Middlemarch to Clyde

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GETTING TO THE RAIL TRAIL AT MIDDLEMARCH

Dunedin to Middlemarch on board the Taieri Gorge Railway

Rated one of the world’s best train journeys, it’s no wonder the Taieri Gorge Railway is the recommended ‘must-do’ mode of travel from Dunedin to the Middlemarch start of the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Most days the train travels from Dunedin to tiny Pukerangi Station, 20km south of Middlemarch. The train’s popularity means lots of bike hire and other shuttles run between Pukerangi and Middlemarch.

Departure times from the magnificently ornate Dunedin Railway Station to Pukerangi are 9.30am and 2.30pm, arriving at 11.35am and 4.35pm.

Should you land at Dunedin Airport and want to get on to the Rail Trail pretty much straight away, consider boarding the train at Wingatui (a short taxi ride away). But doing this of course depends on flight arrival times with the train's arrival at and departure from Wingatui. Our advice is to phone Dunedin Railways at 03 477 4449.


Rental Vehicles

Rental vehicles are available at Dunedin Airport and in Dunedin itself to self-drive to Middlemarch. An idea - especially when wanting to do the Rail Trail with a non-cyclist - can be to hire a rental as a support and side-trip adventuring vehicle. See our 5 Day Itinerary for just how much a support vehicle can add to a Rail Trail experience.


How's this for an idea

Fly into Dunedin Airport, do the Rail Trail and then depart for home from Queenstown International Airport. This gives you a round trip and with it the golden opportunity to experience Queenstown’s many and varied attractions. Of course, something to consider is doing it in reverse order. Land in Queenstown, do the Rail Trail, train to Dunedin and depart for from Dunedin Airport.


Don't Forget

Spending at least a few hours exploring Middlemarch will surprise you with just how much there is to see… from outdoor artwork to the remains of an historic submarine built for mining gold river beds to New Zealand’s only salt lake.  

Middlemarch Train Station

3 Day Itinerary

app. 50 km per day

Even with an electric-assist mountain bike (e-bike), cycling the Rail Trail from Middlemarch in just 3 Days calls for more planning than starting from Clyde. The reason is Day 1 distances are relatively long.

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Clyde Main Street

4 Day Itinerary

app. 38 km per day

Even with an electric-assist mountain bike (e-bike), cycling the Rail Trail from Middlemarch calls for more planning than starting from Clyde. The reason is Day 1 distances are relatively long and choices of accommodation limited. Or so it seems.

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Poolburn Dam

5 Day Itinerary

app. 30 km per day

"What a Diff'rance a Day Makes". The title of this timeless song says it all. Perhaps the most significant difference between four and five days is being able to ride fewer kilometres each day, and that generally means less time on the saddle.

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The Rail Trail Guide Book

The single most important resource when travelling 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. It’s all in here.

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