Riding the Rail Trails around Queenstown New Zealand travel blog

On the trail by the river

End of the trail at the bridge

The old Clyde Station

Family photo at the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail

At the start of the Otago Central Rail Trail

On the trail


We were early to bed after our cycle up the Roxburgh Gorge, not even time for a game of cards after dinner, dishes and maths homework.

Jonno was up around 7am for his run, but it was cut short after he tried to hurdle a fence and failed, scraping his legs and elbow. Nothing major, but enough to send him home. He was well comforted by his sister, "only a flesh wound" she helpfully proclaimed.

We had a leisurely breakfast, and read our online books, or in Jonno's case, raiding the readers digest on the bookshelves to read marathon man and some other memoir about hostage negotiations. This was despite having at least 10 online books on his device.

Around 11am we stirred enough to make lunch and by noon we were ready to cycle up to Clyde via the river track. A quick ride out of town, delayed slightly by the need to return to pick up the camera, and we were on our way. It was only 12km to Clyde, and the track was excellent. A variety of river views, rapid ascents and descents, narrow bridges, mountain bike detours; something for everyone. We stopped a few times for photos and to let people pass, knowing the kids would be waiting for us at the end.

We were rather surprised to come across Georgia, pushing her bike up a slight hill. Poor kid, she had come off her bike on one of the bridges, and though okay to cycle on, her handle bars had come loose. She has been walking about 20 minutes before we caught up with her. One of the problems of having a mother who insists on stopping for photos at every scenic point. By the time we caught up with Georgia, she was fine, but the bike needed the handlebar screw tightened. After that she was up and off, and waiting with her brother at the bridge.

We cycled over the bridge and sighted the Clyde dam, commissioned in the 1970s and completed in the late 80s, destroying part of the railway line to Cromwell, and leading to the end of the railway line, and thus the foundation for the creation of the Otago rail trail.

We had lunch at a convenient picnic table, and cycled into town to walk the main street and indulge in a little souvenir shopping, being earrings for me, an arrowhead necklace for Georgia and apricot jam for Jonno.

Back on the bikes, we found Clyde railway station, and then the official beginning of the Otago Central rail trail. From there it was an easy, flat ride back to Alexandra, stopping only to buy fresh apricots and cherries. A total ride of 25km.

Dinner was a delicious roast beef, almost as good as we would have had for Sunday night dinner at grandpa's. Jonno managed to finish his maths homework before dinner, so there may even be time for a game of 500 before bed tonight.



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