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Otago Rail Trail vs Murray to Mountains Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail vs Murray to Mountains Rail Trail

It’s the World Cup of the southern hemisphere cycling tours.  Two iconic cycling trails, oft referred to as ‘Otago Rail Trail’ and ‘Murray to Mountains’.   Two amazing bucket list travel destinations…New Zealand and Australia.  Which will come out on top?

We have compiled a fairly exhaustive list of criteria we think is what you’d like on a cycling holiday, and compared each of the rail trails against each other – see the table below.  We have then nominated a vote for the winner against each criteria to try and determine which cycling rail trail comes out trumps.

Of course this is an entirely subjective judgement, and we’d certainly welcome any comments to the contrary from those that have done both.  At the end of the day, the cycling experience on these fantastic rail trails are different, and both have amazing strengths and very few weaknesses if any, and are incredible assets for the regions they are in.

Whatever you choose, we know you will have a fantastic cycling experience either way.

Otago vs Murray to Mountains (M2M)

Total Votes610Winner: M2M
SurfaceCompact gravel, stone in partsLaid tarM2M
Max Ascent/Descent475m330mM2M
Max Altitude620m538mEqual
AccessEasy/medium: 1 hr drive from Queenstown or Dunedin airportEasy: 3 hr drive from Melbourne, 45 mins from Albury airportM2M
Availability (weather)Seasonal, 6 monthsSeasonal, 9 monthsM2M
Accommodation: VarietyGoodExcellentM2M
Food & wineGreat - NZ Pinot Noir!Superb (Hatted restaurants, Award winning wineries) M2M
SceneryAmazingVery goodOtago
Group ToursYesYes (limited)Otago
Self GuidedYes, supported & independentYes, supported & independentEqual
X Factor?Train ride, Gorge ride option, NZ AlpsCooking classes, Luxury accomm, Spa treatments, Hot air ballooningOtago - just!
Cost of 5 day/4 night tour$A1450 pp
Excls bike hire, 3 meals, & Transfers
$A1299 pp
Excls transfers

Images May Help You Decide

Of course there is nothing better than actually being able to see – like they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Check out these short image galleries, if nothing else for a bit of inspiration, but also to give you a feel for both rail trails.

Otago Rail Trail Image Gallery

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Murray to Mountains Image Gallery

Cycling the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail on a Pedal to Produce tour
Tour de Vines Nov 2013 046
Scenery on cycling tour beechworth to bright
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We’d love to hear your comments – be nice – below.

We also need to declare a vested interest in this topic as of course Tour de Vine’s offers cycling tours on the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail, and (currently) not on the Otago Rail Trail.  Having said that, in all honesty we have tried to be as objective as possible.  Our bigger aim is to have more people cycling, more often, so either way it works for us!

Otago Rail Trail website: http://www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz/
Murray to Mountains Rail Trail: http://www.victoriashighcountry.com.au/murray-to-mountains-rail-trail

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