Lake Dunstan Trail

The much-hyped jewel in the crown

Date: 14 Feb 2023
Grade: 2,3

Having just done the Upper Clutha, for example, with its isolation being one of the main attractions, the thought that you are seeing something that can only be seen by walkers or cyclists adds a je sais quoi absolutement quality that has to there for a Perfect Trail. This one scores 8/10 for me for great scenic fun with just a bit of exercise and a touch of grade 3 to keep an old man on his toes, but the road within earshot along the other side lake, marks the experience down just a little.

A much-hyped feature, along with the cantilevered pathway, is the halfway floating cafe. We had to stop for a burger and coffee, if only to encourage other people to set up small bars and cafes along all the cycling routes, and if we thought that the profits were going to upkeep the trail we would be happy to pay $26 for a burger (!). I was anyway – it was a great burger although bested by the $12 one in Arrowtown. There’s great biking for burger lovers around here.

We thought up a brilliant, ie cheap, scheme for doing the trail one way. We parked in Cromwell and booked a fare on the Intercity bus at 5:30pm from Clyde so that one of us could go back to pick up the Egg while the other waited with the bikes. DON’T TRY THIS! The bus, which was 1 1/2 hrs late, only stops at the Otago Rail Trailhead which is just too far out of town to be able to wait in a friendly bar, the scenario I had in mind. Serves us right for being cheap.

Total distance: 53.7 km
Max elevation: 339 m
Min elevation: 144 m
Total climbing: 1109 m
Total descent: -1157 m
Total time: 06:19:38
Download file: Dunstan_Trail_15_Feb_23_.gpx

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