trip and book accommodation.

Can I use an E-bike on the Trail?

Yes, power-assisted cycles (not exceeding 300watts) are permitted on the Trail.

Is there water available along the Trail?

Take plenty of water with you, and purchase more along the way. Be sure to fill your water bottle at your place of accommodation before you start your trip each day. There are some towns along the way where water can be restricted in the summer months.

There is a tap at the Ranfurly and Oturehua Station sites.  There is also a tap at Hyde close to the picnic table.

Is there parking at the start of the Trail in Clyde?

There is a large car-parking area at the start of the Trail which is the Clyde Railhead site on Springvale Road.

Parking here is at your own risk.


Is the Trail open all year round?

The Trail is open all year round and a great experience in all seasons.  Most ride the trail during the months September to May as Winters can be cold in Central Otago and there are a number of businesses along the trail that take a break in the winter months.  If your ride in Winter dress for the occasion and check availability of accommodation and food providers before you start your journey.