New Zealand, Dunedin and the Otago Rail Trail


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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown
November 15th 2011
Published: February 11th 2012
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Ice to New Zealand

From Mcmurdo Station, Antarctica to the South Island of New Zealand, 5 hours by USAF C-17

Additional maps: south island spots | dunedin/rail trail

Off the Ice!Off the Ice!Off the Ice!

laying in the warm New Zealand grass, shorts and flip-flops and all that green!
-well this was from Nov 2011, just continuing to catch up on my blog, so anyway, after leaving the Antarctic, I went by bus to the lovely Southern NZ city of Dunedin, a city I had previously visited- but not for many years. Dunedin is a 'uni-town', and lots of Scottish heritage. Its got amazing beaches, wildlife and gateway to the wild south coast that looks toward Antarctica. (and the Cadbury chocolate factory!) I came here to visit a friend from the Ice and to do the Otago Central Rail Trail, a 120 Km mountain bike journey through the historic and scenic 'big sky' central Otago region of New Zealand. Following an old gravelrailroad bed, the trail winds through dry tablelands, ridges and huge sheep farms, and passes through towns far far from the backpacker circuit. Towns with less than 100 people, where in the Pub you meet locals, fellow bikers and see a New Zealand you didnt expect. Due to a weather delay, I was only able to do 100 km of the trail over my 4 days, but it was a great way to see a different side of this country. I would highly reccomend it!

Many thanks
Dunedin NZDunedin NZDunedin NZ

Dunedin-, beautifull scenery, wildlife, port town, Scottish heritage and a university town, research center and just a cool city to hang out.
to the Dunedin and Alexandra Information Centres-(I-site)

......and on to the mountain city of Queenstown


Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 22


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St Clair beach/Dunedin NZSt Clair beach/Dunedin NZ
St Clair beach/Dunedin NZ

sign says it all....
St Clair beach/DunedinSt Clair beach/Dunedin
St Clair beach/Dunedin

I love these signposts, puts your travel in perspective, where youve come from, where you are, where youre going....well to the public toilet first!
Occupy DunedinOccupy Dunedin
Occupy Dunedin

protesters camp in the Octogon, Dunedin.
St Claire beach/DunedinSt Claire beach/Dunedin
St Claire beach/Dunedin

surfers headed out for the waves at St Claire.
St Clair beach/Dunedin NZSt Clair beach/Dunedin NZ
St Clair beach/Dunedin NZ

surf art at St Clair beach, I first saw this 11 years ago-glad its still there-they still have the stoke!
Rail Trail, Day 1Rail Trail, Day 1
Rail Trail, Day 1

after a stop at a roadside pub for lunch, off for a long steady climb up on the trail.
day one-ready to goday one-ready to go
day one-ready to go

fresh off the Antarctic continent, ready for the 100km ride across the Central Otago plains, the only arid region of NZ, 'big sky' country, like the western USA.
pee break.....pee break.....
pee break.....

in the dry, almost desert like Central Otago, one needs to drink lots of water, but that means ya gottta stop now and then....!
cowscows
cows

late in the day, gales and rain coming, I passed these cows, lookin at me as if to say, get a mooo-ve on mate!" Made it into the tiny town of Ophir just in time, and checked into the pub hotel.
blue NZ skyblue NZ sky
blue NZ sky

a late am start back on the trail, and great weather
Joe Joe
Joe

Joe from France -headed the same direction, we teamed up to ride the first day, he went on to ride 1500 Km through NZ! No way I could keep up with him!
no more trains..no more trains..
no more trains..

once a rail bridge, now only for bikes, walkers and horses, and a great view too!
bridge near Ophir, NZbridge near Ophir, NZ
bridge near Ophir, NZ

typical South Island view, one way bridge, no city on the horizon, clear blue sky, and no worries....
stopover, Oturehua, NZstopover, Oturehua, NZ
stopover, Oturehua, NZ

park the bike, set up the tent, and head to the only pub in a small farm town, have a great meal and a beer.. this is the rail trail!
central otago tablelands central otago tablelands
central otago tablelands

riding the ridgeline, storm on the way, sheep farms for miles ahead, and the green grass NZ is famous for.
canyon aheadcanyon ahead
canyon ahead

ready to drop down through the canyon walls, one of the prettiest parts of the ride.
road ahead...road ahead...
road ahead...

the trails winds through NZ high farm country..
photo breakphoto break
photo break

a few pics here in the gorge, before a long easy coast downhill to the next town.
flowersflowers
flowers

not sure what they are but all over along the rail trail.
Ophir NZOphir NZ
Ophir NZ

Blacks Hotel, Ophir, early am departure, In a town of less than 100, the local pub Hotel is a landmark. Spent the last nite on the trail here, good food, beer and friendly locals.
more cows...more cows...
more cows...

early morning cows, on my way into Alexandra and then on to small and historic town of Clyde, where my NZ bike journey ends.


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