Rail Trail


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Central Otago » Middlemarch
April 22nd 2012
Published: June 23rd 2017
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Geo: -45.5071, 170.119

We had to blow through Dunedin a little quicker than we wanted to because our time in New Zealand is starting to wind down and we still have three ‘must-dos' on our list: mountain biking through part of the scenery featured in the Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy, swimming with endangered Hector Dolphins, and surveying the earthquake damage in Christchurch- not sure we'll get it all done.

Cousin Robert had recommended something called the Rail Trail if we found ourselves in Central Otago, and here we were rolling into the pretend town of Middlemarch, which constituted the start or finish of the trail, depending on which way you were facing (after fighting to remember and pronounce the various Moari names of towns, it was nice to be in an area that made use of quaint labels like those of Mama England). As you may have guessed, the Rail Trail is a mountain biking path over what was formerly a set of railroad tracks- to do the entire length is normally a 3 day adventure but given limited time and still tender backsides from our Wanaka ride, we selected the “most spectacular” one day section. Because Blind Billy's Camp was out of business we had to park on the dominion for the night (after taking 10 minutes to figure out that the “dominion” in NZese is a grass playing field). With no opportunity to plug-in, and our coldest night in NZ we both woke up oddly homesick, and raring to jump on the bikes just to warm up (note to self- never ‘jump' on a bike when you're still recovering from your last encounter with a concrete bicycle seat!).

The ride itself was really enjoyable- not being a Lord Of The Rings buff I'm not sure if we saw anything from the various movies but it certainly had an other-world quality to it (the number of places in NZ claiming to have been immortalized by LOTR Hollywood is similar to the number of people claiming to have been at Woodstock). It was great to see all of the old trestles and tunnels maintained for this very new purpose- we even stopped at one of the B&B's that now populate the trail length for ‘a bit of afternoon tea' (getting back on the bike after that break was scarier than the bungy jump!). Fun day of riding and highly recommended.



Additional photos below
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4th May 2012

Deb, are you on your way to see Burt Munro in Invercargill?
4th May 2012

Kinda gives a new meaning to the word "lonely".
4th May 2012

That middle guy looks like he has attitude! I like it : )
4th May 2012

I wonder if that bridge can be compared to the "Bloor Viaduct" for the suicide count. It looks like a feasible option !!
4th May 2012

"Bah... Ram... Ewe... Bah... Ram... Ewe... To your breed, your fleece, your stock be true. Sheep be true"Do you know where these words came from ?
4th May 2012

Do we wanna know??
4th May 2012

Vic do you normally keep your helmet on while eating breakfast! I know your time was running out in NZ but surely you have time for a leisurely breakfast!?
4th May 2012

Oops sorry you were having afternoon tea! In Melbourne for afternoon tea you will only get a cup of tea and a biscuit (or in Canadian a cookie!)
4th May 2012

who knew eggs could be so potentially dangerous...
4th May 2012

Reminds me of the Marine Unit guy giving his presentation with his mask and gloves on
4th May 2012

Love the sock puppies, looks like you are thinking on your feet...or should I say thinking on your bum!
4th May 2012

LOL !!! That's a pretty grim stare down DH, or is that just a bad angled shot??
4th May 2012

He was just wondering why you keep taking pictures first of his relatives and now of him...maybe you were thinking...dinner!
4th May 2012

See what happens when you have one to many of those cookies left out on Christmas Eve!
4th May 2012

Maybe they don't have that much money, and they are trying to keep the operating costs in check.....
6th May 2012

I was having a really bad hair day and Carol, after the last pic I saw of you, I would expect you to be more understanding.
7th May 2012

I'd like to add this to the thought of 'LONELY'"Loneliness is a state of mind,Being alone is a state of body,One you embrace,The other embraces you"This scenary embraces me !!!
7th May 2012

She has the very same look as the cop that stops us on the highway, and before we can even begin to give our very legitimate reason for commiting the speeding infraction.
7th May 2012

LOL !!! Shaved ????I once used the wrong terminology in relation to a comment about a particular animal. The story is long, so I'll keep it short.....I take you back to the late 70's.... I 'm downtown with my girlfriend and we're walking
around in Creeds Department Store. We were in the fur section (yes, they were big back then) and I come to a particular fur coat and with great ignorance I boldly announce to my girlfriend across the isles "I don't like the look of a shaved beaver, but it sure does feel good"The salesman makes a quick turned and without missing a beat belts back "It's not shaved beaver, it's sheared beaver!"LOL

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