Cycling Tour Planning and Support

Our commitment is to make the wonderful, epic rail trail journeys and other cycling adventures throughout Otago as easy and as enjoyable as possible.

We share our knowledge, passion, and provide support in the form of cycle hire, shuttles, food, luggage transportation and accommodation for cycling tours.

Otago Rail Trail Cycling Tours Support

Stay with us the first time you tackle the Otago Rail Trail, and we will celebrate you with a bottle of bubbles when you cross the finish line at Middlemarch at no charge. 

This is our way of congratulating you on your success in completing one of the world's most iconic cycle rides.

What cycling tours support can you get from us?

Accommodation and Services:

  • Middlemarch Lodge has purpose-built, secure sheds to keep your cycles safe, with easy access to e-bike charging
  • We provide accommodation starting or finishing at our Lodge in Middlemarch  
  • We can organise anywhere on the Trail you want to stay.
  • We manage transfers of luggage between night-stay locations

Cycle Hire:

  • We can organise this for you with local providers.  We will transport your cycle as required.

Food:

  • If you stay at Middlemarch Lodge, we can arrange food for your trail experience.
  • Rooms come with a continental breakfast.
  • We also offer cooked dinner and breakfast at additional cost.
  • If you would like, we can provide a picnic lunch for you as well. You may prefer this as you may find yourself in an area where there are no food options at lunch time.
  • If you stay with other providers on the trail, there are plenty of options for eating out. 

Memorabilia

  • We offer memorabilia at Middlemarch Lodge that can remind you of your stay in Otago and your success.  This includes tee-shirts, jackets, fridge magnets, pictures, photos and certificates.

Transfer Options

​ Transfer Option 1.

Drop you off and pick you up at various points on the trail.  We can bring you back to Middlemarch lodge for an overnight stay from any stoppage point.  The trail can take anything from 2 - 5 days.  You choose your pace.

​Transfer Option 2.

We can book accommodation for you locally when you stop for the day.  This is subject to availability.  If you choose this option, we will transport your luggage so it is there to meet you when you arrive.

Transfer Option 3

Arrive in Middlemarch and stay with us. Start your adventure in Middlemarch and leave from our front door - 200 meters from the Trail itself.

Other Rail Trail Support

We also provide full cycling support for anyone who wants to travel any of the other incredible cycle trails through the Otago region - the Dunstan Trail or any other local trails. 

As part of our services we can arrange:

  • Accommodation starting or finishing at our Lodge in Middlemarch as well as anywhere local you want to stay.
  • Cycle hire through a local company
  • Transporting your luggage
  • Pick-up and drop-off from airports or other arrival areas

Talk to us about your unique, customised tour package now.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the weather like?

The following are based on daytime averages, temperatures are cooler at night and it can get very cold in winter. Otago is also a changeable environment, so it is always wise to come prepared with layers, sunscreen and wind jackets.

Season  Months  Coastal Areas  Central Otago
Spring  
Sep - Nov  12 - 24ºC15 - 25ºC
Sunscreen recommended
Summer  
Dec - Feb  15 - 25ºC20 – 30º+C
Sunscreen essential
Autumn  
Mar - May  10 - 20ºC10 - 26ºC
Sunscreen recommended. Wind breaker jacket recommended.
Winter  
Jun - Aug  0ºc - 12ºc-10ºC to 10ºC
Warm, weatherproof clothing recommended. Always carry a windbreaker jacket.

How long does it take to cycle the entire Otago Rail Trail

The ability, fitness and personal preferences of the pedal cyclist, electric assisted cyclist, walker or horse rider play a part in deciding how many nights and days. When sightseeing along the way is planned, this must also be factored in.

On average, four days is sufficient to pedal the Trail on a bike with time for a few stops for sightseeing away from the Trail. A reasonable day’s cycling ranges from 40 – 60km. Five to seven days allows for more sightseeing and a rest day or two along the way.

Four days can be shorted to three, especially when riding an electric assist mountain bike. But why shortchange yourself. Just like a delicious Central Otago wine, the Rail Trail is an experience to be savoured, not rushed

How fit do I need to be to ride the Otago Rail Trail?

If you're unsure of your fitness or are suffering a few joint aches and pains, we recommend hiring an electric assist (e-bike), otherwise a reasonable level of fitness will get you the distance. Young children through to elderly adults have successfully ridden the trail, which is undulating but with no really steep hills. 

The steepest is the 1 in 50 gradient Tiger Hill between Chatto Creek and Omakau. By pacing yourself, you will have a very enjoyable experience. Don't rush. Make lots of stops to enjoy the views and that wonderful Central Otago air.

Is the Rail Trail open all year?

The Otago Rail Trail is open all year round. However, particularly in winter, weather forecasts should be checked, both locally and for the whole of Otago.

Duing winter, we recommend that you make your start later in the morning to allow for ice to melt, and that you plan to be finished or at your accommodation no later than 4 pm, as darkness can be as early as 4:30pm.

Cold is a major factor in winter, so please ensure that you dress appropriately with thermals and windproof clothing. Gloves and a bike helmet are also recommended.

Our Other Services.