Gone Curling is a documentary directed by Rachel Patching and Roland Kahurangi. Thanks to our sponsorship of the Documentary via the PledgeMe website, and with the support of more sponsors from Central Otago, six of us are off to enjoy four days exploring this iconic landscape – which is just about as far from Auckland as you can get. We fly from Auckland to Dunedin and then get on the Historic Taiere Gorge Railway for the first part of our trip.
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We arrive 20 mins ahead of time on our Jetstar flight from Auckland to Dunedin. Must have had a strong wind behind us, which is not necessarily a good omen for our trip to Central Otago. We will have to wait and see – we have packed for all weathers and ice and snow is something we are hoping for.
Taiere Gorge Railway
It is off to the historic Dunedin Railway Station to begin our journey on the Taiere Gorge Railway. Ian emerges as a great packer as bags for six of us are packed into the back of our hired (and sponsored) Jucy wagon. The six of us on this trip have only just met each other, but we quickly agree that a morning coffee is a must. Ironic just across the road from the Railway Station is a perfect choice with an excellent lunch selection and great coffee.
I have been looking forward to seeing the Dunedin Railway Station, it is such an iconic building but I have never seen it.
What a treasure – it has been renovated but still retains it’s old grandeur from the days when rail was the only way to travel. Travelling over the old Taiere Gorge Railway is a great way to begin our trip to Central Otago. It is not only a world class and spectacular train trip. It is after all the railway that opened up much of the back country of Central Otago, and connected its various communities. While everyone else on the train is there for the return trip, the six of us get off at the turnaround spot of Pukerangi, where Roland and Rachel are waiting for us in the Jucy wagon.
These days the Otago Rail Trail remains a central connecting thread through Central Otago, although now it is thousands of cyclists, rather than trains travelling the old railway passages.
Railway tracks make great cycleways – an average of 1 in 50 grade is doable by most, and the tunnels, bridges and the fact that you are essentially biking from pub to pub makes the Otago Rail Trail a winner. Not many people do it during the winter but we are all definitely on for a days riding. Facebook link
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