Central Otago Rail Trail - Anyone done it?

Looks like the family are going to try and get to NZ for x-mas staying at the “mother in-laws” hooray!! She lives on the door step (literally) of the Central Otago Rail Trail double hooray!! I’m keen to do the 300Km return over two days and am wondering if anyone here has done it? Thoughts, recommendations and so on… shoot.

I’ll be going it on hopefully my new Menzies CX/Tourer 1x10 with 33’s. Doesn’t look very steep BUT I have to option to put twin rings back on the front


Loki, my mum and dad did earlier this year. They are in their sixties and are not fit by any stretch of the imagination. The incline on the ORT is very gradual and you will be fine towing a trailer with kids in the back. They told me as much and if they say it is easy it really is. (Just make sure you’re missus has the additional supplies in panniers or a Bob, or even better use a luggage relocation service). Worth bearing in mind that it can get really damn hot - or cold at that time of year, you will have to have appropriate clothing with ya and enough water.

Towing 50kg of toddlers+trailer is tough. Dunno how much you’ll get out of the small ring - lol - big ring will be purely decorative. 34/36 > 11-36T is perfect for baby haulin’ in my experience.

Try and get some slightly wider tyres than 33s. 40-42s will be the ticket - WTB Nano (40), Clement X’plor MSO (40), Surly Knard (41), Conti Cyclo X King (42).

Have fun its meant to be nice. Me and C will take the boys on it next year.:cool:

I want.

Ha Ha!!! Cheers Jice but I have not communicated well enough… I will be doing the full trail sans family :slight_smile: There will be a bunch of family activity goings on that I’m going to tear myself away from for a bit of me time.

You’ll smash it in no time flat, esp with a big dog ring. (You’ll have to dodge the hubbards tho’).

My Lower South Island geography is fairly bad but you might like to consider doing the Roxborough Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail as well / instead - more up and down as it follows a river.

Mmmmm yes, good good, will look into it.

Oh and 33s will be fine if you’re not haulin’. They have a nice smooth gravel surface (like the rail trails in Victoria).

Maybe see if there’s a fellow FOAer who can lend you a Viscacha style seatbag / or half frame bag. Much nicer than wearing a backback.

I’d do it on your Cross machine - but with a clincher wheelset.

I may ride parts of if in early November and if so will let you know how I went. I will ride from Christchurch to Queenstown and haven’t figured out a route yet. We have plenty of time so I may schedule it in as it does like nice.

If your ok with gravel check out the route of the Great Southern Brevet, it included alot of back dirt roads (there are precious few back sealed roads in NZ, esp in the Sth Island)

Thats look awesome! Gravel is my kind of road but I havent convinced my girl yet. She doesnt seem to like it what I dont really understand. You dont know by any chance what kind of gravel the majority of the roads are? If “smooth” gravel I might find a way to bring it to her. It already looks like I have to go there on my own again.

Sounds like a nice mission, let us know how it goes.