Day 1: Christchurch - Clyde. We depart Christchurch at 8:30a.m. for the drive south via the inland route through MacKenzie Country to Central Otago, stopping for lunch at a beautiful rural cafe. In the late afternoon, get used to your bike and the terrain with a short ride along the lovely Clutha River. We stay in the charming historic precinct of Clyde, eating out at a local restaurant. Includes: (L).
Day 2: Clyde - Lauder. Begin the Otago Central Rail Trail, biking from Clyde to Lauder (43km). Highlights of today’s ride include the wooden trestle Muttontown Viaduct, the Old Tucker Hill gold diggings, views of the Dunstan Mountains and Raggedy Range, spotting brown trout in the Manuherikia River, and a side trip to the charming town of Ophir for a well deserved coffee from the ladies at the Old Bakery Cafe. In the afternoon we make a side trip (in the bus) to the historic gold-mining town of St Bathan's, with a mandatory stop at the Vulcan Hotel! Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Lauder - Wedderburn. Bike from Lauder to Wedderburn (34km). Highlights of today’s ride on the rail trail include the engineering marvel that is the Poolburn Gorge Viaduct and tunnels, and the vast wide open Ida Valley (made famous by the painter Grahame Sydney), the Idaburn dam (famous for its winter curling), and the wee town of Wedderburn at the top of the rail trail. In the afternoon we make a side trip (in the bus) to the town of Naseby, and eat out at the local pub. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Wedderburn - Hyde. Bike from Wedderburn to Hyde (46km). Before we begin today's biking, we're treated to a guided tour of the Duncan family farm by the locals of Wedderburn. The Duncans are 3rd and 4th generation farmers who farm a land that is often either plagued by drought or covered in snow. What they have achieved over the years is a great feat which they are eager to share with us. This is one of the highlights of the trip, and will hold a great interest for rural and city bikers alike. After morning tea at the homestead, it's back on the saddle. Highlights of today’s ride include crossing the Maniototo Plains, visiting the rural art deco town of Ranfurly, following the Taieri River as it snakes around the Rock and Pillar Range, crossing the unaltered stone bridge over Cap Burn, the 32m high Price’s Creek Viaduct and 152m long tunnel. Relax in the afternoon in Hyde, at the beautifully restored Otago Central Hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Hyde - Christchurch/ Dunedin. Bike from Hyde to Middlemarch (27km – all downhill!). Highlights of the final days ride include views of the Rock and Pillar and Taieri Ranges, the Hyde Railway Disaster memorial, and dropping down into the Strath Taieri Plain. In the afternoon we make our way back to Christchurch, arriving at around 7p.m. Alternatively, opt to end your journey in Dunedin in true style by taking the historic Taieri Gorge Railway to Dunedin, which arrives in the city at 3:30p.m. Includes: (B), (L).
Notes: Groups of 10 or more people will receive a 10% discount on the tour price.
Also see tour packages in:
Australia and Oceania New Zealand Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring
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