Queenstown to Dunedin South Island New Zealand

Queenstown to Dunedin South Island New Zealand

Keen to get to Dunedin for a two night stay, I was disappointed to have to leave Queensland in pouring rain. This probably put a dampener on my enjoyment of the 3 1/2 hour drive. I feel that this was the dullest drive thus far but for …

My first stop was to see Roaring Meg ripping along.

Roaring Meg South Island New Zealand

Roaring Meg South Island New Zealand

Clyde Hydro Power / Dam which did tickle my interest in science and human endeavour. The 4 turbines generate enough power for both Dunedin and Christchurch. Each turbine has 200,000 litres of water per second (yep each second) pushing them in this under-used (imho) sustainable power source.

Roxburgh isn’t what you would call a tourist destination but I was keen on a coffee and stopped. Seeing the chalk board menu I also grabbed some venison pasties and salad. Yum.

Dunedin was also being deluged but with an umbrella and extra layers of clothing (it had warmed to 12 degrees) I set off to find the Train Station. Turning right instead of left I happened across what is now a museum but was once the Dunedin Gas Works. 1800’s steam driven machinery has been restored and is available for all to see.

Finally finding the Train Station, a wet 5k walk in the other direction, clutching my 6d to my chest … the walk was worth it. This is a must see and if you have some spare time as I do tomorrow, you can take a scenic train ride on a restored train to a local Gorge or a seaside journey.

Dunedin Train Station

Dunedin Train Station

Dunedin Train Station

Dunedin Train Station

 

The following day I was up early, again. Out for a walk to the Train Station. This station is historical and in early day use. I had seen an advert for a train trip to Taieri Gorge on a restored train.

I thought it was 1 1/2 hours but it turned out to be some 4 1/2 hours of pure joy.

The usual safety stuff out of the way, we pulled out of the station. Rattle rattle clunk, rattle rattle clunk. About 15 minutes later we are in the foot hills rolling past horses and fouls and sheep and lambs and lots of locals happily waving. Surely they don’t do that every day? The commentary is about the 1800’s gold rush and how that funded a lot of local development. The gold also paid for many of the grandiose homes and city buildings. This is yet another gorgeous NZ city.

Up and up. 10 Tunnels or so, many a very tight fit, and we emerge to see the forthcoming bridge over a small gorge.

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Vista

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Vista

Later the mother all of bridges …. on this track at least.

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Bridge

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Bridge

The views were amazing to say the least. I am not one to sit in a seat and gaze out through glass when I can ride in between the carriages.

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Views

On the way down we are told that the Train has right of way when the line and the road share the same bridge. The satirical humour is that the train is bigger but soon after we are told that sheep have right of way, coz they are sheep.

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Sheep on Track

Taieri Gorge Railway Tour Sheep on Track

Rolling back into the Dunedin siding I notice that I am too late for my desired “motor bike trike” trip. It was recommended to me by a PE student that poured me a beer. Alas it didn’t happen, but by all accounts you should put it on your agenda if you can fit it in.

From back in OZ, I am told that Dunedin is home to the world’s steepest street according to the Guinness book of records. A 10 minute drive from the centre of town and Baldwin St is begging to be climbed. It turned out to be only 17 stories high but the view was as you would expect, superb.

The Worlds Steppest St Baldwin St Dunedin New Zealand

The Worlds Steepest St Baldwin St Dunedin New Zealand

The Worlds Steppest St Baldwin St Dunedin New Zealand

The Worlds Steepest St Baldwin St Dunedin New Zealand

Just a few minutes away is the Botanical Gardens. I am a sucker for a gorgeous garden and this one is amazing. The lower levels are made up of a variety of gardens including a massive rose garden, gardens donated by several foreign cities including Shanghai, Otaru and Edinburgh, all 3 of which are sister cities.

Dunedin Botanical Gardens

Dunedin Botanical Gardens

Up the hill behind these gardens are massive trees of varieties too many to mention and from all around the world. To my great delight, at the top of the hill is the Aviary or should I say 25 or so Aviaries. I bred Budgies as a kid and deep down I still have an affection for birds.

Then on to the Signal Hill Reserve / LookOut. From atop you get a birds eye view of some 210 degrees over looking the city, the harbour and the ocean to the east.

Signal Hill Dunedin New Zealand

Signal Hill Dunedin New Zealand

Having walked 15000 steps, I called it a night.

#DunedinNewZealand #TaieriGorge

#SelfDriveNewZealand #NewZealandSouthIsland #SouthIslandNewZealand

Christchurch to Hanmer Springs and on to Kaikoura New Zealand

Kaikoura to Nelson Via Picton New Zealand

Nelson to Westport South Island New Zealand

Westport to Greymouth South Island New Zealand

Greymouth to Franz Josef Glacier South Island New Zealand

Franz Josef to Queenstown South Island New Zealand

Queenstown to Arrowtown to Queenstown South Island New Zealand

Queenstown New Zealand

Queenstown to Dunedin South Island New Zealand

Dunedin to Omarama South Island New Zealand

Lindis Pass to Timaru Via Mount Cook South Island New Zealand

Timaru to Christchurch Via Mt Hutt South Island New Zealand