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Otago Central Rail Trail

150km on a mountain bike or e-bike!

Middlemarch

This excellent 150km biking & hiking trail stretches between Clyde and Middlemarch in Central Otago. The original railway line, built in the 1890s to provide a link between Central Otago and Dunedin, was closed in 1990.

The 64km stretch between Dunedin & Middlemarch is now the Taieri Gorge Railway, while the rest of the track was pulled up for a mountain biking trail.

Old stations, sidings, tunnels, bridges and pubs pepper the route and there’s much to love out here. The trail is relatively flat - steam trains used to chug along it and they couldn’t handle steep gradients - so this is an excellent adventure for families.

Best advice: bike from Clyde to Middlemarch (prevailing westerly winds make the opposite direction tedious); allow two nights out staying at accommodation on the trail; see Trail Journeys for info on rental bikes (including electric bikes!), transport, vehicle relocations and luggage transfers.

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Otago Central Rail Trail

Adventure for Kids

Central Otago

Cycling & Mountain Biking

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by Walter Rumsby