Central Otago Rail Trail – Waipiata to Middlemarch

The third and final day cycling the Central Otago Rail Trail, a former railway line turned into a ~150km cycle trail. This was the shortest day time wise, if similar distance to the previous days, as it was pretty much all downhill to Middlemarch. After a scorching hot first day, and damp second day, day three had perfect weather, blue skies but not too hot.

It was a misty start in Waipiata but thankfully it soon cleared.

The landscape was home to more blue / purple Vipers Bugloss, a familiar sight along the Rail Trail at the end of the year.

The trail runs through open farmland.

These sculptures were cute.

There are no great lakes by the track but there are some rivers and farm ponds.

There were more of the cool planets alongside the track headed away from Ranfurly, spaced out appropriately (pun intended).

Central Otago is one of the drier parts of the country, but where there is water (rivers or irrigation) the trees and crops grow well.

As the scenery got more spectacular there was another old railway tunnel to travel through.

Hyde is a typically tiny community found along the trail.

Some of the best scenery of the trail can be found on the final day.

There were some lovely yellow flowers (though probably an non-native pest) along by the track.

The final stretch into Middlemarch is completely flat and straight, but thankfully there was less of a headwind than when I first cycled the trail in 2015.

Middlemarch is a funny place, though one that has clearly improved since my last visit, with an excellent café and interesting museum.

Author: jontycrane

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