St Bathans
Loop Road, St Bathans, Central Otago
Phone 027 226 3875

Tips for the summer season on Otago Central Rail Trail - 1st Dec 2018 to 28th Feb 2019

Otago Central Rail Trail summer season tips

The summer season for Otago Central Rail Trail is soon to start, with lots of cyclists taking advantage of the glorious weather in Central Otago to hit the trail. We’ve got some recommendations to get the best out of the Otago Central Rail Trail over the summer season.

Book any restaurants of ring cafés and pubs in advance if you can – again, popular watering holes can really get busy in December and January. It pays to ring ahead and see if you can book a table or find out what the wait time may be. If it’s Christmas or New Year, book ahead or you may miss out.

Stay hydrated – Central Otago can get really hot! It’s not like other parts on New Zealand where a hot day is 23, Central can get into the 30s and you can really bake in the sun. We all know Christmas and New Year can include a fair bit of drinking, but if you’re planning on biking a few kilometres the next day, consider taking it easy the night before and take a couple of drink bottles.

Take sunscreen and a hat – make sure you wear them, even on rainy days, or when you think you’ll be outside for 15 minutes. Yes, just 15 minutes; New Zealand sun is scorching, even on cloudy days, and you can burn a lot easier than you can in other countries.

Be prepared for all kinds of weather – New Zealand is well known for its ever-changing weather. So, it pays to be prepared. It has been known to snow in December and hail a few days before Christmas so always take some wet weather gear and pay attention to weather conditions before setting off.

Book accommodation early – with the summer season, things can book out fast, especially over Christmas and New Year’s Day. Some places on Air B&B may have different rates over the busy summer period or may be booked by the family over Christmas. They may also have a 3-5 day booking minimum over the busy season. You can check availability for St Bathans Jail & Constable’s Cottage in advance and book online, securing your spot for the summer season.

Have a good time! – If you can’t get a table, or something is booked out, don’t let it ruin your day, find something else to do (check out our list of activities to do in the St Bathans area), or relax and do nothing. Just enjoy spending the summer in a beautiful and unique part of New Zealand on the Otago Central Rail Trail.

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