The Otago Region is New Zealand's second largest province and the shear sizes belies the diversity of the region.
The region is often broken up into Central Otago representing the areas south of Canterbury around Cromwell,Â AlexandraÂ andÂ Clyde, Otago representing the area around the main city of Dunedin and theÂ Southern LakesÂ being the areas aroundÂ WanakaÂ andÂ Queenstown.
The diversity of the region will have you experience the rugged seashores of the Otago Peninsula outside of Dunedin home to seals, sealions and rare Penguins; to the vast, desolate, windswept hills around Alexandra (often the hottest place in New Zealand in the summer); the expansive stretches of world class wine-making vineyards; to the crystal clear snow-fed lakes from the mountainous Southern Alps around the tourist towns of Queenstown and Wanaka.
Central Otago boasts the ride that "starting the cycle touring revolution" in New Zealand - the popular Otago Rail Trail.Â Thousands of cyclists of all levels ride the three to four day 150 kilometer disused railway line every year.Â By the time all the cycleways are finished Otago will boast no less than five Great Rides including the Queenstown Trail, the Round the Mountain Great Ride, the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Clutha Gold Trail and the Roxburgh Gorge Trail.Â All these rides will be perfect for families, beginners and experienced cyclists alike.
For those looking for more challenging rides Otago perhaps boasts more exciting riding potential than anywhere else in the country.Â Naesby in Central Otago is a year round paradise of single track on predominantly dry land; the Southern Lakes area has great challenging rides (all mostly with some decent high climbing as would be expected from being in the alps), while there are many rides that we would classify as classics (those that you simply must do if your ability so allows) such as the Old Government Track outside of Dunedin and the easier Mighty River Clutha Trail down the Clutha River from Wanaka.