Rail Trail Cycling Adventure
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B (Cycling up to 59 km per day - all cycling optional)
|Start||Christchurch, 7:00am or Clyde (Queenstown option NZ$40)|
|Finish||Christchurch 6.00pm (approx.), or Dunedin option available|
Oct 2013: 21
Nov 2013: 4, 18
Dec 2013: 27
Jan 2014: 6, 13, 27
Feb 2014: 3, 17
Mar 2014: 3, 17, 24
Apr 2014: 7, 14, 19
|Prices||Period 1 Jun 12 - 31 May 13|
|Prices||Period 1 Jun 13 - 30 Apr 14|
|Extra Costs||Some meals, personal spending, cycle hire|
Note: trips that run over a public holiday will incur a $50 surcharge
Maximum 16Back to top
Christchurch - Alexandra
Begin with a meeting in Christchurch at 7:00am. A quick check of your bike – or a fitting of one of the fleet of rental bikes will precede the loading of the bike trailer that will see the group departing by 8:00am. After lunch, start your cycle programme with a quiet ride alongside a canal system with spectacular views of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps. Crossing over Lindis Pass, descend down to Cromwell where those joining in Queenstown meet, before arriving at the rail head at Clyde. In the later afternoon the first ride will be set up - 8kms from Clyde to Alexandra. Having loaded the bikes, (or enjoying an optional return riverside trail ride) journey back to Clyde to explore this old goldmining town before enjoying your first dinner with the group. (D)
Road Cycling - 24kms/15 miles, Rail Trail Ride - 10kms/6 miles, Optional Riverside trail - 9km/5.5 miles
Omakau - Lauder
The real riding starts today as you leave town across the flat rural countryside. From Chatto Creek the trail starts to rise before leveling off to Omakau where you stop for lunch. Stronger riders may enjoy an optional detour from Omakau to the historic village of Ophir (8kms return). After lunch the remaining 9km flow under the wheels until you arrive at Lauder. Late afternoon you will take a drive to the historic gold mining village, St. Bathans for a walk around the beautiful blue lake. This evening it is time for a relaxing beer and a game of pool at the local pub before dinner. (B, D)
Rail Trail Ride - 44kms/27 miles
Idaburn - Ranfurly - Naseby
Head inland and ride through the first two tunnels and two rail bridges on the trip. With the willow tree-edged gorge below the trail and the welcoming pools beckoning you will emerge on the Idaburn Valley. Continue onto Oturehua, one last short easy climb takes you to the summit of the trail and the beginning of the downhill descent that will take you first to the art deco township of Ranfurly. You lunch at a local café then take a short ride to the beautiful township of Naseby and your hotel stay for the night. There are some nice local walks around the village for the keen cyclist, an easy forest trail alongside an old water race. For those willing to try their hand at something new, you can try the sport of curling in the local indoor rink, the first in the southern hemisphere. (B, D)
Rail Trail Ride - 48kms/29 miles
Taieri Gorge - Middlemarch - Dunedin
Back on the trail and the start of some of the best riding of the trip. From Waipiata the trail follows the edge of the old lake before entering the Taieri Gorge. The trail crosses through further tunnels and bridges before a fast downhill to Hyde where you will enjoy lunch at a local café. From here the final 27kms takes you past the scene of the famous Hyde rail disaster of 1943 and then out onto the rolling plains slowly descending into Middlemarch and the end of the trail and a celebratory drink. By 4:30pm, join the famous Taieri Express for a spectacular ride through the gorge described as one of the world's great train journeys. Travel into Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South, with a celebratory dinner with your group acknowledging the 150kms of Rail Trail riding. (B, D)
Rail Trail Ride - 59kms/37 miles
The 58kms of rail travel into Dunedin is rated as one of the world's great rail trips. The 2 hour route traverses the Taieri gorge travelling across high iron viaducts and tunnels. All trains feature heritage carriages and you may have a viewing carriage on your trip which provides even better panoramas. The train arrives at the historic Dunedin railway station at 6:30pm in time for a transfer to your accommodation.
Dunedin - Oamaru - Christchurch
Head north to Oamaru, leaving behind those who wish to finish in Dunedin. Via the beautiful coastal roads, visit famous Fleurs Place Cafe and Moeraki Boulders before turning onto the final quiet 24km coastal ride along the cliff tops and farms that take you into Oamaru. Here in the old warehouse quarter the early buildings are being restored creating a fascinating opportunity to explore the past – as well as relaxing at a local café. Back on the road again, continue across the Canterbury Plains and finally reach Christchurch and your accommodation at the trip end. (B)
Coastal Rides - 24-40kms/15-24 miles
Grading & Fitness
Average of 4-5 hrs physical activity per day.
Tracks generally in good condition.
Reasonable standard of fitness required.
Your cycling is fully supported. The bike sections are carefully selected on good roads, with much of it downhill. The support vehicle will carry your luggage and you can take the bus at any time for an easier day.
Guides & Safety
Amongst other things Rail Trail guides have cycled around the world, climbed to the highest peaks in New Zealand and the Himalayas, worked in Antarctica, have degrees in Botany, are qualified chefs, have had their photographs published world-wide and have written travel journals and hiking guide books. As guiding work is seasonal a tour guide needs to be multi talented and during the off-season our guides are involved in many diverse activities from managing ski-fields to courier driving to teaching and consulting. Of course to be a guide you must be a traveller at heart and many guides use the New Zealand winter period to travel, hike and cycle overseas. Each guide attends an annual guide training week, where they are taught or refreshed on the skills needed for guiding, safety & tour management. In 2006 guides began working closely with the Department of Conservation to develop a new interpretation skills course for tour guides designed to enhance the visitors experience. They come from all walks of life but they all have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, heaps of fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you. You will have two guides on board, one will be driving the support vehicle which gives you some flexibility for you to have a rest as you desire, while the other will be riding with the group on the road.Back to top
What to take
Note: this region has both the hottest & coldest temperatures in New Zealand. Be prepared for very hot conditions in our mid-summer (Jan/Feb) & a wide variance of temperatures at other times. The following is a recommended list:
Optional cycle equipment
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Front suspension mountain bike or hybrid cycle (NZ$150)
No matter how much exercise is planned or how good the itinerary is, some distance each day will be travelled by vehicle. The vehicles are comfortable, air-conditioned and have an intercom to enable your guides to provide a quality interpretation for you. The seating has been reduced to around 18 seats so that you have heaps of leg room and lots of personal space. When there is a small group of 6-8 a suitable vehicle appropriate for the group size will be used.Back to top
Your guides love to show off the variety of New Zealand foods and in the course of your trip you will get plenty of it. ALL breakfasts and most dinners are included - from scrumptious breakfasts, morning teas and lunch stops - often taken at some of the most amazing sites - as well as most of the evening meals at a range of superb restaurants. On booking you will be asked about dietary needs. Probably the biggest complaint has been that despite the exercise participants have still put on weight.Back to top
These accommodations are a broad collection of farmstays, guesthouses, motels, boutique hotels. Your accommodation will be a very comfortable 3-4 star room. Ensuite upgrade available for NZ$175
A single supplement is available if you would like to have your own room. By paying the extra single supplement price you will be guaranteed you your own room where available. On some nights it may not be possible to provide this.
For bookings 4 or more months in advance of the departure a 25% deposit can be paid with the remainder due 65 days prior to your trip. For bookings within 4 months of the departure, full payment is required.
More than 60 days notice - NZ$300.00 cancellation fee
60-30 days - 50% refund of tour price
Less than 30 days notice - NO REFUND
Please notify us in writing.
Transfers may only be made to another tour to commence within 12 months of your original departure date and the following transfers charges will apply:
If your notice is received more than 30 days prior to your original departure a $100 transfer fee will apply.
If your notice is received within 30-8 days of your original departure date, 25% of your original tour price will be forfeited and the remainder transferred to the departure nominated by you.
If your notice is received within 7 days of your original departure date, 100% of your original tour price will be forfeited.
The published itineraries may be changed for your safety, should the operator deem the weather or road conditions to be unsuitable.
We suggest all clients take out comprehensive travel insurance.
World Nomads Travel Insurance provides online quotes.
This trip is run in conjunction with another operator.