The Taieri Gorge Rail Walk
Explore a spectacular trail on foot
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.