Section 5: Omarama to Otematata [35km]

Overview

35km Fitness: Intermediate Skill: Intermediate Traffic: Low Grade: 3

 

Section 5 Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Map

Leaving Omarama you ride east down the Waitaki Valley, following the off-road trail to the top of the Chain Hills [5km]. From here you descend beside State Highway 83, then follow the edge of Lake Benmore to Pumpkin Point [10km].  Once you are almost out of Omarama it is all off-road Trail (with a single crossing of SH83 prior to the Chain Hills) all the way to Benmore Dam.  All of the ride Omarama to Sailors Cutting is Grade 2 (Easy).

Continue beside the lake to Sailors Cutting – a popular boating, fishing and camping destination [13km]

The new section from Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam is now open to the public which means that there is no longer a requirement to ride on SH83 over the Otematata Saddle from Sailors Cutting. 

This new 16km purpose built off-road cycle Trail is mix of Grade 2 (Easy) and some narrower and steeper Grade 3 (Intermediate) parts.  The scenery this new Trail opens up is amazing, so if you are a little nervous of your riding ability or fitness, leave plenty of time to take it slow and be prepared to walk any part you are not comfortable riding. 

Take a supply of water and snacks - you need to be self sufficent - phone coverage is limited so you may also consider taking a PLB with your party.  There is a toilet on this new section at about the 10km mark from Sailors Cutting towards Benmore Dam 29km.

At Benmore Dam you have a choice of visiting Otematata 35km, by staying on the west side of the dam and taking the mostly off-road cycle in to Otematata for a meal / provisions / icecream / accommodation (12km return) or continue on your journey to Kurow by crossing over the dam and continuing on the Te Akatarawa Rd down the North side of Lake Aviemore.  Kurow is 38km from the top of Benmore Dam.

Highlights Include

  • Chain Hills Viewpoint
  • Pumpkin Point
  • Sailors Cutting Scenic Reserve
  • Lake Benmore and views of Turnagain and Junction Islands
  • Views from Benmore Peninsular and Dam
  • Otematata Wetlands Walk
  • Autumn Colours (April)
  • Waitaki Whitestone Aspiring Geopark

Section Map

Section 5: Omarama to Otematata [35km]

Trail Status

Section 5:- Useful Information

  • SH83 crossing at Chain Hills – take extreme care at this crossing.
  • Sailors Cutting to Benmore Dam Carparks can be congested with towing vehicles during the camping and boating season (Dec. /Mar.).
  • Allow up to four hours to ride this section Take plenty of water as there are no water stops on route. Water from the lake may be drinkable but filtering
    is recommended. Take high energy food.
  • The Trail is narrow in places and there are fall hazards at many points – be prepared to dismount to allow oncoming traffic to pass.
  • Take extreme care in windy weather.
  • There is limited cell phone reception, we recommend carrying a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon).  Details of hire points along the Trail are detailed here
  • Much of this Trail is Grade 3 (intermediate) – please refer to grade information here
  • If you are an e-bike user, ensure you are in the right gear and take extra care on the corners.
  • Cyclists are advised to ride single file and to keep left - be courteous to oncomming traffic and stop / slow down to allow safe passing.
  • Both the Cycle Trail and and weather conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. Please check the Trail Status and the weather reports at least daily before departure.
  • This Trail section goes through private property:
    • Access for motorbikes or machinery are not permitted.
    • The carrying or use of firearms is not permitted
    • No fires are permitted.
    • Stay on the Trail, do not enter any farmland.
    • No dogs or horses are permitted
    • Use of drones is not permitted
    • Plase take your rubbish with you 

Accommodation

Please contact the provider directly to make your booking enqury. Their contact details can be found below...

Dine & Drink

On The Spot, Otematata

Drop into Otematata’s On The Spot, for all your requirements.

CONVENIENCE STORE
Stock up on essentials, food, and beverages. Make sure you have sunscreen for the cycling...

Te Kohurau Restaurant & Cafe

A warm and welcoming dining experience in Kurow!

Your hosts Jovy & Michael Sargeant invite you to come along and enjoy your time at Te Kohurau Restaurant & Café. Freshly made...

To Do

Hot Tubs Omarama

After a day cycling through the awesome Mackenzie Country, or beside the beautiful hydro lakes – Waitaki, Aviemore and Benmore – you have reached the junction town of Omarama. Now is the...

Download PDF

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Overview

Omarama to Otematata, Section 5 is a 35m stretch that is Grade 2 & 3 easy and intermediate. Highlights include views over Lake Benmore, Sailors Cutting and Chain Hills Viewpoint.

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Trail Status

Keep up to date with the Trail Status of each Trail section here.

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Accommodation

Need to book accommodation during your adventure? We have a range of accommodation options available on each section of the Trail that can be booked directly with the provider today.

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Dine & Drink

If you're looking for the best recommendations of places to eat and drink while cycling the Trail you've come to the right place. Read more on our best dining recommendations on Section 5 of the Trail

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To Do

Each section has a range of activities and attractions for you to experience and see while cycling the Trail. Find the best things to do on Section 5 of the Trail.

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Photos

See some of the best photos taken by other Trail riders through Section 5 of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail.

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See our Instagram photos #Alps2Ocean
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