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    EXPLORE

    Emerging from a tunnel, a touring cyclist rides along a gravel trail in a rocky landscape scattered with tall grasses.
    In the late 20th century, a stretch of railway closed between Middlemarch and Clyde. The Department of Conservation seized the opportunity to create the country’s first cycle path here in 2000. Here’s Poolburn Gorge between Lauder and Oturehua.

    New Zealand by bicycle | Otago Central Rail Trail

    “We should get some food and water,” suggests Vanessa before leaving Middlemarch. We reach a large black sign shaped like a train, announcing our next destination: Clyde 150 km. What a joy to embark on this trail, where we’ll meet only cyclists, pedestrians, horses and probably several thousand sheep! 

    Day after day, we pedal to Hyde, Ranfurly and then Oturehua. In each village, vestiges of the past attract our curiosity. Numerous black-and-white photos and information kiosks reveal the life of these men and women. After the horse-drawn carriages and the steam train, these villages now come alive with the hustle and bustle of cyclists from all horizons.

    To learn more: visit New Zealand Cycle Trails.

    A woman poses with her touring bike in front of a rusty old car at Mid-Way.
    Two eras meet: sustainable mobility on the left, gasoline engines on the right.

    With his face smeared with dirt, a young boy smiles at the photographer through the opening of a yellow and blue playground module.
    While two-year-old Leo digs, runs, climbs and plays in the play modules, his parents try to get some rest.

    On a gravel trail, two cyclists enter a tunnel with their loaded bikes.
    Every time we go through a tunnel, our son Léo shouts, “Eh oh! Eh oh!” from one end to the other. Some tunnels are several hundred metres long… Here, Prices Creek near Hyde.

    Thanks to a small trail, a woman on a bicycle rides across fields in an arid landscape.
    A lack of rain regularly affects the Otago region. Despite measures taken to reduce the impact of drought, rural communities remain vulnerable.

    Countryside landscape where a trail passes through a small tunnel and then continues in a straight line. In the distance, two cyclists, trees and rocky hills can be seen.
    Here are the classics of this bike trail in one photo: fields, tunnels, rocky hills and even the wind!

    On a gravel trail, a Japanese family poses for a photo with their loaded bikes.
    Along the way, we encounter a few cyclists, including the Japanese Sakamotos family, who travel the world on two wheels.

    Colourful drawing of Santa Claus on a bicycle on a window glass.
    Even Santa Claus rides his bike in this late December, when the heat can reach 35 °C!

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