Monday, October 28, 2013

NZ - Taieri Gorge Railway

Our hosts in Dunedin suggested that we take the train ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway that leaves from the Dunedin Station.


We duly went to the platform where we could see carriages lined up and got on board. After I while I realized that we were supposed to be in a different carriage and this one was going nowhere.


The train left on time and since our seats were at the rear of the train I stood outside on the open platform to get a better view.


The old Dunedin rugby stadium that was replaced by a new stadium. This old one is being demolished. The conductor gave a running commentary and this part of the journey seemed to be pointing out businesses and factories that were closing.


Inside the carriage which was comfortable enough and not very crowded. The track is bumpy so it was a bit rough outside on the open platform.




Small station where the train turned off the main line south.




There are wind breaks everywhere in NZ. Since there is perpetual wind everywhere you can understand why.



Stud farm. Some of the horses bred here went on to win a Melbourne Cup which is Australia's most famous horse race. The state of Victoria has a public holiday for this race which occurs on the first Tuesday in November each year. I believe there is some insignificant event in the USA on that date as well. 



This is NZ. There are hills and mountains. There are tunnels.



Thre are also bridges.



It's often a long way down as well.





We proceeded up into the gorge.


This house was bought years ago by a family who use it as a holiday retreat. There is no electricity.





Yet another bridge.



We stopped for about 10 minutes to allow the smokers time to puff on a fag.



From now on you get a pile of gorge photos. Enjoy.













The gorge is about 100 meters deep at this stage.


I was intrigued by this lone tree at the top of the cliff.


You can see how desolate that tree looks out there by itself. Some of the mountain sides closer to Dunedin are covered with pine trees that are harvested for paper and timber mills.







The platform at the back of the train. There were other people back there most of the trip as well as myself. For a moment I had it all to myself.



Believe it or not, this is some sort of pub. I suspect the railway people just bring down a six pack or two and drink them.


We finally reached the plateau.



Lots of sheep.


We liked the look of this house which is quite popular in Oz as well as NZ.


The terminus. The engine then went back to the other end of the train and we went back down the gorge. It's quite a long trip and as spectacular as you could wish. If I were to do it again I would like to do it when there was snow around but I wouldn't be on that back platform in the cold.




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