About the Otago Central Rail Trail
Ophir, our beautiful historic village, is tucked against the foothills just across the Manuherikia River from the popular Central Otago Rail Trail. The trail is a 150 km route through the upland ranges between Middlemarch and Clyde. Entirely off-road, the wide path has a gentle gradient ideal for walkers, cyclists and horse riders of all ages.
The trail follows a former railway line, passing through Central Otago's distinctive golden, tussocky hills, dry wild thyme landscapes, dramatic rock formations and spectacular river gorges.
Ride through landscapes made famous in the poetry of Brian Turner and the paintings of Grahame Sydney. Take the time to explore the unique features along the way - from dams, gold mining relics, tunnels and viaducts to art deco architecture and New Zealand’s only international ice curling rink.
Most cyclists cover the 152 km over 3-4 days, spending around 4-5 hours per day on the bike. Walkers can take up to a week to complete the journey. A recent survey by AA Travel has ranked the Otago Central Rail Trail as number 4 of 101 "must do's" in New Zealand for tourists.
For those who haven’t ridden a bike for some time – electric bikes have recently been approved for the Otago Central Rail Trail and other bike trails. They are available to rent from cycle companies in the area.
Bike It Now: www.bikeitnow.co.nz
Day trips on the Otago Central Rail Trail can be organised with a little notice, so talk to us about making arrangements
Ophir is approximately 38km from Clyde, reached by a 2km detour along a flat side road from Omakau. A charming old gold mining village, Ophir is well worth a special overnight stay. It's ideally located for the first or last night - depending on which end of the trail you start. Shuttles can be arranged to get you to or from the start or finish and if you prefer not to carry all your gear as you go, you can easily arrange a luggage service.
Many people also choose to do just a few sections at a time and Pitches Store at Ophir is the perfect spot to base yourself for this relaxed kind of exploration, with a range of attractions within easy walking, cycling or driving distance.
For more information on the Rail Trail and Ophir accommodation and dining, please be sure to contact us at Pitches Store - we would be delighted to assist.