Otago Rail Trail Day 1

March 25th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Had a great night in Queenstown staying at the superb Villa del Lago (stunning views) and a few wines (okay five bottles!) along with superb rotisserie chicken at the Searle Lane Bar & Rotisserie.

Despite that we were up fairly early and Trail Journeys picked us up at around 9 am. A fairly quick drive to Clyde, and we grabbed the bikes and we were off. We decided to do the Clyde River Trail for the section to Alexandra, even though it is 7 kms or so longer. Figured the views would be worth it, and it was.

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Starting off by the bridge in Clyde.

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The river trail part was very beautiful in parts, but also a bit challenging where there was gravel, slopes and bends.

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A lovely part with the trees leaning over.

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This was very cool – a seat in a bath.

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These old rail bridges are bloody bumpy.

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A falcon keeping watch.

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One of the many old buildings on the trail.

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The view from another bridge.

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The stretch up to the Chatto Creek Tavern was pretty tough as was uphill and a head wind. The gradient is only 2 degrees but when it goes on for some kms you really feel it. Speed drops from say 23 km/hr to 12 km/hr. We were very ready for lunch as it was 2 pm. Very friendly service.

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I loved this, the cat sitting under the table waiting for food scraps.

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Some great views as we keep heading up.

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Then we got to the Muddy Creek Cutting B&B. They have geese, roosters, turkeys and a peacock – plus a very friendly dog.

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This is the place we stayed in. It is first class. Can not recommend it highly enough. You should stay here even if just driving through the area. It’s a mud house and the inside is beautiful,and great fireplaces.

Even better is the food – we had very very slowly roasted lamb. Also some more wine, but not as much as in Queenstown luckily.

Overall a great day but harder than I expected. We cycled 56 kms, and I’d never done more than 25 kms before. And it was all off road, and quite loose shingle at times. My legs were remarkably painful and burning at the end.

Tomorrow we have 64 kms to cycle. Heading from Lauder to Kokonga. Quite a bit of uphill but yay also some downhill.

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11 Responses to “Otago Rail Trail Day 1”

  1. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    How come the hard-tail bikes ? I would have thought it worth the extra to get soft tails. Did this with my family back in 2009, and although it’s a fun outing, I concluded that it is great for those who actually enjoy cycling, that is you like the effort as well as the scenery and entertainments. Otherwise a railway unfortunately tends to go through long boring bits, long straight stretches, and it certainly wasn’t particularly smooth (hence the desire for a soft-tail, our bikes were all HT’s as well). So although my older boy and I really enjoyed the whole trip, the younger one who’s not really a keen cyclist was less impressed and only rode day 1, half of day 2, and about a 1/3rd of day 4.

    Don’t know that B&B, we stayed at Omakau (Hotel) on the first night, then Wedderburn, then Hyde. Hope you get good weather throughout, we had a terribly cold last day, with snow on the Rock & Pillar Range, a howling Southerly and wind chill to well below freezing. The wind was bad enough to blow one of the boys right over the edge of an embankment but thankfully he only slid part way down.

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  2. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    “That cat should be on a leash”
    – Gareth Morgan

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  3. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    Nah, that looks like a moggy to me. Now if it was one of those $2000 designer cats then yeah, you’d be keeping it on a leash alright.

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    How dare you publicise a picture of that dangerous wild predator, Gareth will inform Kim Jong Un.

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  5. Chris R (70 comments) says:

    Ok,Ok, I am envious!

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  6. hmmokrightitis (1,590 comments) says:

    Probably too late, but if you can DPF, change the bike. Firstly, if the one you’re holding is yours, its well gay :)

    Grab what one of your companions has, the big hooped 29’er. For your size, put about 40 in each tyre, and enjoy a much more comfortable and easy riding experience.

    Enjoy, the ORT is on my families bucket list once the kids can all ride those distances, hopefully in a couple of years.

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  7. fredinthegrass (273 comments) says:

    Will you have time for curling at Naseby? well worth the side trip.
    Suppose you realize you were very close to Wednesday Wallpaper,
    and they need to get going again!! – they have been incredibly busy writing an eBook though.
    What’s next DPF?

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  8. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    By Jove. There’s some big strong looking birds in one of those photos. :)

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  9. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Sowry on a bike??? Is there video?

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  10. Mobile Michael (452 comments) says:

    Jealous as well, but a soft tail would lose too much energy on a long ride. Mind you, from the photos I’d probably go with a hybrid and get to the pub quicker.

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  11. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    For your reference:
    http://www.railtrails.org.au

    wheels off in cardboard box and take on plane

    The inner Melbourne rides are good (down the Yarra along the Water front Brighton beach Saint Kilda
    albert park – where the Formula 1 is etc etc

    the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail
    through the Yarra Valley is nice (plenty of wine)

    https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail-descriptions/victoria/melbourne-metropolitan?view=trail&id=64

    https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail-descriptions/victoria/northern-victoria?view=trail&id=90

    In Victoria you can roll the bike on the train (metro or state)
    and roll off at some of the rail trails

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