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What to throw inwinter on rail trail 2

The weather on the Otago Central Rail Trail can be extremely hot, cold and anywhere in between, and sometimes it can happen all in one day! If you want to enjoy your Rail Trail holiday you need to be prepared.

We offer a convenient shuttle and luggage transfer service with a generous 15kg weight limit per bag.   Your bags will be picked up from your accommodation in the morning and dropped off at your accommodation in the afternoon.  You can also choose to have panniers fitted to your bike, so you can carry essentials required for your day's cycling such as water, snacks, camera, jacket, sunscreen, extra clothing, wallet and tour itinerary.

We recommend you bring the following items with you:


  • warm layers (merino, fleece) for frosty nights

  • rain- and wind-proof jackets and pants for wet windy weather 

  • pants or shorts suitable for cycling – we recommend padded cycling shorts (like we said, embrace the lycra!)

  • gloves suitable for cycling to protect your hands against the elements in wind, rain, snow and sun

  • a good hat and eye protection to protect your face from the sun and dust

  • comfortable, worn-shoes to prevent blisters - we recommend a comfortable gym shoe.

  • clean, casual clothing for well-deserved post-cycling meals and social outings at the end of your day.


Personal Supplies


We recommend bringing 1.5–2.5 litres of water per person per day – and more if it’s hot. You will be able to purchase water or refill bottles at many places along the trail, but be aware that some sections are more remote, and therefore you may need to go many hours without access to water.


Biking is hungry work. Bring plenty of healthy and filling snacks to help you work your wheels.

Toilet paper

The Rail Trail offers plenty of toilet stops along the way, however, please carry your own toilet paper.  


Central Otago offers some of New Zealand’s hottest, sunniest weather. Remember to apply and reapply your sunscreen (SPF30 or higher) regularly throughout your journey, even on cloudy and cold days. And while you’re at it, pack some aloe vera or after-sun cream to sooth any bits you managed to miss.

Mobile phone and charger

Mobile phone coverage on the Otago Central Rail Trail ranges from great to not-so-great.  We recommend you carry your mobile during the trip in case of emergency and be sure to charge your phone each night (if possible). For more information on the specific coverage please visit your provider’s website.

Small first aid kit

Accidents can happen. Be prepared by bringing essentials such as Band-Aids, antiseptic cream, tensor bandage, anti-chaffing cream and tape.


There's some brilliant historic tunnels along the trail, to explore them properly, bring a torch. 

Camera with spare batteries or charger

It's no wonder the Otago Central Rail Trail is #5 on AA Travel's Must Do's. Believe us, you’re going to want to record your memories!

The right attitude

A positive, relaxed state of mind is the best way to be when you are on the trail; some things aren't always going to go to plan - like the weather, or other people. But if you can keep your cool, be flexible and adaptable to a changing situation and have a smile on your dial along the way then you will be just fine. 


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