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Central Otago by bike

Central Otago by bike

Pip Thomson and Dave Thomson riding on the Lake Dunstan cycle trail. Photo: Grant Bradley. Dave and Pip Thomson are like kids waiting for Christmas.…

Monday, May 03

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Pip Thomson and Dave Thomson riding on the Lake Dunstan cycle trail. Photo: Grant Bradley. Dave and Pip Thomson are like kids waiting for Christmas.

Looking over the gate to one of the country’s most spectacular cycle trails, they’re fizzing with excitement.

"I can smell it," says Dave. "This is going to be next level."

The couple’s Central Cycle Trail Co has been operating in the area for years and is looking forward to completion of the 54km Lake Dunstan cycle trail. The final 25km stretch through the spectacular Cromwell Gorge has since been finished. Many clip-on cantilevered sections have been bolted to the sheer schist rock walls, just above the water level in places. Central Cycle is on Clyde’s main street. Photo: Supplied. Barges shipped supplies to work sites and work on carving, scraping and blasting is done for what is a grade one-to-two trail, a smooth, fine gravel surface and allowing for two-abreast cycling in many places.

A massive suspension bridge blends into the cliffs and the new section feels tantalisingly close from the other side of the gorge where the main road is. Dave reckons it will be the jewel in the crown of the existing 530km cycle trail network in Central Otago.

The trail down the western edge of the gorge will also take riders over bluffs formed from rock 18 million years old.

The feats of engineering plain to see on the trail echo those of four decades ago when the Clyde Dam was built.The artificial lake, brilliant turquoise in […]

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