Day 175 on the Road
The Taieri Gorge Railway in Dunedin
Today we are hopping on a scenic and historic journey with Dunedin Railways! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then jump on over to our awesome YouTube Channel!
Update: Dunedin Railways is not currently operating.
Today we doing some turn of the century travelling on the Dunedin Railway.
This morning we are in a rush. So it is raining quite a lot today but this train ride in known to be even more beautiful under the rain so we both can’t wait. The problem is I booked it very last minute so we about 10 minutes from departure and we’re not at the train station yet.
Robin has booked us onto the Taieri Gorge Railway with Dunedin Railways and that journey starts from the historic Dunedin Railway Station which is said to be one of the most photographed buildings in New Zealand. And as soon as walk inside we can really see why. We are getting our tickets for the railway journey ahead and we board the train.
It’s too old school for me to figure out. It’s solid did you open this one yourself? Got any pliers? You don’t need pliers. You actually don’t need strength. you don’t? Well this one works. I’m not closing it.
We’re given a complimentary guidebook then it’s ready for the train to depart the station.
This railway journey takes us along the Taieri Gorge Railway which is part of the Dunedin Railways network. They do several different tours but this one is said to be the most stunning. After making our way out of the city of Dunedin we are then meeting up with the Taieri River on our journey to the little sheep farming settlement of Pukerangi where we will then turn around.
Alright so we just got off the train. We are at the Hindon train station and there is absolutely nothing around like literally nothing aside from a statue of a dog which we will check out.
Hindon is one of the many little stations that we’re going to be passing through but that’s the only one that we’re gonna be stopping at and this dog sculpture is a dedication to the sheeping dog that have been serving all of the local farms for many many years. Why is it that there is always statues about humans? I really like the fact that they did a statue for a dog this time.
After Hindon we are moving onto the most stunning part of the gorge and one of the employee on the train tells us where is the best viewing station so we are moving ourselves to the back of the train and this is really an awesome way to experience the gorge there is nothing behind us. It’s just so cool.
So we’re now in Pukerangi Station where they’re finally going to turn the strain around their going to pass the locomotive from the front to the back and we’re back all the way to Dunedin.
The littler town of Pukerangi is really eerie it feels like it’s been abandoned by through a massive storm, plague, or the crusaders came in and just cut everybody’s head it’s quite crazy how there is literally nothing around. But we’re taking the time to watch the crew moving the locomotive back to the front of the train. I basically don’t help at all and then we are on our way back toward Dunedin.
One the way back we get to enjoy all over again all the amazing features of this railway including the many tunnels and viaducts that we get to cross or go through along the way. The longest tunnel is the Sailsbury Tunnel which stretches 437m and when that horn blows you know you are approaching a tunnel and that is when you need to get your head back into the carriage otherwise that carriage is pretty close to the tunnel walls and you will no longer have a head.
We also go across many awesome viaducts as well including the Wingatui Viaduct which is 197m long and 47m above the Mullocky Stream it’s a pretty gnarly viaduct to go over.
And how can we forget about the scenery the whole hill surrounding us are covered in this beautiful yellow plant called gorse. Well we say it’s beautiful but actually on the commentary in the carriages we are being told that this is actually an introduced weed into New Zealand that the conservation, Well, the Department of Conservation are really trying to get rid of. Nevertheless it gives a beautiful cache to the whole hills.
While watching the beautiful scenery go by, we’re also listening tot he commentary through the speakers in our carriage which is telling us more about the history of the railway which was opened in 1889 and mainly used to transfer farm produce and that’s why most of the stops on this railway line are secluded settlements rather than hustling bustling cities.
Laura and I were so surprised about this area. there is really nothing much any guide about the Taieri Gorge and it’s a place that is very well hidden. Basically the only way to visit the area is to take this railway so we’re feeling super lucky to have booked this trip at such a last minute. And just like in Harry Potter when our train journey is finished we are hopping off the train and heading to Hogwartz and this time that’s the backpackers and one of the best one in Dunedin.
So there is a chubby old guy which is coming to see us and say hey you two you look like you’re having a lot of cameras come with me I’ll show you the best places on the train and so we kind of follow that guy he’s kind of moving like a Hobbit like …. follow me to my train oo lala.
So we follow him like this is my train.