//New Zealand’s very own wild west

New Zealand’s very own wild west

Maybe it was the sound of the gravel shooting in all directions from under our MTB wheels. It could also easily have been the landscape that made us think of those great American western movies that triggered it. Fact was, we were expecting to bump into Clint and his buddies any second. Wearing a worn down Cowboy hood, a shining revolver on each hip, sitting on his faithful black stallion. Completely ignoring us of course, on our 21 shifts two-wheelers.

But we also feel like real cowboys for a moment. It is the landscape that evokes it. The land of the big skies, as the Kiwis tend to call it. No forests, high mountains or cities to block the views. A continuously changing dry and rocky landscape with huge sheep farms, spectacular gorges, tunnels and viaducts. And always magnificent skies. Sometimes bright blue, not much later filled with wonderful clouds, a moment later deep red or of a threatening grey.

 

car-wheel

Central Otago is the wild west of New Zealand. The Otago Central Rail Trail takes you in roughly 150 kilometer right through the heart of it. It feels more like a journey 150 years back in time though. A time where men from all over the world came to these barren lands to try their luck. Hoping to find some gold and a better life. That marked the landscape. Of course the former railway, with 97 impressive bridges, viaducts en 13 tunnels of which some are more than 200 meters. But also ghost towns, abandoned gold mines and old rusty machineries.

After the railway officially closed in 1990, the government decided to transform the line to a cycling trail: the Otago Central Rail Trail. New Zealand’s first of the great rides. Right through the heart of Otago. An impressive scenery. Beautiful, unique and with tons of history. Just like Clint Eastwood really!

Check out our Otago Central Rail Trail Magazine!

Our friend Garry from Australia also cycled the Otago Central Rail Trail and wrote a blog about it. Check it out.

2017-09-17T16:11:14+00:00 May 27th, 2017|

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