Showing posts with label Otago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Otago. Show all posts

April 04, 2015

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New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Middlemarch to Clyde

The Otago rail trail is 150 kilometers long and extends from Middlemarch to Clyde and can be easily fitted into your cycle touring ride. The surface of the trail is not perfect but can be negotiated on a touring bike provided you are not trying to cover the distance to quickly.

The Otago rail trail has become a very popular ride especially for those just taking up cycling. This is because it is off the road and as it is on an old railway the grades are not too steep and also because there are lots of cafes and accommodation along the way so that you can do shorter distances if you are not yet ready to do 80ks a day or want to take more time enjoying the countryside.

The central Otago landscape is distinctive and is well worth riding through provided it is not in the middle of winter when it can be very cold with a good chance of bad weather including snow.

May 19, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Otematata to Black Forest Station

This cycle touring ride is on  a private access road so permission of the owners is required and because of the altitude reached there is often snow and the road is then closed.

Contact: Black Forest Station
Contact Persons: Ben and Caroline Innes
Phone: 03 680 6795

As the road reaches a height of 900m the road can be subject to sudden changes of weather so you need to do it in the summer and take adequate warm clothing. The surface in places is steep and rough and it is a challenging bike route and really only suitable for mountain bikes with light loads. We found that for a fully loaded touring bike the ascent involved a good deal of pushing. This route is only 35kms long but will take most of the day.

The route is attractive because it is in a sparsely populated back country area of the South Island and the route takes you from Otematata into the Mackenzie Basin.

You can then continue north to Geraldine on the McKenzie Pass.

Lake Benmore

Access Road

Lake Benmore

Road over the Saddle

Black Forest Station

May 18, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Queenstown to Mossburn

This cycle ride begins with a ride on the TSS Earnslaw which is a 1912 Edwardian vintage steamer which takes you across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station which is a great way to start the day.
The ride allows you to experience the joys of the New Zealand back country where the roads are shingle and there are few cars or people. It is only 58kms to the Mavora Lakes but there is a significant climb to do on the way.

 At the Movora Lakes there are camp sites on the lakes edge and the while the lakes are famous for the sandflies we did not have any problems. There were tame South Island Robins hopping around our feet.

The next day we rode to Mossburn which was 60kms along a mostly shingle on a quiet road.

Lake Whakatipu from TSS Earnslaw
TSS Earnslaw

On road to Mavora Lakes
Oreti River
Mavora Lakes

South Island Robin

May 10, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Dunedin to Middlemarch

It is 80.4kms from Dunedin to Middlemarch and 64.3kms from the Dunedin Airport to Middlemarch. There is an option of going by train from Dunedin to Pukerangi and then cycling the remaining 25kms to Middlemarch. Middlemarch is the start of the Otago Rail Trail.

If you are going to cycle all the way from Dunedin to Middlemarch this ride cannot be treated as an easy warm up ride for the Otago Rail Trail as there are some significant hills to contend with on this ride. There is a pub at Clarks Junction which is 50.3kms from Dunedin.

Dunedin to Picton Video

April 17, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Clyde to Haast

This cycling ride starts at Clyde which is at the end of the Otago Rail Trail and the first section goes to Wanaka which is a distance of 76.6 kilometers. 

As you head into Wanaka after crossing the Clutha river there is the option of riding on the track alongside the Clutha river into Wanaka which is well worth doing.

Clutha River

From Wanaka it is 63.6 kilometers to Makaroa and then it is a further 79.4 kilometers to Haast township which is located on the west coast.
There is a reasonable hill to climb just out of Lake Hawea and from Makaroa you climb up the Haast mountain pass into Mount Aspiring National Park which reaches a height of 564m at the summit. The reward as well as the stunning scenery is a long downhill into the Haast township. This ride takes you through some great country and there are many highlights including the ride alongside the Clutha river into Wanaka.

Lake Hawea

Great country to ride through

Surprise it is wet on the west coast

Great Downhill Ride into Haast

April 15, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Danseys Pass

Danseys pass is a great cycle touring road that is the link between Central Otago and North Otago and runs from Naseby to Duntroon a distance of 64.5kilometres. It has a maximum height of 935 metres.

It is not a main road and is shingle but while being a good climb up it is an enjoyable ride in interesting back country.