Taieri Gorge Rail walk

by Insiders Dunedin

Just once a year you can experience on foot a walk like no other – the Taieri Gorge Rail Walk. This year that date is Sunday 1st May.

Linking coastal Dunedin and the dry hinterland of Middlemarch, the remote Taieri Gorge features tunnels and viaducts that you usually see from an excursion train, but the annual Dunedin South Lions Club charity fundraiser will get you closer than that.

Sturdy shoes, a torch and moderate fitness will have you walking through tunnels and over viaducts, admiring the engineering feats required of men with very little machinery. The walk itself is flat, however, railway ballast, narrow cuttings and deep ravines make it unsuitable for children. 

The train’s historic carriages clickity-clack their way from Dunedin Ralway Station across the Taieri Plains and up into the winding gorge above the Taieri River. Walkers disembark at Flat Stream for the 8km (a couple of hours) walk back to Machine Creek where they rejoin the train. A further stop is made at Hindon where Lions Club members provide a free sausage sizzle.

The rail walk is such an anticipated event that tickets sell quickly. This year 119 of the 400 seats were already sold by the end of January, so you are encouraged to visit dunedinrailways.co.nz and secure your booking today.

The train departs Dunedin at 8.30am, returning at 3pm. Light refreshments are available from the buffet car, and you should carry water and snacks for the walk itself. Clothing layers and light wet-weather gear is advised; they can be left on the train if not required for the walk.

Post submitted by Su Anderson

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