3 Day Otago Rail Trail Cycle Tour Daily trip notes

3 Day Otago Rail Trail Cycle Tour Daily trip notes A 3 Day – 2 Night cycle experiencing the best of the Otago Central Rail Trail. Trip highlights The...
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3 Day Otago Rail Trail Cycle Tour Daily trip notes A 3 Day – 2 Night cycle experiencing the best of the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Trip highlights The Otago Rail Trail, the first cycle trail to be constructed in New Zealand follows the history of goldmining in the 1860’s, the impact of immigration, colonisation and development of a young country. The area is dominated by mountain ranges like Raggedy Range and Ida Range, wide flat plateau of the Maniototo and the freezing cold winters and hot dry summers. Historically economic activity have centred on sheep farming, stone fruit, more recently vineyards have increased the diversity. The tour finishes in the mountain resort of Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Nestled on the shore of Lake Wakatipu amongst the soring Southern Alps and where bungy jumping, jet boating and world famous Pinot Noir can be sampled… all at once if you want!

Day 1 – Dunedin to Wedderburn Day 2 – Wedderburn to Omakau Day 3 – Omakau to Queenstown

Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Important: The night before your tour departs your guide will call your accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying). If you are not around when your guide calls they will leave a message at reception – please check with reception if you have not heard from your guide directly. If for any reason you have not heard from your guide by the morning of the tour please call us on 0800 444 144 (from within NZ).

Itinerary Day 1 Dunedin to Wedderburn Cycle: 46m Meals: L D After your guide collects you we head over to the brilliant Dunedin Railway Station building to catch the scenic train journey to Middlemarch or Pukerangi (depending on the timetable). After a transfer to Hyde you will set off cycling along the historic Central Otago Rail Trail. Completed in 1921 after 42 years under construction, the Rail Trail passes through some magnificent scenery not seen from the highway. You will pass mountain ranges, hills and gorges to the vast plains of Maniototo. The heritage of the old railway has been preserved, with the retention of viaducts, tunnels, bridges and some of the old railways stations. You will visit the turquoise blue man-made lake of St Bathans surrounded by beautiful clay cliffs eroded through gold mining. Tonight we try our hand at the sport of Curling in Naseby, followed by a slap-up meal at the quaint Danseys Pass. Accommodation: Wedderburn Lodge & Cottages www.wedderburncottages.co.nz Day 8 Wedderburn to Omakau Cycle: 42k Meals: B L D Today we ride the highest point on the rail trail; 618m and cross 45 degrees latitude south twice. You cycle through the vast open expanse of the Ida Valley farm lands past the Idaburn dam, one of New Zealand's few out door winter curling sites. A highlight of today's cycle ride is the beautiful Poolburn gorge section of the trail featuring two tunnels and two viaducts all set in a secluded gorge. Accommodation: Omakau Commercial Hotel www.omakauhotel.co.nz Day 9 Omakau to Queenstown Cycle: 29km Meals: B L It’s an early morning start for your final morning of cycling and there is good news…. It’s all downhill to Alexandra! You will cycle through the colourful fruit growing area of Alexandra and a celebration lunch is held at the Shaky Bridge Café – a good excuse to try out some local wines and craft beers. Here the bikes are loaded up and everyone is driven to their accommodation in Queenstown and the end of the tour. Queenstown is the adventure capital with plenty of activities such as bungy jumping, canyoning or even downhill mountain biking! Natural High are here to help with any activities you would like booked before you arrive. KEY - B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Information Included in trip cost  2 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners  A great guide and support vehicle  2 night’s accommodation as detailed based on a double or twin share basis (single supplement available for an additional cost)  Pickup on the morning of the tour from accommodation or airport  Scenic train journey from Dunedin to Middlemarch or Pukerangi (depending on timetable)  Curling in Naseby  Water and snacks (jetplanes for grumpy riders!)  Drop off to accommodation after the tour  Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation  NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST) Not included  Meals not mentioned in the itinerary  Personal expenses  Alcoholic and soft drinks with meals  Cycle hire (Available from NZ$110 – see below)  Any donations/entry fees to any optional activities not listed under inclusions  Drinks with meals  Gratuities. (Tipping is not expected in NZ. It is at your discretion whether or not to reward for excellent service)  Airport Transfers outside of the tour Pre & Post trip accommodation If you are seeking a room before or after your tour, the following are our recommendations. Natural High can arrange the booking for you. Accommodation Providers 97 Motel Moray 97 Moray Place, Dunedin Phone: 03 477 2050 Web: www.97motel.co.nz Accommodation and meals The accommodation for this trip has been carefully selected to provide comfort and value in the best locations possible. The accommodation is in character lodgings on a twin share basis. If you wish to reserve a room to yourself, there will be a single supplement charge.

Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Equipment Bicycles You are welcome to bring your own bike on this tour. It must be a sturdy hybrid or mountain bike suitable for riding on an unpaved trail. Please ensure your bike has been serviced and is in good condition before bringing it on the tour. You will also need to carry two water bottles during the mid-summer season. We have the following bikes available for hire:

Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29er MTB

Specifications: Frame: Specialized A1 Premium fully butted Aluminum 29" Forks: SR Suntour SF13-XCT 29", Coil/MCU Spring, Post Disc Mounts, with mechanical lock out, preload adjustment and 80mm travel Front Derailleur: Shimano Altus, 3-speed Rear Derailleur: Shimano Acera, 8-speed Brakes: Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes Cassette: Shimano 8 speed, 11-34 Hire Price: $110

Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29er MTB

Specifications: Frame: Specialized A1 SL Premium fully butted Aluminum 29" Forks: SR Suntour XCR-Air, rebound adjustment w/remote lockout, 80/100mm of travel Front Derailleur: Sram X5, 2x10 Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore Shadow, 9-speed Brakes: Shimano BR-M315 Hydraulic Disc Brakes Cassette: Shimano 9 speed, 11-36 Hire Price: $160 We ask clients to supply details of their height at the time of booking to allow us to allocate correct size frame. As part of our cycle safety policy our bikes have side flags, which create space on the road and bright rear reflectors. We believe in “Be Safe – Be Seen”. Note – we supply Helmets, Saddles & Pedals on our bikes but you may wish to bring your own for your personal comfort. We have a range of pedal choices including flat, caged, SPD, Look/Shimano Road. We also have available for sale bright cycling vests and rear-vision mirrors. You also may like to bring your own mirrors but these should attach to your helmet or glasses, not to the bike.

Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Gear List The weather in New Zealand is often changeable, and due to the nature of the trip involved, you will need to have suitable clothing for a wide range of conditions. The following is a recommended list:  Tee shirt and shorts  Cycle pants and gloves (recommended but optional)  Highly visible/bright cycle clothing for increased safety on our roads  Long sleeved lightweight top or shirt  Lightweight woolen jumper or fleece  Windproof shell  Rainwear - top and pants  Socks and underwear  Suitable cycle footwear  Lightweight trekking / hiking boots or footwear for walks  Personal toilet gear, towel, sun cream and lip balm  Swimsuit for the brave and hardy  Insect repellent  Camera and film  Casual evening clothing  Small day bag for walks Note – this region has both the hottest & coldest temperatures in New Zealand. Be prepared for very hot conditions in our mid-summer (Jan/Feb) & a wide variance of temperatures at other times. Safety All adventures, no matter how modest, involve an element of risk - that is their nature. However throughout the holiday, safety is always a most important consideration. Only reputable, experienced and safety conscious operators are used for the specialist adventure activities, and your widely experienced guides undertakes all the activities with the group. This means there is always a high level of skilled support. Health and fitness This is an active holiday so you need to be fit and in good health. If you are taking medication please let your guide know. Fitness is difficult to define. However as a general rule you should be able to comfortably cycle for up to 3 - 4 hours a day, on some uneven ground and with some uphill. If you don’t do a lot of physical activity we would recommend you set yourself a program starting with short cycles of say half an hour a day and gradually building up to 3 - 4 longer cycles each week, including some uphill. The secret is to start slowly, and increase your exercise gradually. The fitter you are the more enjoyable your trip will be. Travel insurance We strongly urge you take travel insurance to cover cancellation and curtailment, baggage loss or damage, medical expenses, emergency travel, repatriation and personal accident. Changing money There are plenty of opportunities to change money at banks during the tour. ATM machines are readily available, credit cards are accepted in most places and some of the hotels will change travellers cheques. Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Smoking on tour In New Zealand we have a non-smoking policy in all indoor public areas (restaurants, bars). When travelling, there are plenty of opportunities during stops. Voltage New Zealand operates on a 230 volt (AC) main supply. The plugs are either 2 or 3 flattened prongs. Check if you need a universal plug adapter. Culture The Maori are the indigenous Polynesians of New Zealand and they account for approximately 13% of the population. The rest of the population is predominantly Europeans/pakeha (meaning white person). Due to a recent awareness and revival of Maori culture, most New Zealanders now accept they are part of a distinctly bicultural community. Culture and cultural activities are an important part of the New Zealand way of life. They are reflected in our museums, libraries, on Maraes (meeting place for Maori people), and through activities such as music, theatre, books, films, paintings, pottery, crafts etc. Luggage We recommend you pack your luggage in a soft sports bag for easy stowing in the trailer. We urge you to keep your luggage to a minimum. If you have extra luggage you do not require for your holiday we can easily arrange to have it stored until the end of the trip. New Zealand Some interesting facts about New Zealand  New Zealand is similar in size to the UK, Japan and the state of California  Population is 4 million  English is spoken by 95% of the population. However there are some English words that have a specific New Zealand meaning  Largest city - Auckland approximately 1.5 million. The capital, Wellington has a population of 331,100  New Zealand’s landscape is a mixture of flat land, rolling hill country and mountains. There are 360 glaciers in the Southern Alps, the largest, the Tasman Glacier is 29 km long  New Zealand has 7 universities and 25 polytechnics  New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote in 1883  Apart from a small native bat, New Zealand has no native mammals  Parrots - New Zealand has the only flightless parrot in the world - the kakapo, and the only mountain parrot the kea  There are 49.5 million sheep in New Zealand (that’s 14 to every person)  The Kiwi, a flightless bird, is a national symbol. It is also the name used to refer to New Zealanders. Weather New Zealand enjoys a sub-tropical maritime climate, i.e. a climate with few extremes. However the weather can be changeable. Maximum mid-summer temperatures range from 12°-25°C (65°- 77°F) with January and February being the warmest months. The temperatures are cooler in the mountain regions and it does rain at times especially on the West Coast. A good waterproof parka or anorak as well as rain-pants are crucial. Fortunately the weather rolls through quickly and often the next day is stunningly clear! Occasionally however weather conditions on the land may prevent us from completing a scheduled activity. The decision to alter the itinerary is made in the best interest of the group and its safety, and alternative plans are made. Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz

Bibliography ‘A History of New Zealand’ - Keith Sinclair (Penguin Books) an in depth read of NZ history ‘The Story of New Zealand’ - Bassett, Sinclair & Stenson ( Reed) a quick light read ‘The Native Trees of New Zealand’ - J.T Salmon. (Reed) for interested botanists ‘Natural History of New Zealand’ - Nic Bishop (Hodder & Stoughton) coverage of NZ fauna / flora by zone. ‘The Natural World of New Zealand’ - Gerald Hutching (Viking) the reference book used by guides! ‘Cycling New Zealand’ – Lonely Planet publications the bible for cycle touring in NZ

Natural High Tel 0800 444 144 - email: [email protected] - www.naturalhigh.co.nz