The Taieri Gorge Rail Walk

Ex­plore a spec­tac­u­lar trail on foot

Walking New Zealand - - New Zealand Walk -

Just once a year you can ex­pe­ri­ence a walk on foot like no other with the Taieri Gorge Rail Walk. This year the walk will take place on Sun­day 7 May.

Link­ing coastal Dunedin and the dry hin­ter­land of Mid­dle­march, the remote Taieri Gorge fea­tures tun­nels and viaducts that you usu­ally can see only from an ex­cur­sion train.

The an­nual Dunedin South Lions Club char­ity fundraiser will get you much closer.

Sturdy shoes, a torch and mod­er­ate fit­ness will have you walk­ing through a num­ber of tun­nels and over viaducts, ad­mir­ing the en­gi­neer­ing feats achieved by men with very lit­tle ma­chin­ery.

The walk it­self is flat, how­ever it is very tir­ing and care­ful walk­ing is re­quired. The rail­way bal­last, nar­row cut­tings and deep ravines all add chal­lenges. The walk is not suit­able for young chil­dren.

The train’s his­toric car­riages click­i­ty­clack their way from Dunedin Rail­way Sta­tion across the Taieri Plains and up the wind­ing gorge above the Taieri River.

Walk­ers will dis­em­bark at Flat Stream for the 8km walk (a cou­ple of hours) back to Ma­chine Creek where they will meet up with the train.

An­other stop is made at Hin­don where the Lions Club mem­bers pro­vide a free sausage siz­zle.

There is plenty to see on the walk and from the train – you might even spot a fault line. The dra­matic scenery makes a per­fect back­drop for some stun­ning pho­to­graphs.

Sup­port­ing the com­mu­nity

As­sist­ing the Lions Club is Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port Otago, which is rais­ing funds for the pur­chase of a new van. The van will be reg­u­larly used by the Buddy Programme and other youth de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

The Buddy Programme pairs chil­dren in need of a lit­tle ex­tra sup­port with a car­ing, re­spon­si­ble adult for weekly catch ups. The pairs share ex­pe­ri­ences, out­ings and sim­ple ac­tiv­i­ties that help young bud­dies build their self-con­fi­dence and make pos­i­tive choices for them­selves.

There are up to 80 ac­tive Buddy pairs in the Dunedin/Mos­giel area with an­other 40 chil­dren cur­rently wait­ing to be matched with an adult buddy.

The pur­chase of a new van will al­low Pres­by­te­rian Sup­port Otago to make sure vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren can reg­u­larly par­tic­i­pate in a wide range of healthy, en­gag­ing and fun-filled ac­tiv­i­ties and out­ings that they wouldn’t nor­mally be able to get to.

Book your ticket to­day

The rail walk is such a well known and an­tic­i­pated event that the tick­ets sell fast. You are en­cour­aged to visit duned­in­rail­ways.co.nz/events and book your place to­day.

The train will de­part from Dunedin at 8.30am on Sun­day 7 May and re­turns at 3pm. Light re­fresh­ments will be avail­able from the buf­fet car and you should take water and snacks for the walk it­self.

Cloth­ing lay­ers and light wet-weather gear is ad­vised and can be left on the train if not re­quired for the walk.

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