Adventurous cyclists have another trail to add to their riding agendas this summer, with the opening in Central Otago of the Lake Dunstan Trail.

Aotearoa’s newest cycle trail officially opened in May after many years of planning and construction. A 55-kilometre easy trail, designed to be tackled over one to two days, the route runs between the Central Otago townships of Clyde and Cromwell. 

Wide, easy cycle paths run alongside Lake Dunstan and the beautiful Kawarau and Clutha Mata-au rivers. Along the way, travellers are enticed to stop to discover Māori history, explore historic gold-mining settlements and marvel at the Clyde Dam – New Zealand’s largest concrete dam.

The trail features multiple bridges, including the 85.5-metre-long Hugo Suspension Bridge, a single span named after the late Hugh Green, whose charitable foundation paid for its construction, and remarkable feats of engineering like the cantilevered platforms clipped to the side of the Cromwell Gorge. 

Other popular stops include Coffee Afloat, a buoyant coffee barge moored at one of Lake Dunstan’s tendrils halfway along the trail, serving possibly the most remote lattes in the country.

Another bonus: the Lake Dunstan Trail also passes through the famous Bannockburn wine region. The new trail connects to the famous Otago Central Rail Trail, which begins in Clyde, and the Roxburgh Gorge Trail, another easy Central Otago ride.

Reported for our AA Directions Spring 2021 issue

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