Welcome to the Otago Rail Trail

We offer the most comprehensive information on accommodation, transport and bike hire - we have everything you need to plan a unique Central Otago Rail Trail experience.


Otago Rail Trail - Guide Book

The Otago Rail Trail Guide Book
Now in its fourth edition!


This is the single most important resource you can own if you plan to travel the Central Otago Rail Trail.

A beautifully crafted book with amazing photography by Peter Andrews showing Central Otago as it truly is, one of the most rugged, extreme and beautiful locations on the planet.  Stunning scenery, amazing and important historical and current information, detailed maps, lists of accommodation, frequently asked questions, where to eat, how far between towns, etc.  Its all in here.  

This book is incredible value at only $25 + P&P 

Purchase your copy today - email the Otago Rail Trail office for details or you can purchase it on line from Rail Trail Guide Book tab.

accommodation map

The idea of the Central Otago Rail Trail was promoted by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC), and The Otago Rail Trail Trust, formed specifically to help create this family-oriented recreational facility. The Trail follows the old Central Otago branch railway line from Clyde to Middlemarch passing though many towns along the way.

The Central Otago Rail Trail is classed as a public reserve, and no motorised vehicle is permitted, thus walkers, cyclists and horse riders have no traffic concerns as they make their way along the level, graveled surface.

The Otago Rail Trail can be accessed throughout the year, and has been specifically created for mountain bikers, walkers and horse riders. This webpage has been put together in a user friendly way to simplify your trail experience.

The Rail Trail provides access to some truly spectacular scenery not seen from the highways including mountain ranges, hills and gorges, the vast Maniototo plain and old gold mining towns - and it finally ends in the bountiful fruit growing heart of Central Otago. The heritage of the old railway line has been preserved, with the retention of viaducts and bridges, and some of the old Railway Stations.

Rail Trail Accommodation

The Otago Central Rail Trail runs for 150kms between Clyde and Dunedin passing through the intermediary towns of Clyde, Alexandra, Chatto Creek, Omakau, Lauder, Oturehua, Wedderburn, Ranfurly, Waipiata, Hyde and Middlemarch before terminating in Dunedin.

These towns, developed from the original branch line stops, provide the best selection of Rail Trail accommodation for visitors wishing to stay on the trail itself - ranging from backpacker and hostel accommodation to refurbished period buildings and luxury hotels.

Poolburn, Ophir, Becks, St Bathans, Naseby, Macraes Town and Kyeburn provide alternative accommodation options for those wishing to make further exploration off the Rail Trail - perfect bases from which to visit the quiet beautiful locations this part of Otago has to offer. These Locations are only a short ride from the trail and some hosts offer a pickup and dropoff service. Poolburn, Ophir, Becks, St Bathans, Naseby, Macraes Town and Kyeburn also provide the more adventurous visitor with a wider range of Rail Trail accommodation options - perfect for those wishing to get a little further away from the beaten track and explore the quieter locations off the old Central branch line.

Free Booking ServiceAlexandraClydeChatto CreekOmakauLauderOturehuaWedderburnRanfurlyWaipiataKokongaHydeMiddlemarchPukerangiPoolburnOphirBecksSt BathansKyeburnDanseys PassNasebyMacraes