1. Otago Central Rail Trail
The renowned Otago Central Rail Trail is New Zealand’s original “Great Ride” spanning 152km across the Central Otago region. The gentle gradient of this multi-day trail makes it accessible for anyone wanting to discover the beauty of the diverse landscapes and history of the region. Start the cycle trail in Clyde and travel on an old railway route to Middlemarch, passing mountainous landscapes to dry desert-like scenery to farmland to quaint towns with historic gold mining features. There’s also the option to do day rides of the Rail Trail from both Clyde or Alexandra thanks to the great selection of bike hire and shuttle services available. See our favourite day ride of the trail on #5 on this list!
Location: Albert Drive or State Highway 8, Clyde
2. Roxburgh Gorge Trail
The Roxburgh Gorge Trail is a truly remote experience down the stunning and dramatic Roxburgh Gorge. The trail is 34km which can either be enjoyed all together or in shorter sections. One option is to cycle from Alexandra to Doctors Point (20km return) to experience the breathtaking gorge scenery. Alternatively, start at Roxburgh Dam and ride to Shingle Creek and back (22km) offering expansive lake vistas and rural farmland. For the whole trail, you will need to book a boat transfer between the Doctors Point jetty and the Shingle Creek jetty. Note that the trail is a well-formed and wide trail with a few steep sections to tackle.
Location: Southern historic bridge pier, Alexandra
3. Clutha Gold Trail
Follow the Clutha River for 75km on this 1-2 day trail offering a stunning set of landscapes. The Clutha Gold Trail showcases the river gorge scenery of the Clutha River, as well as lush green farmland along a mostly flat and undulating trail. There are five small settlements along the trail where you can stop and learn about their history on the interpretation panels or stop for food and a mingle with the locals. This is definitely a trail to take leisurely. See more information in our12 Super Scenic Cycle Trails in Otago.
Location: Commissioner’s Flat (just off Roxburgh East Road), Roxburgh Village
4. 150th Anniversary River Track
For a shorter ride in the Alexandra and Clyde area, check out the 150th Anniversary River Track between Clyde and Alexandra. The best way to ride is from Clyde to Alexandra, starting under the historic Clyde Bridge and following the Clutha River to the Alexandra river bridge. Along the way, you’ll get great views of the river and see interesting gold mining relics such as machinery and the Earnscleaugh Tailings. The trail is 12km and a very easy gradient. You can make the ride longer by linking to the Manuherikia River Track off River Street in Alexandra, then onto the Central Otago Rail Trail back to Clyde (more info below).
Location: Clyde river bridge
5. Clyde to Chatto Creek
This is the first section to the Otago Central Rail Trail and makes a great day ride option in Alexandra and Clyde. The flat and easy ride starting from the Clyde Railway Station takes you past vineyards, fruit orchards and merino sheep farms. There are vineyards and gardens to stop by along the way before ending the trail in Alexandra. Link up with the 150th Anniversary River Track (see above) to return to Clyde or return via one of the bike shuttles. The distance of this section of trail is 25km and an easy grade.
Location: Cycle Railway Station