Otago Region, New Zealand: The Taieri Gorge Railway
The Taieri Gorge Railway is hailed as one of the world's great train trips. I have not been on many scenic rail trips in order to compare my experience on the Taieri Gorge Railway, but the combination of a historical railway, a hundred-year-old wooden carriage, artsy train station and stunning scenery made my journey an experience that I would not soon forget.
Our journey started at Dunedin Train Station, one of the most photographed buildings in New Zealand. I had a chance to explore the artsy train station before our train trip. The building itself is an architectural delight. With an over-the-top decoration, it looks like a ginger bread house. The exterior is matched in decorations by its interior with stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings and tiled floors.
The train cruised along the Taieri River bounded by rock and pillar ranges. The train operator announced some points of interest as we passed them, like the Wingatui where the construction of the railway began. The scenery as we ascended the gorge was stunning, accented by the Wingatui Viaduct, considered the largest wrought iron structure in New Zealand. It was late spring in New Zealand; vividly yellow flowering brooms (introduced to New Zealand and became feral) covered the hillsides. We passed farming towns and pastoral landscape. We made a stop at Hindon where I had a chance to photograph stunning views of the river and the towering rock pillars. Another stop was at Pukerangi with panoramic views of the high country and snow-laced mountains at a distance.
I created a three-part video to share my experience. Please click HERE to watch it on you tube or click on the thumbnail below.
Dunedin Train Station: