When talking about the best bike ride trails in New Zealand, one name always comes up in the list: Otago Central Rail Trail. This trail almost single-handedly respawned the cycling revolution in New Zealand. It stretches up to 150 kilometers and goes through a former gold-rich valley. One of the reasons why this trail is popular is due to the sights you will encounter along the way – think along the lines of character-rich towns that seem like they were taken out of a movie scene, rail bridges and dark tunnels.
Even though many cyclists and biking enthusiasts have braved the Otago Central Rail Trail, there are a few things you need to know to prepare for the trail. It is a great introductory bike trail but you should never underestimate its challenges, especially if you are unfamiliar with it.
• Know the weather before you go. This is the single most important thing you need to know before heading out to explore the trail. Most of the time, the trail is sunny and dry, but the weather can be unpredictable sometimes. Experienced cyclists who have traversed this trail many times before have been able to determine the best times of the year where the best cycling conditions are guaranteed. Autumn has been considered as the best time to bike the trail. Autumn in New Zealand is from March to May. However, expect a lot of fellow bikers on the trail during these times. If you are going to find an accommodation near the trail, it is important you book in advance as well as they could be fully booked easily. If you cannot find a nearby accommodation, you will have to travel up to 40 minutes to find a place to stay.
• Exploring the trail during spring might seem ideal; however, spring in New Zealand can bring unpredictable changes to the weather. In some cases, it will have strong gusts of wind and showers. The summer might seem ideal too since the trail is dry. But summer heat in New Zealand is way too strong. If you choose to bike the trail in the summer time, always use sunscreen and keep yourself properly hydrated.
• The rail trail is publicly owned; hence, you do not need to pay anything to anyone in order to ride your bike here. It is also open all year round. However, as mentioned above, there are only certain times in a year wherein it is considered ideal to ride your bike along the trail.
• The Rail Trail is not designed for cars, so you need to be ready to complete the trail or bike on your own when you explore it. You cannot call for a cab or ask someone to hitch a ride for. You need to plan your route and know your body’s limits too. You should know what you need to do if you get too tired or how far you can push further into the trail.
If you are able to plan your biking trip well enough, you should be able to have an enjoyable experience throughout. Take note of the tips above to plan your exploration through the Otago Central Rail Trail. Visit our website at http://cyclesurgery.co.nz/