Omarama to Otematata


Distance: 24km
Technical Difficulty: Grade 3
Fitness Required: Moderate
Trail Overview: An undulating ride alongside Lake Benmore on purpose built cycle trail then ride a steady climb and corresponding decent on the State Highway 83.

A2O Section 5 Omarama to Otematata

Leave Omarama on purpose built cycle trail from by the side of SH83 to the top of the Chain Hills. Drop down the other side and follow the trail as it winds alongside Lake Benmore up to Sailors Cutting. At sailors cutting, you’ll find a public picnic area beside the lake with toilets, ideal to refresh yourself before you turn onto State Highway 83 and start the big climb up the Otematata Saddle. It’s 8km long but the exhilarating ride down the other side makes it worth it. If you’re on our tour, talk to the guide nicely and they’ll shuttle you to the top so you just get to ride down into Otematata where there is a café, toilets and a range of accommodation.


You are also travelling on the State Highway and vehicles, travelling at 100km/h, are not used to seeing bicycles on this stretch of road. We highly recommend a high visibility cycle vest on all road sections and strongly discourage you from riding at night. You will also see Fire Danger signs, regardless of what the potential fire risk shown, as with all parts of this trail, please do not light any open fires and take great care to dispose of cigarette butts safely. With cigarette butts, treat them as you would litter. Don’t throw them away, take them home with you to dispose of properly. 

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