NZ Otago Bike Adventure
OverviewCycle the rolling hills of New Zealand South Island on the iconic Otago Rail Trail, where you’ll breathe in the fresh mountain air, feel the warm sun on your back and admire picture-perfect landscapes on two wheels.
Your adventure starts with a bike fitting and safety briefing in Clyde, Central Otago, before starting your ride alongside the impressive Manuherikia River. This easy-paced semi-guided bike tour follows a former railway line traversing the Central Otago region between the towns of Clyde and Middlemarch for 150 kilometres. Over five days, you’ll meet with your energetic guide to discover the charm of a tiny gold-rush town in Ophir, exchange stories with locals at an iconic pub in Naseby, visit the stunning Blue Lake in St Bathans and more.
Your tour includes the hire of all the essential bike equipment you’ll need for the duration of your cycle, from a bike and helmet to a gel seat and drink bottle. Enjoy the journey with 4 nights lodge accommodation, daily continental breakfast, bag transfer between locations, vehicle assistance along the way and more.
Make your ride faster and smoother by upgrading to an eBike or make sure the adventure never ends by adding a transfer to Queenstown or Dunedin after the trail.
- Embark on a 5-day semi-guided bike tour on the iconic Otago Rail Trail
- Visit the historic towns of Hyde, Waipiata, Oturehua and more
- Take the opportunity to send a postcard from NZ’s smallest working post office
- Visit the charming historic gold mining town of Ophir
- Breathe in New Zealand’s cleanest air in the tiny town of Lauder
- Tour Hayes Engineering Works, a historical example of Kiwi Ingenuity
- Walk around the scenic Blue Lake in the historic village of St Bathans
- Visit the famously haunted Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans
- 4 nights of lodge accommodation along the Otago Rail Trail
- Daily continental breakfast
- Full concierge vehicle assistance along the rail trail
- Tour leader assistance
- Daily bag transfer between locations so you can cycle freely
- Rail Trail Passport and certificate of completion
- Bike hire for the duration of the rail trail including bike, helmet, pump, puncture repair kit, gel seat, pannier (two on request), bike light and drink bottle
- Transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
- Optional Tours: Optional experiences and tours are available to add to your itinerary (see checkout for details)
ItineraryDownload Itinerary Brochure
This morning, meet the shuttle at 8:00am on the corner of Camp Street and Shotover Street where you’ll transfer to Clyde for your bike fitting and safety briefing. The route takes you alongside the Manuherikia River to the historic Chatto Creek Tavern and to New Zealand’s smallest working Post Office.
Your guide will meet you here, a great place to stop for lunch (not included), before tackling Tiger Hill. Once you’ve tamed Tiger Hill, it’s a gentle ride down to the railway town of Omakau, your destination for the night.
After checking in to Nicky’s Accommodation your guide will take you to visit the charming and historic gold mining village of Ophir before heading back for dinner at the Omakau Hotel (not included).
Please note: For the next five days, your guide will not bike with your group. Instead, your guide will take you to the trail from your accommodation each morning and make sure everyone is set to ride each sector of the trail. The guide will then drive to a number of locations at points where the track has road access and check on your group, staying until the last member has passed through, before moving to the next checkpoint. The guide will also spend time with the group at morning tea and lunch venues. Your guide will meet you at the end of the day’s section and deliver you and your luggage to your accommodation before taking you on the planned afternoon excursions. All bikes are 3-12 months old and undergo comprehensive checks and maintenance so the likelihood of technical issues along the trail is very low. At all times they will be no more than 10-15 minutes away from your group and with good cell coverage, any assistance is readily available.
Cycling: 37km (3.5 to 4 hours)
Overnight: Nicky’s Place, Omakau
Meals included: None
The ride from Omakau to Lauder is a flat 9km so don’t forget to take a deep breath because Lauder’s claim to fame is having the cleanest and most-pollution free air in New Zealand. Almost exactly halfway between the equator and the South Pole, the Lauder Atmospheric Research Station was opened here in 1961 as an ideal site for monitoring Southern Hemisphere atmospheric conditions. Their work, measuring gases in the southern atmosphere, helps to benchmark global understanding of climate change, the ozone levels and other things. The guide will check in with you here while you enjoy a coffee stop at Stationside Cafe, before you head out on your bike into the Poolburn Gorge where viaducts, two tunnels and stunning scenery make this one of the most spectacular sections of the trail.
Oturehua is just a few kilometres up the trail and home to Gilchrist’s Store, part store and part museum. It’s New Zealand’s oldest continuously operating general store and has shelves of nostalgic products bearing long-gone brands.
Once you’ve checked into Inverlair Lodge your guide will take you on a scenic drive to St Bathans for lunch (not included) at the famously haunted Vulcan Hotel before enjoying a stroll around the historic village which includes a visit to the Blue Lake. The spa pool at Inverlair Lodge is a great spot to admire the view before being collected for dinner tonight at the Oturehua Hotel (not included).
Cycling: 30km (3 hours)
Overnight: Inverlair Lodge, Oturehua or similar
Meals included: Breakfast
Your guide will collect you this morning for a visit to historic Hayes Engineering Works, the legacy of English immigrants Ernest and Hannah Hayes who settled in Central Otago after their arrival in 1882. Though Ernest initially worked as a millwright at local flour mills, his enterprise began when he started inventing tools to simplify work on his 150-acre farm near Oturehua. From rabbit bait cutters to windmills, Hayes’ labour-saving inventions quickly spread around the country and overseas.
From Oturehua it’s just an 8km ride to the highest point on the trail and then it’s all downhill to Wedderburn. From here it’s an easy glide down to the Art Deco township of Ranfurly. This afternoon you’ll travel to the historic gold mining village of Naseby, home to the Southern hemisphere’s only dedicated indoor curling rink, to try your hand at curling.
Later that evening, enjoy a nighttime tour of Naseby’s spectacular night skies then dine at an iconic pub dating back to the 1860s (not included).
Cycling: 25km (2.5 hours)
Overnight: Naseby Lodge, Naseby
Meals included: Breakfast
This morning you’ll return to Ranfurly for an easy cruise across the Maniototo Plain to Waipiata and Kokonga before entering the Upper Taieri Gorge. Once you pass white clay cliffs and go over the curved bridge it’s time to say hello to Hyde where you’ll meet your guide and be returned to the charming Waipiata Motel. You can then enjoy dinner this evening at the Waipiata Hotel (not included).
Cycling: 32km (3 hours)
Overnight: Waipiata Motel, Waipiata
Meals included: Breakfast
Your guide will collect you from Waipiata this morning for the trip back to Hyde. From here, it’s a downhill cruise across the Strath Taieri plain to Middlemarch. Cycling south, you’ll come to a memorial for the 21 people who died in the Hyde train crash on June 6th, 1943. When you arrive, you can enjoy a celebratory lunch (own expense) before saying a fond farewell to your bikes and making your own onward travel arrangements.
Cycling: 29km (3 hours)
Please note: You have the option of adding a transfer to either Queenstown or Dunedin.
• Queenstown Transfer: $180 per person (a minimum of 2 passengers required for transfer).
• Dunedin Transfer: $120 per person (a minimum of 2 passengers required for transfer).
Meals included: Breakfast
After purchase, you will receive a receipt and a Purchase Confirmation, directing you to an online Passenger Information Form. You must complete the Passenger Information Form within 72 hours of purchase.
Any special requests, preferences and optional extras MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form. Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges as outlined in the Schedule of Fees below.
On purchasing this Travel Offer, you are bound by the General Terms and Conditions and the specific terms and conditions outlined in this Important Information.
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Qantas Tours packages are non-refundable. If your Qantas Tour package is affected by Covid-19 related travel restrictions and you are unable to travel, you will receive either a free date change (credit that is specific to your original package and purchase value) or an open credit less any non-recoverable supplier fees to the value of your original purchase for use on any other Qantas Tour or package available via the TripADeal website.
Please note: Date change credits are subject to availability and not guaranteed until confirmed by TripADeal, not the tour operator you are due to stay with.
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Please note: All additional charges are payable in AUD (unless otherwise stated).
This travel offer is valid for travel on selected dates until 1 May 2024.
This travel offer is priced per person based on a twin share.
Single Traveller Supplement
For solo travellers, a mandatory single supplement of $550 applies.
Please note: Accommodation for single customers who are travelling on a tour or cruise package, may be in a single room, depending on availability.
November: 8, 22
December: 6, 15
January: 10, 24
February: 7, 21, 28
March: 6, 20
April: 3, 17, 24
Please note: See checkout for live dates and availability.
Nicky’s Place, Omakau
Inverlair Lodge, Oturehua
Naseby Lodge, Naseby
Waipiata Motel, Waipiata
Please note: Accommodation/rooms offered are based on a lead-in room type and are subject to availability based on seasonality. In the instance a property is not available, a similar standard of accommodation will be provided. Properties will be confirmed and included in your travel pack, which you will receive 4-6 weeks before travel.
Not available at checkout.
Maximum Room Capacity
• No child discounts. The full price applies to all children travelling with their parents.
• Valid for Children 16 years old and over.
Please note: Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult 18 years old and over to travel. No unaccompanied minors are allowed.
Double or twin bedding (subject to availability).
Minimum group size 8, maximum group size 10 per vehicle.
- Upgrade to an eBike: $320 per person
- Transfer from Middlemarch to Dunedin: $120 per person (minimum of 2 persons for transfer)
- Transfer from Middlemarch to Queenstown: $180 per person (minimum of 2 persons for transfer)
• Prices are based per person and are subject to availability.
• The optional upgrade listed above must be purchased on checkout or over the phone before submitting your passenger information form (subject to availability).
• Visa fees and requirements
• Flights and transfers not stated in the deal offer
• Meals/beverages not stated in the deal offer
• Activities/tours not stated in the itinerary
• Personal expenses
• Travel insurance
ACCOMMODATION TERMINOLOGY USE
Specialty / Boutique / Homestays / Heritage / Lodge:
Unique properties include heritage properties, rural or village homestays. Generally independent properties with a selection of amenities and individual character and charm. Properties may follow enhanced sustainability practices, support local communities and generally employ local people who may not be as well trained in service standards.
CLIMATE & AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
The climate of Otago is perhaps the most diverse of any region in New Zealand. It is the coldest, driest part of New Zealand and the seasons are sharply defined: summers are hot and low in humidity; winter mornings are often misty, the days cloudless and windless and the nights freezing. Spring warms the soil and fruit tree blossom dominates the district’s orchard areas. Temperatures range from −3 to 20 °C with 10 frosts a month. The average rainfall is 28 millimetres a month and sunshine 206 hours per month.
In summer, daylight lasts as long as 10 P.M. Temperatures range from 10 to 30 °C on several days. Rainfall averages 38 millimetres a month and sunshine 227 hours per month.
Autumn is brilliant as the extensive orchards and poplar shelterbelts turn red, yellow and gold. Temperatures range from −3 to 24 °C. Rainfall averages 30 millimetres a month with 11 frosts monthly and 150 hours of sunshine.
You will be responsible for all your personal belongings whilst on tour. You must carry your own luggage from the vehicle to the hotel room and back to the vehicle. The driver will assist with the uploading and offloading of bags from the vehicle.
Fitness Level Required:
A Moderate to Active level of fitness will be required.
Moderate is described as involving more physical activity, including biking, longer day hikes or extended walking and standing, low-altitude treks, and water-based activities such as canoeing or low-grade kayaking. Guests using any walking aid other than a walking stick would be advised to reconsider as surfaces may be uneven.
Active is described as some high-altitude trekking, off-road biking or high-grade kayaking. More strenuous activities, suitable for a good fitness level and for guests who exercise regularly. More fast-paced activities and walking on uneven surfaces.
Please note: If you have any concerns please consult your healthcare provider prior to purchase/travel.
A tourist visa is not required if travelling on an Australian passport.
• Passengers who are not Australian citizens must also check with the respective consulate or visa agency to determine what their visa requirements are and what personal identification is required.
• It is also important to note that some areas of employment, such as journalism, government authorities and charity organisations, may have additional restrictions in applying for Visas. This may, in turn, affect the type of application required.
This includes booking changes requested by you, including but not limited to those changes requiring an airline ticket or a Purchase Confirmation reissue.
• Changes - $100.00 per booking and any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel providers.
Name Changes Due To Passenger Error
• If the incorrect name has been provided, charges of $100.00 per booking and any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel providers.
In the event the Qantas Tour you have purchased is unable to proceed, and/or a travel Supplier is unable to fulfil the Qantas Tour due to external circumstances (Limitation of Liability e.g. a Force Majeure event), there may be a fee or amount of money that is withheld by our Suppliers and is unrecoverable. This may be due to non-refundable airline tickets, cancellation penalties with cruise cabins or unrecoverable payments with our land/accommodation partners. If refunds are not available from Suppliers, we will endeavour to obtain a travel credit on the best terms available and communicate these outcomes to you. In the event we are unable to obtain a refund or travel service credit, or part thereof, this cost is passed on to the customer as a Supplier Fee.
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To earn Qantas Points with Qantas Tours, Members will be required to provide a valid Frequent Flyer number and last name at checkout. Only the lead traveller, the primary contact for the booking, will earn 3 Qantas Points per AU$1 spent (including GST) on eligible holiday packages. Qantas Points will not be earned and cannot be redeemed on any amounts payable directly to the hotel. Conditions apply. Qantas Points will be credited to a member's account up to 8 weeks after tour completion. Qantas Points will not be earned on cancelled bookings.
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