We’re doing our own bike ride and we hired a company to transport our bags to the next days hotel for us, its perfect! Works well as we can organise the day ourselves and ride to the next days hotel at our own leisure – the route is simple to follow and you cant really get lost
TRAIL JOURNEYS was the company we used – it ended up being around $1500 pp for the whole trip including bike rental
We started out in Cromwell
CROMWELL BIKE PICKUP
Picked up our bikes from Trail Journeys office, we got picked u in the morning from Queenstown and pretty excited to start the cycle
We got briefed on the tracks we were to tsake over the next 4 days
and got some maps to go along with them – the elevation profile showed us what hills we were to expect
Our bikes were waiting and ready for us! I chose to ride an E-bike for this trip so we all had the same bike
LOO WITH A VIEW
Wasnt expecting this! In the same complex there was a wierd assed experience called “loo with a view”which was a set of toilets with a view of the go-karting complex and the mountains – the thing is that you keep the window open while you go to the toilet and its a one way glass so they cant see you (hopefully!)
There was only 1 of these loos, this one was a very grand one! (the black toilet is on the lower right side)
Music started playing as soon as you stepped inside and closed the door
LAKE DUNSTAN PATH
Ok… so leaving the loos, we started our day 1 of cycling!
The start of the track from the bike pick up was a close ride along the highway to the path
The path was more a track in the woods rather than gravel, but thge scenery did change all the time so it was always an interesting ride
We followed Lake Dunstan
CROMWELL HERITAGE PRECINCT
When the Clyde dam was completed in 1990, Cromwell’s main street disappeared under Lake Dunstan. Some of the historic buildings dating back to the gold rush of the 1860’s were saved or lovingly rebuilt on higher ground, creating the Cromwell Heritage Precinct.
Restored gold rush era 19th c. store fronts, now used for shops and cafes
Lake Dunstan had farmlands surrounding with beautiful scenery and colours
A certified organic vineyard, winery and restaurant, located in Bannockburn, they produce 100% estate grown pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, rose, chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris and pinot blanc
A beautiful view over the water with gorgeous lavenders everywhere
There is a little cafe just sitting outside the winery serving coffee and snacks with bean bags lying around, a great place to chill after some cycling
The view is so relaxing and I just didnt want to leave
The restaurant area of the winery
This was a huge gold mining area back in the 19th c.
Designing and constructing the bridge that guides around this bluff was a feat of engineering.
The Otago Provincial Government encouraged miners, mainly from Guangdong in China, to come here and replace the European miners, who by 1866, were off to new rushes on the West Coast. The Chinese came to earn wealth for their families and intended to eventually return home.
Their mining methods were unique; they worked methodically, leaving very little gold behind.
Gold mining was tough, physical work. The Chinese miners used pickaxes to break rock ready for sieving, sorting and washing through a sluice box. Riffle, or sluice boxes, nicknamed Long Toms, were long, terraced wooden boxes, over which gold-bearing gravel was washed using the river’s current. Each step of the box had a lip to trap the heavier gold, while lighter materials washed away.
The heavy gravel and gold caught in the terraces was carefully washed again using a gold pan.
No other cycle trail in Aotearoa New Zealand has the same type of bridge bolted directly onto rock faces.
No other trail also has anywhere near this scale of rock face bridges
Coffee Afloat is a coffee boat servicing Lake Dunstan and the hugely popular Lake Dunstan Cycle & Walking Trail in Central Otago
A ocal man made a great business out of a floating cafe in the middle of nowhere! every single rider basically stopped and had a drink or burger it was so busy and had a great vibe here as they were also playing 80s tunes!
The floating cafe and burger bar are docked halfway along the trail between the Cromwell Heritage Precinct and Clyde Historic Village, its one of the most remote coffees you’ll ever have!
Along the way there are many of these environmentally friendly loos which are clean and basic
This section there were a lot of water activities happening with boats and jets zooming past
Clyde Dam beings us to the last leg of the days cycle
A small town in central otago – its nestled at the entrance of the Cromwell Gorge, now flooded by the huge concrete hydro dam built nearby
Many buildings dating from the early gold mining era have survived and the town centre has been declared an historic precinct. Some buildings have been reburbished as cafes, bars, and places to stay
The town is surrounded by an area renowned first for gold then for its stone fruit orchards, especially in the Earnscleugh district which thrived in the hot summers
Our beautiful accommodation in Clyde
We had a beautiful garden at the accomm we could sit in and have some wine and crackers
Little Clyde village, but was full of tourists
We had a booking at Olivers for dinner
Our hotel on the corner
Becauase it gets dark at 10pm, we had so much time to explore and relax around the town
We slept early as we wanted to get up early to get back on the trail – getting used to packing and unpacking my bag