Duntroon to Oamaru
A2O SECTION 8 – DUNTROON TO OAMARU
Technical Difficulty: Grade 3
Fitness Required: Intermediate
Trail Overview: This final section of trail is mostly purpose built cycle trail with some road sections. Highlights include the Elephant Rocks, the historic Rakis Railway Tunnel and, of course Oamaru, by the Pacific Ocean.
The final section…
Venture into the rolling hills, following the Vanished World trail. Through limestone formations you will find ancient Maori rock drawings and dinosaur fossils, as well as film sites from some well known films, including Narnia and some movies not yet complete! The dedicated cycle trail starts just outside of Duntroon and takes you right past one of the Maori rock drawing sites. You then follow a mix of sealed public back roads and dedicated cycle trail up, over and through the Elephant Rocks limestone landscape. Have a bike lock handy so you can stop, lock you bike and take the short, well sign posted walks to see the Vanished Worlds, an amazing snapshot of our history. Make sure you pick up an information brochure from the Vanished world information centre before your leave Duntroon to help you understand these amazing features.
Drop behind the Elephant Rocks on the off-road cycle trail through the valley where they filmed the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and then through several farms. You rejoin the road at Prydes Gulley which takes you to Island Cliff, surrounded by limestone escarpments. Keep right on the road until you get to Karara Creek where you head back onto the off road cycle trail.
A series of undulating gravel roads take you to the Rakis Railway Tunnel where there is a toilet, picnic spot and tap with drinking water. Make sure you have a torch or phone handy as the tunnel is pitch black and, if it seems really dark, make sure you’ve removed your sunglasses!
Next stop is the town of Windsor, then an off-road section of trail takes you through farmland to Enfield and onto Weston where you rejoin the old railway line (yes, it’s a rail trail!) for a flat run to Saleyards Rd.
Follow the road downhill to the Oamaru Gardens and enjoy their beauty, especially if the flowers are in bloom. Bike through the gardens, across SH1, then through the park to the main street (Thames Street). Turn right into the far lane and ride south past the i-SITE, turning left on Itchen St, right onto Tyne, then left onto Harbour St. Ride through the Victorian Historic Precinct to the Oamaru Harbour where the trail ends at Friendly Bay and the Pacific Ocean!