“Have you ever had one of those moments when you think, “Far out, how could I possibly have been so wrong, that was not what I expected…it was sooo much better?”
That was my reaction having completed the Otago Rail Trail.
I arrived in Dunedin full of excitement. I was with amazing friends and that alone guaranteed I was in for a good time. However to say I wasn’t nervous about the four days ahead would be lying.
In my head I had an expectation that I would love it, that it would be beautiful, not too strenuous on the rear end and legs, and very enjoyable. But 150kms is a long way….would it live up to my expectations?
Oh it did – and more. We experienced everything the Otago region had to offer – breath-taking views of mountain ranges, rivers and grass fields, hot sunny days, freezing cold rain, hail and sleet (adding a whole new dimension to the adventure), local food and wine, curling, and good old southern hospitality. The sunny days taught me we live in a beautiful piece of the world. The freezing rain, hail and sleet taught me I had more willpower and determination than I knew possible.
My highlights? The scenery, sharing a drink and a yarn with the locals, the passport stamping stations, seeing Andy with the kettle boiling as you round a corner, deepening friendships, making new friends, and knowing I’ll go back and do it all over again.” Erika Rogers.
Thanks, Erika for taking the time to write about the trip, and the beautiful image (above).
Inspired to ride the Otago Ride Trail?
We offer a 5-day and a 6-day guided Otago Rail Trail tour.
The 5-day tour takes you from Christchurch to the old, goldmining town of Clyde. From there, it’s three days of rail trail riding across the beautiful Otago landscape. (Plus tunnels and bridges – always fun.) You’ll get to try your hand at curling and explore the art deco township of Ranfurly. At Middlemarch, (the end of the trail), you’ll step aboard the famous Taieri Express for a spectacular ride into Dunedin – considered to be one of the world’s great train journeys. On the final day, you’ll ride the coastal road to Oamaru, stopping to pose with the famous Moreaki Boulders, before ending your trip in Christchurch.
Our 6-day tour follows the same route, but gives you an extra day to explore the rural landscape around Ranfurly.
If you’ve never attempted a cycle tour before, the trail is a great way to get started, since the landscape is relatively flat. If you’re a dab hand at touring, it’s a ride you’re definitely going to want to knock off at some point.
What’s included on our Otago Rail Trail tours?
- Comfortable accommodation.
- Daily breakfast and dinner.
- Support vehicle.
- Luggage transfer between hotels, so you can ride with just your daypack.
- Knowledgeable, friendly tour guide to keep you on the right path and ensure the tea’s ready and waiting at rest stops.
- Top of the range cycling gear, with comfortable seats!
Sounds like fun?
We’re now taking rail trail bookings for summer 2015 and have departure dates available from January. So, sit down with your partner/friends/family and start planning your Otago adventure today. Tour dates for our 5-day tour can be found here. Dates for our 6-day tour are here. And if you have any questions, simply drop us an email.