This is one trail not to be underestimated, and does require a certain level of experience – with plenty of surprises around every corner. Starting at Old Cromwell, the trail heads towards the confluence of the Kawarau River and Lake Dunstan before winding its way around the Bannockburn inlet (7km) past vineyards and olive groves and the opportunity for a refreshment stop along the way at one of the wineries.
From here the trail really starts to get interesting as you bike south alongside the Clutha Mata-Au river towards Cairnmuir Gully, (11.3km), passing over narrow clip-on bluff bridges (Grade 2-3). Look out for the floating coffee lounge and burger bar – you might need some refueling just before you start a steep climb at the next stage.
Cairnmuir Gully to Halfway Hut is a more intensive (8.4km) part of the ride (Grade 2-3) and requires the most attention and skills, as there are more narrow sections and a sharper gradient including switchbacks.
The views are magnificent at the highest point of the track, and the Hugo Suspension Bridge is a definite photo opportunity.
Halfway Hut to the Dunstan Arm Rowing Club is a further 10.7km (Grade 2-3), including a short switch back section with tight corners, but you’re now on the descent, and there are lovely picnic spots alongside the lake to enjoy if you need another break.
Take your time biking the last 3.5km to the Clyde Heritage Precinct (Grade 1), and another chance for a coffee or a bite to eat, before continuing along the Millennium Track back to Alexandra (12km) (Grade 1) if you wish.
We can pick you up at your accommodation in Clyde or Alexandra and shuttle you through the Cromwell Gorge at times to suit.