Saturday, 14 January 2017

Riding the Central Otago Rail Trail - November 2016

 Day 0 on the rail trail. Downtown Queenstown waterfront, looking over Lake Wakatipu.

 Looking towards Queenstown Gardens peninsula from the docks.
 The travelers saddle up with rental bikes at the old railway station at Clyde. This is the start of Day 1. Fabulous weather, the winds also favoured us.
 On the rail trail, just past Alexandra.

 Heading for Chatto Creek.
 The tavern at Chatto Creek has hairy punters.
 At Chatto Creek Tavern, looking back down the trail towards Alexandra.
 Chatto Creek Tavern bicycle parking.
 Remains of a gold dredging barge used on the local river.

 Back on the rail trail, headed for Omakau and Lauder.

 Long straight stretches just before Lauder.

 Our duplex cabin out the back of the Lauder School bed and breakfast.

 Lauder School B&B old schoolhouse. My black comfort bike broke a spoke just as we arrived, but the tour company came to the rescue within 20 minutes.
 Here we are the next morning (Day 2). The neon-yellow bike is my replacement. A cool morning to start with.

 Too much Christmas spirit at the highest point on the trail!
 Another gorgeous sunny day with light winds and far views.

 We arrive at the Tussock Lodge in the town of Waipiata. Apparently some cyclists never made it past this point in the distant past...
 How the lodge got its name.

 Day 3. Headed for our final destination of Middlemarch. This is the only bridge on the trail that has remnants of track still attached.

 Part of the course of the Taieri River.

 Looking back on the final stretch.
We pull into Middlemarch and head for the nearest public toilet, then we ride around town to have a peek and enjoy the smooth blacktop.
 Middlemarch railway station, the end of the working line from Dunedin.
 Middlemarch railway turntable.

 We dropped off our bikes and were shuttled to Pukerangi, where we caught the Taieri Gorge Railway to Dunedin.
 The gorge was absolutely yellow with broom blossoms.

 A day later we are based in Dunedin, and come across Olveston Historic Home.

 Dunedin Chinese Garden, an exquisite spot at the edge of downtown.

And the end of our trip saw us back at home base in the hills of Wellington, overlooking Hataitai, Evans Bay, and Miramar.