Cycling is the main activity which has put this part of the country on the tourism map in recent times. The Central Otago Rail Trail was the first of the cycle trails and it's success with domestic New Zealand and Australian tourists has led to the adoption of cycleways nationwide. The rail trail incorporates 160km of ex-railway land which wends its way through hills and tunnels and over aqueducts all the while keeping the gentle gradient which was a necessity for steam trains. This is a trail which can be enjoyed by all members of the family, with a number of stops at local pubs and bed & breakfast accommodation.
In our opinions there are three ways of cycling the rail trail. The purists want to start at one end and finish at the other after 4 days of cycling. The fit cyclists only find it a challenge if they try and complete it in a day. The generalist will cherry-pick one or two days out of the trail which combine the best scenery with gentle downhill gradients. We can recommend what you should do. Lauderdale is situated 40km from the Alexandra end of the trail and in the middle of what we consider the two best day rides.
The excellent official Rail Trail site can be seen here.
Meanwhile, while the world is discovering and talking about the rail trail, there are many many excellent mountain bike tracks for all levels of rider.