Scots & Rails

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Otago » Dunedin
January 12th 2015
Published: June 23rd 2017
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Geo: -45.8746, 170.503

Was very excited to get to Dunedin which is in Otago Region of the Southern Island, which I first became aware of when travelling to Wellington years ago for work and was exposed to the Otago Highlanders in the elite rugby league.

Dunedin is the 2nd largest city in NZ in terms of land mass next to Auckland and is the 7th largest city in terms of population (approximately 120,000), but is recognized as one of 4 main cities for historic, cultural and geographic reasons (plus Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch) - 2 islands their main north and south cities. The maori name is Otepoti - the place beyond which one cannot go, where waka (canoes) had to be put ashore.

Dunedin is the modified gaelic word for Edinburgh. Dùn Èideann. The Scots and English settlers arrived in Port Chalmers, where the ship docked, in 1844. These settlers, including Robbie Burns nephew, followed the same route of the train that picked us up, almost at the doorstep of the pier and took us into Dunedin. The City was established 4 years later in 1848.

Dunedin is also home to Speights Brewery (the beer of 'a real southern man' and 'the pride of the south'😉, the University of Otago and the Cadbury factory. It is known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, including the impressive Dunedin Railway Station.

The Taeri Gorge Railway, now called Dunedin Railways, opened in1873 and was the first narrow gauge railway in NZ. The line was originally part of the Otago Central Railway, which ceased operations in 1976, at which time the Trust took over the excursion lines and still operates the lines. The City of Dunedin actually owns the line as the Trust was looking for additional expansion capital in 1996.

Our rail journey, was approximately 4 hours and took us to Pukerangi, through numerous narrow tunnels and over some impressive trestles, via Taeri River Gorge. It was like a journey back in time, as exemplified by the old railway house at Parera; recently sold to a family as a holiday house and has no electricity, no heat, and no cell service - only a landline telephone. At each stop, we were met by a series of local vendors with interesting curios, of note the miniature, stone, farmers cottages.

The 6,420 hectare Barewood Station, consisting of 22,000 Romney/Texel and a herd of 1,000 Angus cows, was at the engine's turn-around point.

In the afternoon, we wandered around the town, did a bit of shopping and caught the shuttle bus back to the ship.

Got 4th workout in - 1:37 and 1,171 cals

Additional photos below
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