From Otematata, take the sealed pathway beside Loch Laird Road, then follow the gravel track beside the lake. This takes you through several camping areas. You then ride up Loch Laird Road onto the massive Benmore Hydro Dam 6km. It's a steep road up to the dam, so you may need to walk the last 800 meters. Follow the Te Akatarawa Road along the margns of Lake Aviemore to the Aviemore Dam 28km.
This on-road section on about 400m Loch Laird Road up to and over ther Benmore Dam and down the Te Akatarawara Rd on the north side of Lake Aviemore and back across the Aviemore Dam, is Grade 3 by virtue of the potentially busy holiday season road traffic (which is restricted to an 8okm/h speed limit).
After crossing the Aviemore Dam you are back on the Grade 2 off-road Trail which follows alongside State Highway 83 passing through the ghost town of Wharekuri on the way to Lake Waitaki and the Waitaki Dam 36km, 1km after the Awakino River Trail bridge, turn right onto the off road Trail that links to Kurow 44km.
There are 3 crossings over the sometimes busy SH83 required (at Aviemore Dam, at the top end of Lake Waitaki, and before the Awakino river bridge - please stop at these crossings and asses the traffic before crossing this road.
Trail route and weather conditions are subject to change. Please check our website before daily departure.
The Kurow Museum tells of interesting stories of the local hydro scheme and the birthplace to NZ's modern social welfare system.
Take a VR tour of Benmore Dam courtesy of Virtual Waitaki:
- Otematata Wetlands
- Benmore Dam
- Benmore Peninsular -
- DOC walking & MTB Track
- Views from the top back to Aoraki Mt Cook
- Views of Junction, Black Jacks and Turnagain Islands
- Te Akatarawa Road and lakeshore views
- Lake Aviemore
- Deep Stream Walking Track
- Aviemore Dam
- Fisherman's Bend Campground
- Wharekuri Ghost Town
- Waitaki Lake and Dam
- Kurow Museum
- Waitaki Whitestone Aspiring Geopark