postcards from dunedin – taieri gorge railway edition

Interesting things I now know about Dunedin’s railway station

  1. The NZ government sold it to Dunedin city council for $1 in 1994
  2. On the floor in the main foyer of the building are 57 panels made up of mosaic tiles with the nine central panels showing a small English steam engine, NZR logos and other rail items.
  3. The original floor was made of 725,760 half-inch porcelain squares manufactured by Royal Doulton in England especially for the project. Cray-zeeee


Saturday afternoon we boarded the train for the return trip up the Taieri Gorge to a tiny little station called Pukerangi. It’s a small train and a narrow gauge railway line, so whilst the trip takes 4 hours return, we only travel 116 km. There’s some seriously amazing feats of engineering along the way including a portion of the track towards the end called the notches which took 2 years of hard labour with hand picks to dig out as using dynamite ran the risk of the whole hillside falling down.

It’s a beautiful trip, that feels like the middle of nowhere, because it probably is. There’s not much here but it used to be the main way to get farm produce and livestock from Central Otago out to the port and for supplies to be sent back in.


The Wingatui Viaduct – 197m long and 47m above the stream, is one of the largest wrought iron structures in the southern hemisphere

Christmas Creek
One of 12 tunnels on the way to Pukerangi

The Notches
250m above sea level

A tiny little station affectionately known as The Reefs Hotel. This was opened in 1906 to serve the Barewood Gold Mines 2km to the south.

Pukerangi (Hill of Heaven) 250m above sea level.