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Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail

Listed under Cycling in South Island, New Zealand.

  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
  • Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
Photo of Otago Back Country Gold Cycling Trail
Photo by flickr user hungrydog
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The route from Dunedin to Queenstown via the back roads of Central Otago is stunning. The landscape is like no other that I have seen before – huge wild landscapes with golden tussocks and crazy rock formations.

It has the perfect terrain and interest value for a fantastic off-road bike tour. The trip has great variety including some beautiful coastlines of Eastern Otago, stunning mountain valleys following meandering rivers in a region which can be the hottest (in summer), coldest (in winter) and driest in New Zealand.

The route has world class vineyards and abandoned goldfields, the scene of a massive gold rush in the 1860’s and more recently used as settings for the famous “Lord of the Rings” movies. Covering 30-85kms per day; the terrain is ‘rolling’ and most enjoyable with a reasonable level of fitness.

The Back Country Gold Trail has been put together as a fully supported and guided trip. Riding it this way allows you to simply enjoy the biking and the scenes with a support vehicle behind to carry all your gear, or to hitch a ride if you feel like a break from the saddle. Picnic lunches are supplied each day and accommodation is in a variety of guesthouses, hostels and lodges with the ever-present hot showers, cold beers and opportunities to experience some of New Zealand’s finest hospitality and local cuisine.

Written by  Mandy Richards.

Other expert and press reviews

“The Otago Rail Trail”

The Otago Rail Trail is an off road trail along an old railway route through what was once a gold mining region. You'll cycle on a dirt footpath over four days crossing old railway bridges and through tunnels as you pass by both ruined and still busy t… Read more...

Written by  Hedley Wilton.

“Cycling New Zealand's Otago trail”

By Caroline Hendrie for The Times First published 8 November 2008. THE upholstery was on the firm side, and it wasn't the smoothest of rides, but as the mustard-yellow train clattered through tunnels and over gorges I knew it would be the most comforta… Read more...

Written by press. See the full article in The Times, November 8, 2008

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Hi Mandy Richards Thanks for providing an important post of a fantastic off-road bike tour. You have mentioned the country New Zealand which is a stunning place in the world for off-road biking. The route you have indicated is from Dunedin to Queenstown which is a really stunning indeed. You have also described there is a huge wild landscapes with golden tussoks & crazy rock formations in that place. Its a great indeed. I think you have enough knowledge on off-road biking. If you want to have more knowledge about biking you can visit

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