Taieri Gorge Railway

Today is a day we’ve looked forward to for weeks because we’d booked to do the Taieri Gorge Railway trip to Middlemarch (and return), leaving from Dunedin Railway Station. We boarded the train at 9.30am and got back soon after 4.00pm.

FYI:  Wingatui is right by Mosgiel on the outskirts of Dunedin. Construction of this railway began at Wingatui in June 1879.


Parera was one of my favourite locations. This house is 111 years old and was a railway house. At some point it was due to be demolished and an engineer arrived to take action but got talking with a railway worker who offered to buy it. They negotiated a price and the purchaser used the house as a second home. It’s still used by their descendants as a holiday home. Our Duty Manager announced that the family are currently there on holiday and would wave as we went by, and sure enough, I saw people both sides of the house and all of them waved to us. Lovely! Below the house is the Taieri River. The railway continues to follow the Taieri River for the next 27 km.

Click on photo to enlarge.

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On our return to Dunedin, I took this blurry shot of the same house. Below the house you can see the Taieri River.

Click on photo to enlarge.

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Not far from Parera is the Wingatui Viaduct. Coming from Dunedin we reached the viaduct first and Parera is about 3.5 km further on. Here’s a map that shows both Parera and Wingatui Viaduct. If you go to the map you can follow the route all the way to Middlemarch:  map link

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Wingatui Viaduct (12.7km from Wingatui)

This viaduct, 197m long and 47m above Mullock Stream, is the largest structure on the line. It is still the largest wrought iron structure in New Zealand. – from Technical Train Details / Dunedin Railways.

Click on photo to enlarge.

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This photo shows more of the viaduct structure.

Click on photo to enlarge.

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I found this photo taken during construction of the Wingatui Viaduct, taken circa 1888. From our National Library website:  photo link

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Wingatui Viaduct under construction, on the Otago Central Railway Line. Ref: APG-1191-1/2-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22810099


Text and Parera photos by Liz, colour Wingatui Viaduct photos by Nigel.
Exploring Colour (2019)

15 thoughts on “Taieri Gorge Railway

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  1. Looks like a spectacular trip – and can you imagine what it must have been like to build that viaduct? Must have taken some courage to work on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t start well when we found our tickets put us in seats facing backward to direction of travel and facing a carriage wall with only a little bit of window, a rubbish bin and a heater.. not impressed! But I didn’t even need to say anything. Nigel and I were laughing about something and the duty manager Lyall came to adjust the heating, saw our predicament and invited us into the dining carriage. He rescued us before we even left Dunedin, so we had an awesome trip!

      Liked by 3 people

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