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Lake Dunstan Trail

Flaunting the best of Central Otago

Central Otago's newest cycle and walking trail links Cromwell, Bannockburn and Clyde and is the epitome of Central Otago. With the bright blue waters of Kawarau and Dunstan contrasting against the vineyards, landscapes and schist slopes of the Cairnmuir mountains, it's easy to see why this trail is so popular already!

CREDIT: TCO Will Nelson

About The Trail

Smiths Way to Cromwell Heritage Precinct

Grade 1 - Easy
16 kilometres

The trail officially starts in Smiths Way, and follows Lake Dunstan right through Pisa Moorings and Lowburn to Cromwell. There are lots of places to stop for picnics as you enjoy the panoramic views of Mount Pisa and Sugarloaf. As you get closer to Cromwell, you will pass vineyards filled with pinot noir grapes, then tuck under the Deadman's Point Bridge, along the river and meet the junction of the Kawarau River and Lake Dunstan at the Cromwell Heritage Precinct.

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Cromwell Heritage Precinct to Bannockburn Bridge

Grade 1 - Easy
6 kilometres

Starting at the Heritage Precinct, this section follows the blue waters of the Kawarau River to the Bannockburn Bridge. See the aftermath of gold mining and sluicing in the Bannockburn area and how the landscape changed with the introduction of Lake Dunstan.

Bannockburn Bridge to Cornish Point

Grade 2 - Intermediate
7.3 kilometres

Meandering through the incredible Bannockburn wineries, this section highlights the best of Central Otago! Pass by Ceres Wines, Akarua and Carrick wineries as you continue to Cornish Point. There is a carpark at Pi

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Cornish Point to Clyde Rowing Club

Grade 2 with areas of Grade 3
24.4 kilmetres

This section is the main event for the Lake Dunstan Trail. Marvel at the work that went into creating the narrow trail as it clutches to the rock face, sitting above the Lake Dunstan. Coffee Afloat is found about half way along the trail where you can enjoy freshly made barista coffee, cold drinks, baking, burgers and more! This is an excellent stop before making headway up to the Cairnmuir Slide Viewpoint. This is the steepest and highest point of the trail. The slide itself is made up of massive paved terraces and tunnels created as a massive stabilisation process before they could fill Lake Dunstan! From here, there is a downhill section that takes you across 3 League Bridge and across the 85.5m Hugo  Suspension Bridge. One last climb takes you up passed Halfway Hut Creek and then downhill towards the Clyde Dam!  

Extra Trail Information

Making your experience EXTRA special


The Lake Dunstan Explorer

There is no better way to see the new Lake Dunstan Cycle Trail, than to boat across Lake Dunstan itself! Join Andrew as he takes you (and your bikes!) between Clyde and Cromwell and shows the trail off in a completely different perspective. This is an awesome alternative to being driven along State Highway 8 (and a lot less traffic!)

For those who aren't cycling the trail but want to check out Coffee Afloat, Andrew has options to take you out to grab a bite to eat or a hot coffee!

Credit: TCO


The heritage rich towns of Clyde and Cromwell offer so much more than amazing views. Make the most of your time either side of the Lake Dunstan trail by filling your itinerary with heritage hotspots; doing a wine tour; hiking and biking; and even getting a dose of adrenaline!

Antique Lodge Motel Clyde

Where to Stay

Stay a while in the region either side of your Lake Dunstan ride. Clyde, Cromwell and the surrounding areas offer excellent Central Otago hospitality. Choose from heritage buildings converted into luxury accommodation, quaint B&Bs, country pubs, hotels, motels and more.

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