Sunday, October 7, 2012

Middlemarch - via the Taieri Gorge on Sunday 7th Oct

Dunedin railway Station. You will be noticing
a trend in the style of the old buildings.
Basalt and Limestone.

It was cold but sunny and clear this morning. Which was great, because I needed a break. Walked down the railway station, and got my ticket for the Taieri Gorge Train. Departed at 9:30 am. Northstar folks, I'm sorry, this way outdoes the Northstar for 'spectacular'. They also let us get out at several localities - and there were no fences next to the drop-off. We could also ride on the outdoor platform when we chose. Oh, and we could buy beer if we wanted too. But, it was 10 times as expensive.

On the Taieri Plain

First the train gets to and crosses the taieri Plain. Then it essentially follows the Taieri River up the Taieri Gorge.

Starting up the Taieri Gorge. The yellow stuff is gorse = bad

Hindon. Nothing (other than fish in the river) there now

You might be able to see a viaduct just ahead of the train

The train climbs and goes through a bunch of tunnels and across a bunch of viaducts.
The sign on the building says "Strath Taieri Rabbit Board"
They deal with the rabbit problem.

The first stop (not for passengers, just to let us get out and have a view) was at Hindon.

Continuing. By the way we are in Otago Schist. Mostly Textural Zone 2A and maybe some 2B. Low greenschist grade.

There really isn't much in Middlemarch - which is part of its charm. BUT I must say that if they want to go for Hobbit-related tourism, they will need to add a few places to eat and get some places where tourists can spend money.

The inside of the trains. Wood panel, pressed metal ceiling.

The inside of the coaches - all refurbished originals with wood paneling. They were comfy. But no electric outlets (I know, I am spoiled) I forgot to charge my camera battery and ended up taking all the pics on my phone.

Heading back down the gorge to Dunedin

getting to the Taieri Plain

Heading home. There was a BIG flood in 1980. The Taieri rose 10 m (yes, ten meters) in 24 hours. The last station (Sheep station that is) up here was washed away. The family sold the land and it has been planted in pines. The trees on the riverbanks are mostly willows.
Walking to the geology department - I went past the
Cadbury factory. Yes, they do tours.
No, I am not going to do one.

Slowly winding down onto the Taieri Plain. The hills here are related to the Dunedin Volcano /
volcanic center (extinct)

We got back at 3:30 pm precisely so I headed over to the geology department - I needed to finish up the references on Eyre Creek. Refworks is kind of funky - well, I am not good at reading the manual. I have got a reference list done, and I have emailed it off for review before I submit it. Now I need to draft all the figures. Ugghh. Hopefully I will get that done this week. I am not going to succumb to the Cadburys Tour.

No comments: