Otago Central Rail Trail Journey
Wine and dine in Queenstown, surrounded by towering mountains and pristine lakes. Venture over to the Milford Sound for scenery and wildlife like no where else. In Clyde, begin your laid-back cycle journey along the Central Otago Rail Trail over deep gorges and through old tunnels, stopping at local eatieries along the way. Explore quaint farm populations, rolling hills spotted with sheep, and historical buildings. Finish your journey in Dunedin, a coastal city offering an abundance of wildlife and historical architecture.
Your Holiday Package Includes:
- 3 Nights accommodation in Queenstown
- Valley of the Vines Lunch Tour
- Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Lunch
- 5 Days/4 nights Otago Central Rail Trail Self-Guided Journey
- Includes 4 Breakfasts, 4 nights accommodation, cycle equipemtn, luggage transfers and more
- Transfers from Queenstown to Clyde & Middlemarch to Dunedin
- 2 Nights accommodation in Dunedin
- Speights Brewery Tour Dunedin
- Private transfers throughout
Chat to an agent about arranging flights or car hire.
***Rates based on twin share for travel from 18 – 27 January 2022. Other dates available, a surcharge may apply.***
Valley of the Vines Lunch Tour
Join us as we transport wine-lovers to Gibbston, also known as the ‘Valley of the Vines’. It’s part of the greater Central Otago wine region and well-known as one of the world’s most scenic vineyard journeys. Discover how the unique flavours of our Central Otago wines are created as you visit three wineries to enjoy over 16 tastings in the world’s southernmost wine region. Immerse your senses in New Zealand’s largest wine cave, and beyond the grape enjoy a seasonal shared lunch platter at a winery restaurant.
Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch
Departing Queenstown we wind our way around Lake Wakatipu, with amazing views of ‘The Remarkables’ Mountain Range and lake, stopping for photos is a must. Continuing around the lake we pass through Devil’s Staircase. After amazing mountain, river and farmland views we arrive in Te Anau. In this idyllic town we will stop for a break and maybe meet some of the local animals or wildlife. Next stop is Te Anau Downs, the starting point for the Milford Track where we hear stories and admire the views. We then enter Fiordland National Park and stop in Eglinton Valley. With views worthy of Lord of the Rings, this valley follows the path of an ancient glacier through Fiordland. Next up, Mirror Lakes to see the famous reflections of the Earl Mountains. Continuing along the Milford Road is Lake Gunn named after a famous explorer and popular for fishing.
We pass the Hollyford River, gorgeous, powerful and full of large boulders and rapids. Feeding into the river at Falls Creek is the first of our extremely impressive waterfalls of the area, one of many to come. Climbing in altitude we go deeper into the Darran Mountains where Kea (the world’s largest alpine parrot) like to live. These cheeky and colourful birds never fail to entertain. To make our way back down towards the sea we enter the mind-blowing hand-built Homer Tunnel then sharply descend to Milford Sound. On a rainy-day you will see hundreds of waterfalls cascading down the mountain side.
Following the valleys to the sea we arrive at Milford Sound for your cruise with Cruise Milford. This experience offers a boutique cruise on a smaller boat which is less crowded with a crew that offers an informative and personal tour of Milford Sound. The smaller boat means you get closer to wildlife and nature including fur seals basking on the rocks, massive rock faces rising for hundreds of metres out of the sea and the waterfalls cascading from an ancient rainforest high in the mountains. On the cruise you will be able to marvel at the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, the iconic Milford Sound mountain, with its steep triangular peak rising high up above the reflective waters. After your cruise on the return journey you will stop at Pop’s View Lookout to admire the elevated amazing views of the divide in the Southern Alps where the guide will tell you the stories of ancient Maori explorers. Heading back to Queenstown you’ll receive a guided return trip with many stops along the way.
Otago Central Rail Trail
Day 1: Clyde to Alexandra (Distance: 8 - 15kms)
Your adventure starts in Queenstown where you will be picked up from your accommodation and brought to our Clyde Depot. Here you will be fitted on your bikes, briefed and start the ride to Lauder. Between Clyde and Alexandra, the trail takes you past vineyards and over an old wooden trestle bridge. For the more adventurous, there is the option of riding on the River Track to Alexandra, along the banks of the Clutha River / Mata Au. The River Track adds 7km to your ride, but it is well worth it if time and energy allow. For more exploring, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail follows the river into the gorge for 10km to Doctors Point. Luxury accommodation in Clyde for tonight – Trail Journeys provide shuttle transfers to/from Alexandra for this.
Day 2: Alexandra to Ophir (Distance: 31kms)
From Alexandra, the trail heads out to Chatto Creek where the tavern serves an excellent lunch and is a recommended stop before cycling up Tiger Hill. The gradient is easy, and then it is downhill to your overnight accommodation in Omakau. We suggest riding the 5km loop to Ophir. Ophir is an interesting settlement with historic buildings and the Daniel O’Connell suspension bridge, as well as places for a coffee or a drink. Breakfast is included.
Day 3: Ophir to Oturehua (Distance: 32kms)
From Ophir, cycle to Lauder, the start of one of the most spectacular sections of the trail. The Poolburn Gorge, home to the rare New Zealand falcon, features tunnels and viaducts in a secluded rocky setting. The gorge then opens out to the vast expanse of the Ida Valley, made famous by the paintings of Graham Sydney. Oturehua is an interesting settlement with the old Gilchrist’s Store and the Oturehua Tavern. Other attractions include the historic Hayes Engineering Works & Homestead, and the remains of the Golden Progress Mine which is just north of Oturehua. Later that afternoon, you will be picked up and taken for a tour around the historic township of Naseby as well as trying your hand at curling. Breakfast is included.
Day 4: Oturehua to Kokonga (Distance: 43.5kms)
From Oturehua the trail takes you through Wedderburn, which is mostly downhill to Ranfurly, the Art Deco capital of Otago. Perhaps a stop here for morning tea before crossing the Maniototo Plains to a lunch stop at the Waipiata Tavern. Breakfast is included.
Day 5: Kokonga to Middlemarch (Distance: 27kms)
Today’s highlights are between Daisybank and Hyde where the trail runs alongside the Taieri River over the Capburn and Prices Creek Bridges and through the last tunnel before arriving at your accommodation. The trail from Hyde passes the site of the 1943 Hyde Rail disaster and on through the wide-open spaces of the Strath Taieri. The end of the trail is at our Middlemarch Depot where you can have a shower, before the transfer to Dunedin by shuttle. Breakfast is included.
Speights Brewery Tour Dunedin
This Brewery experience will take you through our historic site that has been brewing Speight’s in Dunedin since 1876. You will be able to see, touch and smell the ingredients that go into our award-winning beers; and sample the iconic history of the oldest working Brewery in New Zealand.Sample 5oz glasses of some of our most popular Beers, the guide will even show you how to pour the perfect beer!
Terms & Conditions
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. All bookings are subject to availability. Minimum nights stay may apply. Other travel periods may be available. Blockout dates may apply. Rates may alter depending upon the dates requested and surcharges if applicable. Final booking confirmation only provided once payment has been processed. Contact our travel team for more details. Our Vacation Centre reserves the right to withdraw this promotion without notice at any time. Pricing correct as at 27 October 2021.