otago central rail trail


Doing the Otago Central Rail Trail as a family was one of the best holiday experiences we’ve ever had.

We teamed up with my Mum and another family from Wellington and spread the 150km out over five days in late January. This meant that the daily distances were challenging, but doable for our seven and ten year olds. We could also stop lots and take many photos.

R. sorted everything out through Trail Journeys, one of a number of similar operators (their website has heaps of useful information, too). They organised accommodation and baggage transfers between our stops, and could have hired bikes to us had we needed them.

This freed us up to simply enjoy the ride. While we we could have camped, and carried all our own gear, we figured that if we were to subject the kids (and ourselves) to nearly 40km of bike riding in a day the least we could do was give them a nice comfy bed at the end of it.

There were lots of highlights:

cherry plums overhanging the trail

the old Omakau post office

approaching the poolburn gorge

ida valley panorama - click for original

riding towards ranfurly

the Otago Central Hotel, Hyde

trail passport

But most of all, just being outdoors for days on end, away from cars and noise and speed and any external pressures was very very nice. And at the end of it, we felt like we’d really achieved something good. Which we had. B₂ wanted to do it again, immediately, a feeling we all shared (except for the timing - the rest of us needed a rest!).

I’d thoroughly recommend the Rail Trail to anyone.

raoidean: blog bikes
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