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Cycle New Zealand: Otago Rail Trail

4 Days | Jump in the saddle and follow the Central Otago Rail Trail through an unforgettable landscape

5 out of 5 based on 43 reviews submitted.
Cycling
From
CAD $1,360
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It’s almost like New Zealand was made for cycling. This is a land known for its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious wine, and this cycling trip just happens to take in the best of it. Kick things off in the outdoor paradise of Queenstown, then cycle the famous Central Otago Rail Trail through small gold-mining towns like Alexandra, Omakau, Wedderburn and Hyde. Meander through the open plains with pristine rivers, enjoy some proper South Island hospitality at local taverns, and rediscover the joy of pedalling through one of the most gorgeous areas in the entire country.

Trip overview

Map of Cycle New Zealand: Otago Rail Trail including New Zealand
Start
Queenstown, New Zealand
Finish
Queenstown, New Zealand
Theme
Cycling
Destinations
New Zealand
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
PHXC
This trip generates 13.87 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Cycle the spectacular Otago Central Rail Trail, the oldest rail trail in the country and voted 'New Zealand's Favourite Ride' for the past two years.
  • Ring along flat, traffic-free paths alongside some of the South Island's most stunning scenery.
  • Begin your journey in Queenstown, an outdoor paradise set among the stunning Southern Alps of New Zealand.
  • Experience firsthand the famous hospitality of New Zealanders on a trail built specifically to cater to cyclists.
  • Cycle in the company of an experienced guide as they share their unique perspective of this fascinating region.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Is this trip right for you?
  • Accommodation on the Otago Rail Trail can be booked out months in advance so there may be occasions where we stay in nearby locations to those advertised.
  • This itinerary does not have a full-time support vehicle constantly following the group. Your luggage is always transported for you (by vehicle) between accommodations.
  • Due to the relatively small distances cycled on this trip, we have a single leader that rides with the group.

Itinerary

Map of Cycle New Zealand: Otago Rail Trail including New Zealand

Inclusions

Meals

3 breakfasts

Transport

Bicycle, minivan (e-bike available, subject to availability)

Accommodation

Hotel/Guesthouse (3 nights)

Activities
  • Guided bike ride - Otago Rail Trail
  • Otago Rail Trail - 4 days Otago Central Rail Trail bike hire
  • Transfer to Queenstown
Add on activities
  • Jet boating - NZD135
  • Bungy Jumping - NZD205
  • Queenstown - Skyline Gondola from - NZD52
  • Side trip to Naseby - NZD30
  • Naseby Indoor Curling Rink - NZD40

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. It is vital that you provide us with your height at least 30 days prior to your trip starting so we can ensure the correct sized bike for you. If we do not have your height we cannot guarantee a bike that fits you perfectly. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price
2. This trip starts at 8am and finishes on arrival back to Queenstown on Day 4 (approx 5pm)
3. To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.
4. Bicycle helmets are compulsory on this trip. Please bring your own helmet.
5. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group.
6. This trip does not have a support vehicle but your luggage is transported for you from accommodation to accommodation each day.
7. Luggage is limited to 1 bag per client, no heavier than 15kgs. Fees apply if baggage limit is exceeded. If staying in Queenstown before and after your trip, you may want to ask your accommodation provider to store your extra belongings as they may allow this free of charge. 
8. Our riding is done mostly on a well-graded and maintained gravel cycle path, so there are no technical cycling skills required.
9. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are on an 'on request' basis only - it is important to advise us of your height at the time of request.. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.
10. If you are bringing your own bike please advise us at the time of booking so we can ensure the correct 'on-ground' transport arrangements.
11. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 1 (Guesthouse) and Day 2 (Cottage) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

5 out of 5 based on 43 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Adelle · Traveled January 2024
This trip was amazing! One of the best ways to see the country side! I enjoyed every moment of the trip!
Review submitted 09 Jan 2024

Tom · Traveled December 2023
I loved the Otago Trail I just wish I hadn't done it with Intrepid! The scenery is mid West US prairie meets English countryside and a lot more picturesque than I expected. I found it almost calming cycling through it. The cycling felt longer and tougher than I expected (although the bikes and head winds had a lot to do with that) but still perfectly manageable for anyone who's active in day to day life. The trip notes and guidance I received from the Intrepid support team ahead of the trip were inaccurate on multiple fronts. You don't need to bring a helmet, single supplement WILL get you your own room each night, the bike company did eventually fit my saddle and pedals but only after a big scene and lots of grumbling. Customer centric they are not. The bikes are far more rugged than needed for the trail which is 95% gravel. A standard hard tail mountain bike would have been more than enough. We had a hard tail with the fattest tires I've ever ridden so the rolling resistance was really high. The bike computer they gave me packed in after the 3rd day of riding. My friend's never worked. 2 of the 3 hotels were poor in my view. In the first hotel our twin room was tiny for 1 person let alone two. We could barely get our stuff in there! It had a weird folding door which left massive gaps and provided no privacy and no shampoo or shower gel. We were subjected to a laughably overpriced 'buffet' with virtually no choice and a mandatory 2 courses for $50. Along with the surly, grumpy service it was a pretty unpleasant experience. The cabins on the 2nd night were lovely - beautiful views, comfortable spacious rooms and drinks and snacks available via an honesty box complete with credit card machine. The rooms on the final night was horrible soft saggy mattress and toilets/showers shared between people. Oh and not forgetting the driest pie I've ever eaten. I've witnessed more moisture in the desert in Morocco than in that pie which had been cremated. On the plus side we had an excellent guide in summer who was full of energy, bubbly and very easy to talk too. She let the faster riders scoot on ahead which I really appreciated. I also really enjoyed the company of everyone on the trip.
Review submitted 13 Jan 2024

Yvonne · Traveled November 2023
Wonderful scenic bike trip. Griff, our guide is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and encouraging with a good sense of humour too. We thoroughly enjoyed our first bike trip and it will not be our last
Review submitted 21 Nov 2023

Damien · Traveled November 2023
This is a relaxed ride through sensational scenery, staying at warm, cosy accommodation in friendly little towns. The countryside is beautiful and the history of the rail line really interesting. For me the curling was a highlight and the guide was fantastic.
Review submitted 21 Nov 2023

EMILY · Traveled November 2023
A brilliant ride through the stunning scenery of Otago. Well organised trip with lots of good food and coffee along the way. The guide, Phoenix was great and kept me going when I was flagging at the end of a long day of riding. Highly recommended.
Review submitted 24 Nov 2023
Cycle New Zealand: Otago Rail Trail
From
CAD $1,360