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Adventure travel: Cycling the Lake Dunstan Trail

Adventure travel: Cycling the Lake Dunstan Trail

Dave Tomson shows off the incredible Central Otago cycle trails including the stunning Roxburgh Gorge Ride, the historic Clutha Gold Trail, and the new Lake…

Thursday, Apr 21

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Dave Tomson shows off the incredible Central Otago cycle trails including the stunning Roxburgh Gorge Ride, the historic Clutha Gold Trail, and the new Lake Dunstan Trail connecting Cromwell to Clyde opening soon. Video / Grant Bradley Steve Dickinson’s top tips for cycling the Lake Dunstan Trail Amid the border closures and travel restrictions of the past two years, the Lake Dunstan Cycle trail is one of New Zealand tourism’s pandemic success stories.

Opening in May 2021, a trail counter set up near Carrick Vineyard in Bannockburn had already clocked more than 62,000 cyclists by the end of January.

It’s part of a $26 million strategy by the Central Otago Queenstown Trail Network Trust to ultimately create a 536km continuous system of trails connecting Queenstown and Wānaka, Cromwell, Alexandra and Roxburgh.

Lake Dunstan’s 57km of trail crosses a stunning landscape of vineyards and forest. The track runs along the edge of the spectacular lake with equally impressive engineered pathways.

Although a grade two to three ride most of the way, this is no "easy" trail. The path is narrow in places, with numerous blind corners and steep drops to the river below, and a solid grade 3 section. It’s certainly a challenge, and not suitable for younger children or unconfident riders.

Local operators say they won’t hire bikes for children as the risks are too high. One told me: "this trail is challenging in parts, and you have to look after yourself. You can’t be worrying about your kids." Where to next?

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