Cycling Trip March 2022 Otago Queenstown Part 1
We are heading off in our caravan for a week of cycling in Central Otago and Queenstown – the highlight of the trip is to be the new Dunstan Cycle Trail.
Towing a caravan slows us down somewhat, so we decide to break our journey to Central Otago (from Christchurch) in Lake Tekapo. We love the Lake Tekapo Motels and Holiday Park – modern, great views over the lake, a bit out of town (but only a short bike ride on a dedicated bike trail) and close to the Tekapo Hot Springs which offer a delightful way to unwind after a stressful drive.
We hop on our bikes to go the the Church of the Good Shepherd – so wonderful at present with so few tourists around. On the lakeside by the church, people have built amazing cairns of rocks which add some human touches to this magnificent landscape. Tekapo is a Dark Sky Reserve, but tonight they clouds and moon are about – so star gazing is not an option.
We have decided base ourselves in Cromwell at Cairnmuir Motor Camp near Bannockburn, it is a bit out of town, but right on the Dunstan Trail. Large easy going older campsite with lots of regulars who keep spots there – our neighbours have brought their 6 grandchildren up from Gore for the weekend, and they delight in cycling around the park. They allowed us a late checkout so we could visit the Carrick Winery next door. This winery is also the best way to access the Dunstan Trail, as it goes right past – they have set up a coffee cart to serve the riders.
Carrick is an organic winery – and the harvest has just started. We walked off with a few bottles after talking to Ali about the wines. She and her partner bought the vineyard 18 months ago after dairy farming in Southland – they love it, and I have to say it has to be one of the best views in the world. We cycle away with three bottles of wine and some olive oil in our saddle bags.