Otago Central Rail Trail

From Dunedin Railway Station, take the Taieri Gorge Train to Middlemarch (or Pukerangi, 19 km [12 miles] from Middlemarch), one end of the Otago Central Rail Trail. This 150-km (93-mile) pleasantly undulating bicycle path follows the old railway line and includes a dizzying wooden viaduct and a 500-foot-long tunnel, with places to eat, sleep, and drink along the way. The only traffic you'll encounter is the occasional herd of muddy-bottomed sheep. The ride takes about five days to complete, passing through sheep farms and lovely wee towns such as Ranfurly, an "oasis of art deco," and Alexander, one of the busier hubs in Central Otago on the banks of the paint-green Clutha River. The trail eventually ends in Thyme-scented Clyde. The route can be traversed in either direction; Clyde is approximately 80 km (50 miles) from Queenstown. The trail provides a great way to experience the sheep stations, with their puzzling gates and similarly puzzling locks, as well as mud, wind, rivers, pubs, and old gold fields. www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz.

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